A 72 year old woman from Wales recently underwent an operation to treat her age-related macular degeneration (AMD). After the successful procedure she is now seeing the world around her in more detail than she has in more than ten years.
Second only to cataracts, AMD is a leading cause of blindness in the world, and affects senior citizens more than any other demographic. Solidea Hurst is just one of millions of people who have slowly lost their eyesight as the disease develops.
The center of the visual field is affected first, causing the appearance of blurred shadows. The darkened area then spreads into the periphery, until eventually total blindness occurs.
Like many middle aged people, Hurst began wearing multifocal lenses in her early 50’s. As presbyopia begins to set in, focusing clearly on items and objects within arm’s reach can become difficult, and reading glasses become necessary. But for people that already wear glasses for other vision issues, having a second pair can be cumbersome, hence the preference for glasses with more than one power of vision correction.
But just a few years later her vision continued to deteriorate, and her eye doctor diagnosed her with AMD, first in her left eye, then in her right. This led to her slowly losing things that many people take for granted, such as her driver’s license, and the ability to easily recognize the faces of her family members, including her four grandchildren.
Many attempts at correcting her vision were made, including several laser eye surgeries, but none were successful. In 2013 she was told by the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff that there was no treatment options left, and that her vision would never improve. This was devastating news, and meant that she would never see her loved ones face again.
But only a few short years later, in 2015, she was informed of a new eye treatment called EyeMax Mono being offered by the London Eye Hospital. After several exams she was accepted as a qualified candidate for the surgery, which was then scheduled for April of this year.
The revolutionary treatment uses a specialized lens that redirects the light entering the eye onto areas of the retina not affected by AMD. This essentially bypasses the damaged tissue, and restores the ability to see.
Hurst’s surgery was a complete success, and she’s incredibly moved by the affect it’s had. “Getting my vision back has changed my life completely. I’ve got a lot of my independence back”.