Sheila Solomon Klass
Sunday, September 26 of this past year began normally enough. I did what I do every day, first thing: I put on my glasses and tested my vision. I’m eighty-three years old, and although I’ve always been nearsighted and have lived with glaucoma for thirty years, I’ve developed a worse complaint: AMD, age-related macular degeneration, in my left eye.
My ophthalmologist diagnosed the AMD after I told him that, when I was reading, the print seemed faded and straight lines looked bent. I learned that AMD eats away at the macula, the central part of the retina, gradually destroying your ability to read, to watch television, even to recognize familiar faces. Today my left eye sees shapes and colors but no details; it cannot read print.
At that visit, I also learned that AMD comes in two varieties: wet and dry. Dry AMD destroys the tiny blood vessels beneath the macula, blurring the vision; wet AMD forms new abnormal blood vessels, which leak fluid and damage the vision more severely.
I had the dry kind, considered better because it doesn’t spread from one eye to the other. But, warned my ophthalmologist, it could treacherously turn wet at …