N.S. woman says simple test can save your eyesight

A Nova Scotia woman urges people to pay attention to changes in their vision, especially as they age.

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Monthan eye disease that primarily affects people over the age of 55.

“At the beginning, I didn’t realize how bad it could be to lose all your central vision,” Marilyn Price said at her home in Lower Sackville, New South Wales.

Previously diagnosed with glaucoma, she noticed a distinct change in her vision in October 2019.

“It was the first time I had a tile floor and I knew the lines were straight, but they looked wavy to me,” Price said. macular degeneration December of that year.

This devastating disease affects an estimated 2.5 million Canadians and remains the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55.

There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

The latter is considered more serious.

It was all a learning curve for Price, and she had never heard of the condition until she had it.

Halifax ophthalmologist Dr Arif Samad says exact numbers are difficult to keep track of, but cases may be on the rise as the population ages.

“I’ve seen recent statistics from Nova Scotia and I would say about 48% of patients are over the age of 50,” Samad told CTV News from his Halifax office.

again, Associate Professor, Dalhousie UniversitySamad says many risk factors can be controlled.

“The big problem is smoking, so quitting smoking can be beneficial,” says Samad.

“People who are obese, have a healthy diet, are rich in antioxidants, or are rich in leafy greens, colorful vegetables and fruits, will probably eat fish once a week because it is low in saturated fat.

Family history is also an important risk factor, Samad added.

“We can’t change that now, but we have to be aware of it,” he said.

“And certainly, if they make new visual distortions or compromises or have trouble with visual tasks, get them checked.

A former teacher, Price regularly monitors his eyesight. amsler grid And encourage others to pay attention to subtle changes that could indicate a bigger problem.

“If it looks straight and wavy, call your ophthalmologist that day,” she said.

She also appreciates the eyeball injections she receives every five weeks.

“I can make it sound really bad, but it’s not a big deal,” she said.

“The needle prick doesn’t hurt. If you put eye drops in your eye, it numbs it, and they put a little iodine in it to keep bacteria out. It’s probably a very thin needle. It’s a little pinch. Most of the time. , not in any pinch.”

In addition to regular checkups, Price says she plans to spend more time in therapy.

“I just got a letter in the mail saying I have this appointment, so I’ll check and see when 5 weeks will make plans. If you need a little vacation or something like that, you’ll have to make plans. Because I don’t want to blind my eyes, so I lost even one needle,” she said.

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