In addition to dietary and other behavior modifications, the management of macular degeneration involves psychosocial treatments and vision rehabilitation. These include:
Mental Health Care
You may have difficulty adjusting to decreased vision at first. Feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or lonely is common. As with any loss, you may experience grief. This can be stressful not only for you but for your loved ones. Individual, couple, or family therapy can help you learn how to cope more effectively and get the support you need. Support groups can also help you and your family share feelings, frustrations, and solutions to certain challenges. It is important that you develop and maintain a strong support system to prevent isolation and depression.
Physical and Financial Assistance
In addition to emotional support and comfort, you may need physical and financial assistance. Make sure you have family members, friends, and other supporters to help you with tasks such as cooking, paying bills, taking your medications, and transportation to medical appointments and social events. You may also want to find a social worker to help you and your family access community, state, and federal resources for the visually impaired. Your eyecare professional may help you get registered with the Commission for the Blind if you qualify.
You need to maximize your remaining vision so that you can continue with many of your daily activities. A "low-vision" specialist can help assess your remaining vision, recommend optical aids and devices, and provide training in using these aids.
Low-vision devices include:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 23, 2013. Accessed July 15, 2013.
Age-related macular degeneration. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen. Accessed July 15, 2013.
Home & personal safety. Bright Focus Foundation website. Available at: http://www.brightfocus.org/macular/home-safety. Updated April 26, 2013. Accessed July 15, 2013.
Living with AMD. Macular Degeneration Partnership website. Available at: http://www.amd.org/living-with-amd Accessed July 15, 2013.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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