The unexpected emotional burden of vision loss from geographic atrophy

(BPT) - Liz Tully loved to read. In addition to reading for her own pleasure, she enjoyed helping others and would regularly meet up with a friend to read the newspaper out loud because he could no longer read it himself. Then, in her early 60s, something changed.

As she read the newspaper to her friend, her eyes would sometimes feel strained, and she would lose her place. She dismissed this thinking it was simply eye fatigue or old age. After visiting a new ophthalmologist a few years later, she was told she had macular atrophy, an early form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Five years later, in the Spring of 2020, she had a sudden and dramatic loss of vision in one eye and was told she had geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry AMD. She now has GA in her other eye as well. GA is a leading cause of blindness that impairs visual function, and therefore, independence and quality of life for the more than 5 million people who are diagnosed with the disease worldwide.

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