My vision plummeted from 6/9 to 6/60 (20/30 to 20/200). Lost all central vision
and diagnosed as having (Myopic) Macular Degeneration of the dry type (no bleeding)
- a view expressed by several retinal specialists.
Further tests confirmed the diagnosis and indicated that in my case the macular had
been penetrated by a tear in the retinal lining, which was most likely related to
(Myopic macular degeneration is related to the stretching of the retina and associated
tissue as a result of elongation of the eyeball from short-sightedness).
first angiogram in June, my ophthalmic consultant wrote to my referring doctor informing
him that “We have discussed the various treatments for macular disease but unfortunately
none of them is particularly relevant to Mr. Amsterdam’s condition”.
After my second angiogram in July, another ophthalmic specialist informed me that
“The angiogram did not show any problems that could be repaired or treated” and my
referring doctor was informed that “unfortunately in his case there is no treatment
available to restore his vision”.
Early stage macular degeneration diagnosed. I was warned of future ongoing vision
loss of the slow ‘dry’ type. This turned out not to be the case - the loss was due
to sudden onset of the wet form in Dec 04.
AUGUST 2004 (1st residential Ayurvedic treatment in Delhi, India)
Began taking daily Ayurvedic herbs after an Ayurvedic consultation in London, and
shortly thereafter travelled to Delhi, India for 21 days residential Ayurvedic treatment
under the special guidance of Dr. Raju at Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital. (I also began
taking daily doses of a Lutein based neutrical). Upon my return to the UK, I continued
to take daily Ayurvedic herbs and the neutrical, which I continue to do.
LATE 2004 - FEBRUARY 2005
Observable improvements begun Oct / Nov 2004. By Feb 2005, vision had improved to
6/18 (20/60). The central dark grey impenetrable cloud continued to thin and dissipate,
and central images were now beginning to be seen.
RIGHT EYE (1st bleed)
Vision deterioration and examination in February 2005 revealed what is believed to
be my first bleed in this eye.
Thus, while my left eye was recovering, my right eye had its first bleed.
MARCH 2005 (2nd and 3rd bleed; one PDT laser treatment)
Further deterioration in vision (2nd. bleed). In the hope of preventing further
bleeding, I had a photodynamic therapy (PDT or so-called ‘cold laser’) treatment,
followed by an acutely distressing and dramatic lossof vision the next day, which
gradually improved to pre-laser treatment level by the end of week two.
By the end of week three there was a slight improvement in vision relative to the
pre-PDT laser treatment level, but this lasted only two days, when a further (3rd)
bleed occurred, eliminating the improvement.
Having considered the risk / benefit ratio of further PDT laser treatments, I decided
not to have any more PDT (which would have been administered every 3 months or so
in the hope of stopping new blood vessel growth).
Atypical recovery back to 6/9 (20/30). This is equal to my previous vision. Interestingly,
in spite of worrying subjective impressions of vision fluctuation over the previous
month, ocular examination revealed everything as Ok (“the optic disks … pink and
Further vision deterioration to 6/24 (20/80)
Further recovery to 6/6 (20/20) in Sept. I now am seeing better than before the
macular break. For example, my standard eye test for prescription glasses in April
04 measured 6/9 (20/30).
Recovery to 6/18 (20/50)
Further 23 days of residential treatment at Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital.
Holding at 6/6 (20/20)
Holding at 6/18+2 ( better than 20/50)
Holding at 6/6 (20/20).
RIGHT EYE Improvement to 6/12 (+3) (20/35). Marked improvement in colour perception,
though there is still substantial distortion (straight lines appear wavy) and inability
to see fine detail.
MAY 2007 (discharged by my consultant)
Holding at 6/6 (20/20).
Now showing at 6/12 (20/40).
1. Left Eye: degree of short-sightedness has changed (from 6.5 to 7.0 to 6.75 to
2. Left Eye: although initial diagnosis (June, July 04) was ‘dry’ macular degeneration,
I believe my later consultant expresses the view that leakage had to have occurred.
To the extent I understand it, I believe he arrives at this view with reference
to his belief that recovery of the magnitude I exhibit is simply not explainable
any other way .
3. Right Eye: in June 04, consultant measured value was 6/5. As this is inconsistent
with the previous dispensing optician measured value at 6/9 (20/30), it would
appear to be anomalous and is omitted from the graphed data set.
4. Over-sensitivity to light has improved, but is still troublesome.
5. Visual Acuity values are Snellen and some were taken in uncontrolled conditions
relative to each other.