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Myopic degeneration
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Myopic degeneration

I am 20 yrs old.  My eye correction is -16 in both eyes and has held there for 1.5 years.  My grandfather and aunt are also extremely myopic but have had no major issues (correction: grandpa had a retina detachment caught early and fixed). I have lacquer cracks and lattice degeneration in both eyes and have been diagnosed with myopic degeneration.  I have had 3 retina hemorrhages and all have resolved on their own.  I have seen 3 RS in the past 3 years since my problems have started.  The first one went on to teach so I switched to his partner who is the RS who I now see routinely.  The 3rd RS was for a second opinion and is the lead RS at U of Michigan's Eye Institute.  What a difference in approaches and information.  The first RS (who left and now teaches in the field) thought the first bleed was due to vomiting with the stomach flu and restricted any activity that would cause pressure on my stomach (G-force roller coasters, lifting heavy weights, coughing hard (got heavy duty cough syrup), vomiting (got anti-nausea meds).  My current RS has me believing that blindness is in my future and to slow it down advises taking a good multi-vitamins, eat leafy greens, walnuts, fish, always wear sunglasses, never smoke, and check my eye chart daily BUT says that I have NO restrictions physically and taking the meds for severe coughing and vomiting is not necessary.   And the 3rd (specialist from U of M) said that he would not expect any further degeneration because of the stability of my vision but because of the lacquer cracks be aware of any changes in vision signally CVS or retina detachments. This guy also said that vitamins etc could maybe benefit my over all health but would not make a difference with the retina issues. ???????

I am currently a college student and can get very worried about all of this if I let myself.  Should I expect blindness?  Should I limit the kind of pressure that may have caused my 1st retina bleed? Do I take the cough meds/anti nausea meds when needed?  Am I wasting my $ on all the high price vitamins that I take? I am so confused on which RS to believe. I WANT to believe the 3rd RS but my current one has me believing that the worst is coming.   Any thoughts on the above scenario?  The experience on this web site is invaluable to me!
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It is very difficult to predict the future in your situation.  Lacquer crack may lead to choroidal neovascularization (wet AMD) and poor vision. I do not know of papers which show an increase in bleeding due to vomiting or a valsalva maneuver

However, it can be treated with injections and there is a lot of research in this area for better treatment.  I DO believe the vitamins may help. Better yet, eat the fresh cooked spinach or kale, or other vegetables rich in luetin.  You also have to worry about retinal detachment.   The ARED study showed some benefit with vitamin treatment but it was small.


Good luck.

Dr. O.
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