Always Learning More and More

Moving right along with the article I am reading (in Webvision’s Age-Related Macular Degeneration), I am finding a lot of new vocabulary and abbreviations. Have you heard of PEDs, for example? PEDs are not nylon footies. They are pigment epithelial detachments. They happen when a bunch of drusen join forces and push up the RPE layer of your eye. Since the RPEs are under the retina and need to be in contact with Bruch’s membrane in order to take care of the photoreceptors, having them jacked up is not a good thing.

There is more and more information suggesting Bruch’s membrane is not totally blameless in this whole debacle. I am not going to pretend to understand it but there is evidence structural and biochemical differences in Bruch’s membrane occur in those with AMD but not in people who do not have the disorder. It may not be all the fault of the RPEs.

Recently I have been seeing the terms classic, predominantly classic and occult to describe different forms of wet AMD. They are mentioned in the article I am reading but not well defined.

According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation the terms classic, predominantly classic and occult describe the choroidal neovascularization (read “formation of new blood vessels in an inner layer of your eyeball”) that happens in wet AMD. Classic choroidal neovasculazation is characterized by well-defined boundaries. Average visual acuity is between 20/ 250 and 20/400.

Occult CNV sounds like it should be scary but it is actually the more benign. Occult lesions are not as well-defined as classic ones. They tend to leak less and average visual acuity is between 20/80 and 20/200. If given a choice, I would take this one!

Predominantly classic is, as it sounds, a mixed type. The other designation for this type is minimal classic.

According to Joachim Wachtin in Classical Choroid Neovascularization CNVs can also be classified by where they can be found in relation to the fovea. Some of them are directly under the fovea and are called subfoveal. Those that are extremely close to the fovea are called juxtafoveal and the ones that are farther away are called extrafoveal.

Like I said, lots of new vocabulary coming our way! But I do believe that, when in a strange land, you should always learn a few basic phrases. These are some basic phrases in the land of wet AMD.

My article takes a serious detour into science babble and I truly don’t understand much. Glaze over time! That means I am going to stop sharing info from it.

Hope these scraps of information fit into your ‘puzzle’ somehow. One of these days we will have gathered enough pieces of knowledge to actually figure out what the picture is!

In the meantime, keep on learning. In the famous words of Schoolhouse Rock, “….because knowledge is power!” Gather knowledge. Be powerful.

Next: Attitude Adjustment

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