Let It Be

Onward into massive confusion! I may not have the brains to understand this stuff but I make up for it in pure, dogged tenacity.

I looked up peripheral retina atrophy and discovered Eyewiki considers atrophic retinal holes to be full-thickness, retinal breaks generally occurring in the peripheral retina. They are not caused by vitreous adhesions like macular holes. Remember macular holes are caused when the ‘strings’ in the vitreous latch on and tug. The cause for the death of these parts of the peripheral retina is thought to be a failure of blood supply and not drusen or any of the complement factor SNAFUS we may experience in AMD.

So that is one thing I found suggesting peripheral retina atrophy and AMD are not related. HOWEVER, I also found an article suggesting they are and AMD might not be just for maculas any more. Just to make everything more delightful, Ophthalmology in April, 2017 published a study about peripheral retinal changes associated with AMD. (One of the authors for this study was Chew, EY! Beastie Baby would have approved!) Their conclusions were these: peripheral eye changes are more prevalent in eyes with AMD. These changes can be mid-range and/or far periphery of the retina. They decided AMD may be a full eye condition and suggested further study.

Another study done in Croatia and published online in Ophthalmology Retina September 22, 2017 found peripheral drusen, reticular pigment changes and paving stone degeneration occurred more often in those with AMD than in controls. Paving stone degeneration is constituted by small, discrete, rounded areas of loss of pigment and thinning of the retina.

In my limited research nothing said that AMD leads to full retina deterioration. My local retinologist did not say that was the case either.

I am not a doctor and I am groping for answers just like you. Don’t believe a word I say. That said, to clean up the saying a bit, opinions are like tushies. Everyone has one.

This is mine on this topic: Peripheral atrophy and geographic atrophy are probably not the same ‘animal’. There may be some, common underlying mechanism but we don’t know what it is yet. When I was talking to my local doctor he mentioned what might have been the presence of peripheral retinal atrophy in some of the same people who had AMD. Just because they are both present does not mean causality one for the other. He also said he had seen it only rarely and in the very old. Having seen even one case, he was not going to make me any promises things would not go from bad to worse.

Now to my soapbox. I have more than enough to worry about with my macular degeneration and I expect you do too. I am not going to buy trouble. I could waste every minute of every day worrying about a bunch of what-ifs. I have better things to do with my time. I suspect you do, too.

Let it be….
Paul McCartney, 1970

written October 7th, 2017

Next: Just Relax

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