Melvyn was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in 2007 but considers himself fortunate. Aged 78 and a retired pharmacist, he is acutely aware that if he hadn’t acted quickly upon recognising the symptoms of macular degeneration, he’d be telling a different story.
“One morning I woke up and noticed a black spot on the ceiling. I tested my vision with my Amsler grid and straight away noticed the lines, once straight, were wavy and blurry.
The next day I saw a retina specialist who gave me an injection in the right eye and I’ve been having regular injections ever since.
Those injections have saved my sight. My right eye hasn’t deteriorated and because wet degeneration was picked up in my left eye, virtually before I had any symptoms, I still have good vision.
“I can still drive, I can still read, and I can look after my wife Robyn who, unfortunately, has developed frontal temporal dementia in the last two years. I’d have been a different person now if these injections weren’t available.
“My father was a soldier and when he came back from the war his eyesight deteriorated. It was all put down to something that happened in the war but looking back, I’m sure he must have had macular degeneration.
“I can only stress the importance of making sure that if you have macular degeneration, your immediate family is made aware of the need to have their macula checked regularly.
“I think a lot of the progress in treatment and services for people with macular degeneration comes down to the work of the Foundation.
“They are very proactive and are making the community aware of what a problem macular degeneration is, especially as the number of older people in the community continues to increase.”