The Top Two Misconceptions About Macular Degeneration
The top one is that you’re going to go blind. That needs to be cleared up immediately. Dr. Roberts tells us that that’s why he retired too early. He shares that he thought he was going to go blind. He was a music teacher, and what good is a music teacher who can’t see the music? That was the very first issue he approached with his organization. It was to make sure that the first thing out of their mouths was, “You’re not going to go blind.”
The next misunderstanding is that they can deal with it on their own. We have become very active in the field of low vision rehabilitation. Dr. Roberts has served on a committee with the other academies to build a rehabilitation model. He tells us that that’s what they’re really promoting in the patient community. It’s to realize there is a direction they can go.
Dr. Roberts’ organization uses the model the pharmaceuticals use on the television commercials where they say, “Ask your doctor.” They’re educating the patient. Then they’re putting the monkey on the doctor’s back so when the patient comes in and says, “I just heard about such-and-such a pill,” that means the doctor has to educate himself so he can answer the questions.
Dr. Roberts’ support group organization followed that model with the rehabilitation education. They educate the patients with it and say, “Go to your doctor and say, ‘Here’s where I am on the model.’”
Dr. Roberts tells us that he checked with doctors on this. He didn’t want to put monkeys on their back that they can’t handle, but all the doctors he’s asked about that approach have said, “Definitely. Let them come in and ask us where they’re supposed to go because that’s going to make sure we remember to refer them on to a support or rehabilitation center.” That’s one of the issues.
Don’t Rely On Your Doctor Too Much
One of Dr. Roberts’ basic philosophies is that we need to take care of ourselves and not expect the doctor to know everything about us and do everything for us. We have to take at least 50 percent of the initiative.
Some people, especially the older generation with whom I work, tend to put all their trust in the doctor and let him do all the thinking for them. That’s one thing Dr. Roberts stresses. You have to do some thinking for yourself. You know what’s good for you. Start taking care of your body. Start eating better.
Look around because not everything is a clinically proven, FDA-approved approach. Every treatment started out as an alternative treatment.
Choosing an Alternative Eye Treatment for Macular Degeneration
When you’re looking around at an alternative treatment, consider if it has a history of safety and effectiveness. Have you heard reports otherwise other than from the company itself or the doctor himself? Is the practitioner reputable and following acceptable practice and protocols?
Do you have the time and money to invest in that treatment in case it doesn’t work? Once you’ve decided you’re going to do it, is it safe? Have you gotten opinions from professionals and other patients about their experiences with it? Have you fully educated yourself? Do you have the money to invest in it? Do you have the time to really check it out?