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The Betty White Interview (Page 2 of 2)

An Interview with Betty White

Now that you can do something, you want to find out as soon as you can. This is called an Amsler Grid. Itís a little square with evenly spaced vertical and horizontal lines and a dot in the middle. All you do is just tape it to the wall, stand about a foot away and put on your reading glasses if you wear them, and cover one eye and concentrate on the dot. Now if these lines become blurry or wavy or if there are any blind spots, thatís the red flag that says go see your eye doctor immediately.

GB: Is My Eye Health distributing the Amsler Grid as part of the campaign?

BW: Yes; you can get your own Amsler Grid simply by going to the website www.preventblindness.org. Itís a good idea to do it because one out of every four people has a beginning problem with that.

GB: Dr. Puliafito, how common is AMD?

DR: Well, we think there are about two million Americans that have the wet form of macular degeneration, but as Betty said, almost 25% of seniors will have some form of macular degeneration so itís a common problem.

GB: What would you say to caregivers concerning their own or their loved oneís eye health?

BW: We should all monitor our vision and encourage our friends, family and peers to do the same. AMD is devastating to those who have it and the thought of someone losing their vision is too much to bear. When I learned that vision may be preserved when wet AMD is caught and treated early, I wanted to spread the word to as many people as possible.

GB: Are they any new treatments for AMD?

DR: One of the new treatments that are available is called Macugen and itís the first in a whole new kind of drug that specifically blocks the protein in the back of the eye thatís causing these abnormal blood vessels. The treatment is very effective, itís safe. Itís administered in the doctorís office and itís something that all seniors really need to know about.

 

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