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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11353
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My mother is 98 and seeing red spots in her vision...we took

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my mother is 98 and seeing red spots in her vision...we took her to the ophthalmologist who took a quick look and said it was macular degeneratin...she can see pretty darn well..they even said that when they check ed her vision...this just seem totally incorrect...
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Did the eye MD say if it was the wet or dry type of macular degeneration?

Customer:

He recommended that we take her to a retina clinic to check that out..however..at her age taking her to these offices and the ordeal of it all may be more of a risk than knowing what this condition is...couldn't he even have suggested that

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and depending on what type of macular degeneration she has depends on if she would benefit from visit to a retina doc. Also, as you pointed out at 98 you would also have to decide what you would like to do rather then just going on what it is possible to do. Are you sure she was seen by an MD eye doctor and not an optometrist?

Customer:

definitely an ophthamologist (sorry about the sp) he had done her cataract surgery 6-7 years ago...so he is a physician and was referred to by her internal medicine physician. I thought macular degeneration symptons were loss of vision or such with the black spot in center of eye...When they check her eyes initially ,, the nurse was surprised that the vision in her right eye had not declined since he saw her the last time...don't mean to be getting ahead of the conversation...and do certainly appreciate you thoughts..it is definitely an issue of would the treatment be worse for her than no treatment and that is if there is one...

Dr. Rick :

It is possible to have dry macular degeneration and for her vision to stay about the same. Would his cause red spots in her vision? Usually not. But, this could be from a posterior vitreous detachment......the bot***** *****ne? All the facts are not lining up in your Mother's case.....Did the ophthalmologist suggest she see a retina doc? If so, did he act like it was urgent? Did he discuss what he thought the retina doc would do etc?

Customer:

No he didn't seem to think there was urgency and only suggested that we take her actaully in the same building to the retina clinic...He was just totally pretty unbothered by the whole appointment and must have not spent more than 5 minutes with us after it took probably half a day and a 60 mile round trip for this appointment..needless to say I and my mom were fuming. However the reality is ..there must have been something he could have suggested and that is why I went on line to get an answer. We have talked more than he did on Wednesday...geez...would you be able to say what you would do if this were your mom..

Dr. Rick :

It depends on how healthy your mom is at her age. If she is doing pretty good and it wouldn't be a big stress on her to see the retina doc, it probably would be a good idea....especially since it doesn't seem like the doc you went to was very interested in the entire thing nor did he give you any useful information, at least not from what you have told me.

Dr. Rick :

Untreated Wet macular degeneration could render your mom legally (not lights out) blind in very short order......dry macular degeneration is usually slow and steady and not of a lot of concern when you are 98

Customer:

She is very fragile, She might could handle another visit or two but you never how someone her age will be treated by a new physician and the staff...honestly ...many times they are not patient appropriate for these older folks...breaks my heart ...and here is the deal...we are real proponents of paliative care at her age..is there any way to minimize the aggravation of the spots...here is another interesting element...she doesnt see them when she is looking at people or when reading the newspaper...is that common to the condition you are thinking she might have.

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like it is not the center of her retina since the spots are not in the middle all the time and her vision is about the same. It could just be floaters.....but, since an ophthalmologist has examined her and wants her to see a retina doc, it really is hard for me, who can't see her, to say not to take her as long as she could endure the exam. To not take her, and then find out in a few weeks that she really did have wet macular degeneration....well.....by then it would most likely be too late to save her vision in that eye. So. The safer bet it to go see the retina doc. Does this make sense?

Dr. Rick :

If the spots are from vitreous floaters then the only way to get rid of them is with major surgery......not really in the realm of palliative care?

Dr. Rick :

Are you still there?

Dr. Rick :

I guess you might have stepped away from your computer.

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
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