Even though you might not know it, your macula is a very dear place to you. It’s the part of your retina you have used for every small detail you have ever seen. Think about it – street signs; books, Nooks and Kindles; TVs and smart phones; the face of the person who calls your name. Without a well-functioning macula, your world would be a far different place.
But maculas don’t always last as long as the rest of you. They can break down and degenerate just like many other body parts. You can get a new knee or hip. You can’t get a new macula.
In the past, neither you nor your eye doctor could know whether macular degeneration would steal your vision. Oh yes, if you had the less severe “dry” form, you could be carefully observed, usually yearly, for signs it was changing to the much more devastating “wet” form. But since most dry degeneration never makes it to wet, there was no cause for elevated concern. Your particular odds of converting from the one form to the other and eventually losing your vision were unknown. And because no one knew the odds, the first eye could quickly become a casualty before a specialist was even considered. A most unhappy surprise.
As for beating the odds, now we can! A genetic test called Macula Risk has been developed that will place you in one of five categories of risk, based on your personal, individual genetic code. It may be said that the more genetic “markers” you have, the greater would be your odds of progressing from dry to wet degeneration. But if you are at higher than normal risk, WE WANT TO KNOW IT! That would make it much more likely to catch that conversion at the instant it happens. And if we catch it quickly, we can do something to stem the loss. We would know to see you more often to run key tests, thereby heading the whole process off at the pass. Early wet degeneration is the most treatable!
In an even more recent development, the very same test now also provides us with a recommendation for the best supplement to slow the degenerative process. Again, these recommendations are based on your individual genetic makeup. So we can now get you matched up with the particular supplement having the greatest likelihood of slowing down the disease!
If you know you have been diagnosed with the dry form of macular degeneration, we will offer you this Macula Risk test, the predictive power of which is over 80% in accurately identifying who will progress to advanced degeneration. Since this is a lab test, many insurances pay for this without any of the usual deductibles and co-pays. Other major insurances typically deem this a covered expense but you may be subject to the deductibles and co-pays in effect. Generally, most insurances are on your side when it comes to protecting your vision! This is possibly a test that could help save your eyesight.