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Macular Degeneration: A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families
By Michael A. Samuel

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Macular Degeneration: A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families

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Macular Degeneration
A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families

By Michael A. Samuel, M.D.
Read How You Want, 2009
EasyRead Large Print, in 16 Point Font
(Originally Published by Basic Health Publications, 2008)
ISBN: 9781442956582
Genre: Eye Health

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - July 23, 2009

Macular Degeneration (MD) is a disease of the retinas that can impact a person at any age. However, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is similar to MD, except that it usually only strikes mature individuals. Various forms of MD and AMD can also be classified as wet or dry. Generally, MD and AMD affect a person's central vision, leaving the peripheral vision undamaged. Confused yet? If you are, or if you are simply interested in learning the causes, effects, and treatments for MD and AMD, you will be thrilled to learn that Dr. Michel A. Samuel, a famed retina specialist and ophthalmologist, has written an informative and empathetic book that not only serves to inform readers about the ins and outs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, but which also clearly delineates the fact there is indeed life after a diagnosis of AMD! (While the bulk of this book focuses on AMD, the advice and information is also applicable to early onset macular degeneration.) The book in question is called Macular Degeneration: A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families. And thanks to Read How You Want, this book is available not only in standard print, but also in five different large print formats ranging from 16-24 point fonts, as well as other accessible formats such as Braille and daisy formats, ensuring that anyone who wants to read this book can!

Within the scope of this essential book, Dr. Samuel explains in clear and easy to understand terms, what Macular Degeneration and Age-Related Macular Degeneration are, how they are diagnosed and treated, and the various steps that patients can take to help prevent developing MD, or if they already have it, the steps they can take to help slow the progression of the disease. He also explains the differences between wet and dry MD, and why they need to be treated differently. He also covers the basic anatomy of the eye, how MD does its damage, risk factors for developing it, and the steps you can take to help ensure that you use all your remaining vision to the fullest. While many people think that a diagnosis of MD means that they will go blind, they are wrong. While some may become legally blind, very few will go totally blind. Dr. Samuel explains why this is the case, and how being legally blind is just a legal definition, and that most people who are legally blind still have a great deal of usable vision - they just have to learn how to use it. And, if worse comes to worse, and you do become totally blind, your life is still not over. With a little extra training and the use of new and ever improving adaptive technologies, you can still live a full and productive life - granted you might not be able to drive anymore, but you will be able to pursue most of your other activities no matter how poor your vision becomes! As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "You just need to learn how to do things differently!"

Within the pages of Dr. Samuel's book you learn all this, as well as how to become an active participant in your own eye care, and how to be an advocate for yourself. By learning all you can about MD, you will find that it is not as scary or as devastating a diagnosis as you might have thought when it was first given to you. As well, Dr. Samuel provides a brief overview of the various visual aids that you can use to make the most of whatever vision you have left, and where to go for more information.

I've read many books on MD, and while this book does cover some of the same ground as its predecessors (something that is impossible not to do as there are only so many ways you can explain what MD and AMD are), Dr. Samuel also touches upon some new research. For example, he explains that by eating a diet that is low on the glycemic index, you can help prevent or slow the progress of the disease. As well, he also touches upon the various nutritional supplements that can be helpful - a topic that is often overlooked in other books of this type. He also explains the various treatment options that are available, and he effortlessly translates some very technical medical jargon into very clear and easy to understand terms. By far, however, what sets this book apart from its compatriots is Dr. Samuel's overview of how integral diet is in the development and progress of MD and AMD, and how making slight changes in your diet can drastically impact the progression of your disease. He even includes a week's worth of sample menus' to help get you eating right for your eyes, and for you over general health.

Macular Degeneration: A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families is essential reading for anyone who has been diagnosed with MD or AMD, as well as for their family members. It can also serve as a great overview of the disease for medical professionals who are not overly familiar with the disease and who have a patient dealing with it. No matter why you are interested in learning about Macular Degeneration, you will find that this book is an excellent starting point in your search for information on the disease, and for guidance on lifestyle changes, and choices, that you can make to ensure that you, or your family member, continues to enjoy life to its fullest. Highly recommended!!

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