Yellow lenses to the rescue for macular degeneration

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July 19, 2019 - 4:21 PM

Dear Dr. Roach: I have an elderly friend who’s becoming blind from macular degeneration. After hearing of a particularly frustrating event she experienced due to vision loss, I remembered the great clarity that the yellow-lens (to reduce glare) glasses gave me, not just at night, but daytime also.

So, I sent her a pair to see if it would help, as a last-ditch effort. She called me crying, it had made such a difference! She has now had her prescription eyeglasses done with the yellow (blue-canceling?) lenses. Of course, we understand that this is just a temporary help, and won’t prevent the blindness from taking its course, but it has given her much better vision for a time. — I.L.B.

Answer: Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in industrialized countries. It is a degeneration of the central part of the retina, called the macula, which is responsible for fine detail central vision. The underlying cause is not precisely known, and the course is progressive.

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