2 posts tagged “blurry vision”

What Do You Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Posted February 9th, 2012 by

February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, sponsored by Prevent Blindness America.  Affecting part of the back of the eye called the macula, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can cause the center area of your vision to become blurry or wavy.  It can also create a blind spot right in the center of your vision.

As the name implies, your risk for AMD increases as you age.  Affecting more than two million Americans, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans age 65 and older.  That’s why it’s critical that you get a dilated eye exam every 1-2 years, even if your vision seems perfectly fine.  Just like glaucoma, signs of AMD – such as a straight flagpole seeming slightly curved or wavy – may be easy to miss at the beginning.

February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

The cause of AMD is unknown, but risk factors include age, race, smoking, family history, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.  Diet may also play a role according to the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.  For example, high fat intake (from meats, margarine, dairy products and baked goods) is associated with an increased risk of AMD, while people who eat fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids) more than four times a week have a lower risk of AMD than those who consume it less than three times a month.

Think only seniors have macular degeneration?  The data at PatientLikeMe suggests that it’s not just something to think about in your sixties and older.  Of the 56 patients who report macular degeneration at PatientsLikeMe, 39 of them (approximately 65%) are under the age of 60.  What are they doing to prevent further vision loss?  Some of the commonly reported treatments include the prescription drug Avastin as well as dietary supplements such as Zinc and Vitamin E.  (Click each treatment name to see how our patients rate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.)

Don’t let life get wavy on you.  If you’re overdue, have you scheduled your next dilated eye exam?

Results from PatientsLikeMe Diabetes Poll

Posted November 22nd, 2011 by



PatientsLikeMe Introduces Daily Glucose Monitoring Feature in December

CAMBRIDGE, MA – November 22, 2011 – According to a recent PatientsLikeMe® Poll, one out of every two type 2 diabetes patients (50%) and nearly two out of every three type 1 diabetes patients (65%) say having diabetes affects their holidays.  More than half of respondents (59%) say the upcoming holiday season, marked by Thanksgiving and Christmas, is most difficult for controlling blood glucose; 25% don’t find the holidays difficult.  When asked what strategies they use if their blood glucose rises after increased consumption during the holiday, diabetes patients had mixed responses with three in four type 1 patients (76%) changing their medication dosage, while type 2 patients try alternative things like more exercise (34%) or just avoiding glucose-raising items altogether (34%).  Two hundred and twenty-six (226) diabetes patients sharing their health data on PatientsLikeMe.com responded to the poll.

A Word Cloud of Terms That Appeared Six or More Times in Our Poll Respondents' Freeform Comments

“This week represents the beginning of a challenging season for diabetes patients faced with group meals and gatherings that could impact their health,” says Ben Heywood, President and Co-founder of PatientsLikeMe.  “We all have family or friends with diabetes and these poll results give a glimpse into some of the challenges they face and the strategies they use to overcome them.”

Are diabetes patients sensitive about discussing their disease with family and friends at the table during the holidays? An overwhelming 90% say no.  However, more than one in three patients (38%) still feel friends and family don’t understand how diabetes affects them during the holidays.  With holiday meals and parties so prevalent over the next six weeks, many of the respondents (84%) say they manage with what’s available, while 16% make some adjustment to accommodate for their diabetes (7% host to be in control, 7% eat before going out and 2% bring their own meal).

Highlights of the Recent PatientsLikeMe Poll (Click for Full Results)

PatientsLikeMe will introduce a daily blood glucose monitoring feature for its 2,000+ diabetes patients in early December. Patients will be able to report daily glucose levels, as well as continue sharing and learning from HbA1c scores (used to monitor the glucose control of diabetics over time), treatments and dosages (such as Metformin or insulin) and symptoms and severity (including blurry vision, excessive thirst and fatigue).  In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, PatientsLikeMe recently collaborated with industry and nonprofit partners to launch the CallingAllTypes (www.callingalltypes.com) campaign in an effort to help raise awareness and funds for the disease.

NOTE TO EDITOR: The complete PatientsLikeMe® Poll results can be downloaded here. All poll results must be sourced as originating from PatientsLikeMe®.

PatientsLikeMe® Poll Methodology
Between November 14th and November 18th, PatientsLikeMe invited all diabetes members to participate in the PatientsLikeMe® Poll, with 226 members completing the poll. Respondents represent patients with both type 1 diabetes (24%), where patients are usually diagnosed at a young age and need to daily blood glucose monitoring and insulin therapy, and type 2 diabetes (73%), where patients develop the condition gradually over time typically due to environmental factors resulting in increased blood glucose levels. In this poll, more than 200 respondents shared their HbA1c scores, with 49% reporting a score of 7.0 or lower (which represents well-controlled glucose).

About PatientsLikeMe®
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is the world’s leading online health data sharing platform. PatientsLikeMe® creates new knowledge by charting the real-world course of disease through the shared experiences of patients. While patients interact to help improve their outcomes, the data they provide helps researchers learn how these diseases act in the real world and accelerate the discovery of new, more effective treatments. [Follow company news on www.twitter.com/PatientsLikeMe and https://blog.patientslikeme.com]