Janet Mitchell started having problems with her eyes at 65 years old. She developed macular holes in her right eye and needed surgery, then two years later she needed the same surgery in her left eye.
Those complications kickstarted Mitchell’s ongoing eye issues. Now, at 84, she’s been treated for dry macular degeneration for the past several years, an eye disease that can lead to vision loss.
“I was driving, and I remember going down the street, and I could see wavy lines at the corner of my eyes. I knew something was wrong there,” Mitchell said.
Macular degeneration has two types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): dry, the most common form, and wet—the less frequent but more serious type.
Wavy lines in vision represent problems occurring in the retina. Patients are given an Amsler Grid to monitor each eye at home. The distortion can increase without treatment and cause the vision to degrade. The loss of central vision can become so distorted that they are unable to pass their driver’s license renewal.
To get treated for her dry macular degeneration condition, Mitchell needs to use daily eye vitamins for AMD and have her photos taken to monitor the progression or stagnation of her disease. As a long-time patient of Ohio Eye Associates, she knew she was in good hands.
AMD treatment with active management can give patients additional years of good central vision and enhance their quality of life, this includes more retinal examinations.
Dr. Richard Marquardt, O.D., treats Mitchell for her macular degeneration and serves as her primary eye care provider.
Patients do not feel macular degeneration and, instead, see it in their vision. In the retina, the central zone, called the macula, is impacted by macular degeneration.
“Patients start to notice distortion in lines, detailed vision is reduced as well as possible gray area or smudges in their central vision. The peripheral vision remains intact in macular degeneration,” Marquardt said.
Whenever Mitchell’s eyes get dry, she uses eye drops which help control her dry eye symptoms, which she has in addition to her macular degeneration.
“I put a couple of those in my eyes and that makes me feel good. Now I don't get eye infections much. Once in a while I do, but not too often,” Mitchell said.
Nearly 85 percent of those who develop AMD have dry form. There are also two components to macular generation: genetic and environmental.
“The genetic component is a strong family history of macular degeneration,” Marquardt said. “Oftentimes these include Caucasian females that are typically fair-skinned or blue-eyed. Also, the environmental factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are increased risk factors for patients in that group,”
Marquardt’s name has graced the walls of Ohio Eye Associates starting with his father John Marquardt, MD, who Mitchell first saw for many years until he retired. Rather than move to a different eye doctor, she stayed at Ohio Eye Associates and became a patient of his son.
“I'm happy over there at Ohio Eye Associates—that's the only place I've ever gone,” Mitchell said. “Richard’s a very nice young guy, and I'm happy to go with him.”
Although Marquadt’s father is no longer seeing patients, he wants to continue his father’s legacy by treating patients such as Mitchell and giving them the best chances of keeping their vision.
“My father and I enjoyed working together for a decade,” Marquardt said. “He helped patients in our community for over 40 years and I have been here for nearly a quarter-century. We shared many patients that continue their care at Ohio Eye. We are now helping many of the next generation and their family members too. I feel blessed to continue the tradition of excellence my father demanded in caring for our community.”
Although Mitchell’s current eye conditions keep her limited to certain things she can do, she recognizes that she could be off worse.
“I feel good today, I really do,” Mitchell said. “I'll continue to go to the same doctors over at Ohio Eye Associates to receive the best level of care.”
At Ohio Eye Associates, the optometrists and ophthalmologists work together to create a circle of care that includes eye exams, treatment of eye diseases, surgeries, and postoperative care. Patients have experts dedicated to achieving the best outcomes at each step in their eye care journey. Call 419-756-8000 to make an appointment.