I was reminded the other day of some of the additional costs of living with macular degeneration. I had been shopping for a battery for my portable lighted magnifier, when I started thinking about all the little, and not so little, extra costs of this sight stealing condition.

Macular degeneration expenses

Not only do we have the direct costs of medical care, but also the less direct costs. Costs for better lighting. Costs for transportation. Perhaps already costs for assisted-living tools or technologies such as a CCTV. Maybe it’s ordering groceries online, and paying for the privilege. Everything from batteries to a big purchase like a CCTV. The recommended AREDS supplements twice a day quickly adds up.

The emotional toll of vision loss

Then there’s the emotional cost. That could be never-ending. For some of us, there’s an emotional and financial drain on our families as well. We may find that therapy is well worth whatever it costs.

The cost of medical visits

In some places, the cost of a visit to an ophthalmologist can set us back. Next, the cost of the retinal specialist. Then maybe the big one. The dreaded eye injections. A cost that could be every four weeks or so indefinitely if we develop the advanced neovascular form.

Regular eye exams

When I went for my annual eye exam with an optometrist a few years ago wanting a prescription for new glasses, I paid the charge out of pocket. After the unexpected diagnosis of wet AMD, he referred me to my amazing retinal specialist. From then on, my provincial healthcare plan has covered the costs. I started with regular four week injections and slowly extended them to 12 weeks. I’ve been on Avastin, which has been working well, as it has allowed me to be on that 12 week schedule. Avastin is usually the first anti-VEGF tried, as it’s much less expensive than the others.

Differences in healthcare coverage

I am very lucky that here in Canada those medical costs are covered. It’s not perfect, and sometimes slower on the uptake approving new treatments, but it covers all I could ask for and is paid for with our taxes.

From what I can determine, many others in our online community also have some form of Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance covers a large portion (or all) of those costs, perhaps with a small copayment. The drug companies themselves may help with costs for those who need it.

Information on that is available at through these links:

Paying for the indirect costs of central vision loss

If our macular degeneration progresses to any central vision loss, we have the added costs of paying to have jobs done that we could easily do ourselves before this life-altering diagnosis. Perhaps a gardener, a seamstress, or maybe we used to do our own home repairs and now need to pay a handyman.

Travel, technology, and more

Taxis. Buses. Lighting. Perhaps even moving to a more accessible location. Technology. Apps. Smart phones. The necessary sunglasses. Some of these “extras” that we now need with our diminished eyesight can be very expensive, while others just seem to add that little bit extra that seems never ending.

Have you discovered you’re now paying more just to keep living the way you did before your diagnosis? Or do you have any suggestions that could help us keep these costs down?

This article was published on December 2, 2020 by MacularDegeneration.net and authored by Cora Lyn Sears.  To read the original article, you can visit this link – https://maculardegeneration.net/living/healthcare-costs/

[New England Low Vision and Blindness has published an Ebook “What’s Next…” on the many resources available to help people who have Macular Degeneration. You can <click here> to download a PDF of the entire report.]

 

About New England Low Vision and Blindness

New England Low Vision and Blindness uniquely brings hope through technology, training, and care.  We are a full-service assistive technology rehabilitation training provider. We offer nearly 100% of all major electronic low vision, blindness, and software products. and have two (2) assistive technology showroom centers – one in Worcester, MA, and a second in Shelton, CT.

At each of our technology showrooms, we provide ‘patient-choice’ showcasing numerous technology options from the world’s most respected suppliers, all in line with one’s individualized budgetary limits and personal, educational or professional goals. We also provide custom training solutions and troubleshooting support.

Widely known, tested, and trusted throughout New England, our team brings 75+ years of low vision experience. Our talent, technology, and training offerings are unmatched and highly respected. We are an extremely unique and extraordinary resource for anyone suffering from vision loss in New England. We are here to help.

Through our free demonstrations – either at one of our conveniently located assistive technology showrooms or in their home, office or school – clients experience a relaxed 2-hour free personal demonstration of almost 100% of all low vision and blindness technologies available on the market.

To learn more about how we Bring Hope to people who are blind or with low vision, contact a Technology Specialist at New England Low Vision and Blindness please call our toll free number 888-211-6933 or email us at info@nelowvision.com.  You can also use the form below to request information about our services or a free demonstration on any of our products:

Bring Hope Request Form
Address (Required if requesting a brochure)
City
State/Province
Zip/Postal