Friday, March 17, 2006

Introduction

Introduction – Why You and Your Children Should Buy this Book

Let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. Your eye doctor spent five minutes with you. You would like to have talked to him longer but you know how busy he is. And you were in shock when he told you your vision was probably going to get worse and that your children might get the disease too. Your mind was racing by then and you can’t really remember what he said.

So what do you do next? Where do you go now for more information? To the internet? The net is jammed with advertisements for nutritional supplements and treatments that someone wants to sell you. The treatment of AMD is big business. How can you tell what claims are the truth – backed by real scientific studies – and what claims are just advertising?

How about what you read in the newspaper or hear on television? The media loves news about treatments for this blinding disease and will pretty much print anything anyone tells them about a new or miracle treatment. Journalists are not scientists and can only write what others tell them. Some experts are even paid by drug companies to promote certain treatments.

Maybe you should search the medical and scientific journals? These are better, but the articles are complicated and written for other scientists. Each paper discusses one small aspect of AMD or one new scientific finding. Even if you could understand these scientific papers, it would be hard to see the big picture.

So why is this book any different? It’s different because we have written it for you, the person with age-related macular degeneration, and for people who are at risk of getting AMD. And because we’re experts in this field and we’re not being paid by anyone to recommend anything. We treat patients with age-related macular degeneration almost every day. We perform research that explores the causes of AMD. We attend scientific meetings. We participate in treatment trials. And we promise to tell you the straight scoop. We’ll tell you what scientists and doctors all over the world know about this disease, and, just as importantly, what they don’t know. The first three chapters describe AMD along with the latest science which yields clues to what causes it. You need to understand the disease in order to fight it. The last six chapters tell how you can fight back to save your vision. We will talk about changing your lifestyle, eating the right foods, and taking multivitamins with zinc along with other medications which may reduce the risk of vision loss. We will discuss the latest treatments for the wet form of AMD, including new ones that have not yet been approved but show promise. We will also talk about how to maximize your remaining vision and live as full a life as possible. You can fight back to save your sight. We’ll tell you how.

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