Macular degeneration: A case study - Eyecare Plus Ashgrove
By Durkin & Black Optometrists
Macular degeneration: A case study

Macular degeneration: A case study

Macular degeneration: A case study

Macular Degeneration: A case study

May is Macula Month, so our head office team took some time to speak to 90-year-old Pastor Ron Clarke OAM to find out more about how he manages macular degeneration around his busy life.

A story of life-saving eye injections

As the most common age related eye condition macular degeneration (AMD) is responsible for half of all blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.

For those over the age of 50 years about one in seven (1.4 million) Australians have some evidence of the disease. An estimated 156,000 are diagnosed with neovascular (wet) AMD which requires regular eye injections to prevent permanent loss of sight.

Ninety-year-old Pastor Ron Clarke OAM is one of those people.

Pastor Ron Clarke leads a busy life which would exhaust anyone half his age.

He’d be in big trouble

If the Government cut the Medicare rebate for his eye injections, the life Pastor Clarke is leading would have changed dramatically with the possibly that he could even have gone blind.

An independent Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce for Ophthalmology recommended that the Medicare rebate for sight saving eye injections be cut by 69%. Thankfully Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and the Shadow Minister Mark Butler, have both committed their support of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia’s (MDFA) call to reject the proposed recommendation to cut the Medicare rebate on sight saving treatment. So, whichever party forms the next Government, the proposed cut will not be adopted.

People receiving sight saving treatment like Pastor Ron would be very thankful for this decision.

Pastor Ron has lived most of his life with only 15-20% vision in his left eye, relying on good vision in his right.

Twelve years ago, he was diagnosed with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) in his good eye and now he needs injections every four weeks to maintain his eyesight.

Despite officially retiring in 2015, Pastor Ron maintains a global online ministry with 3,000 subscribers.

But he would not be able to continue preaching if he could not afford his sight-saving eye treatment.

“I’d be in big trouble. I don’t know how I’d manage,” Ron admits.

“My ministry and activity on the internet depend on my sight. It’s my life. If I lose that, I may as well give up and move into a residential nursing home.”

Importance of eye injections

Sight-saving eye injections for wet AMD help many Australians like Pastor Ron retain their independence and stay in their own home, rather than moving into residential care.

“This treatment has kept me out of full-time care,” Ron says.

 May is Macula Month, the time of the year when Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) raises awareness of macular disease.

Next steps

If you have any concerns about macular degeneration, or any other eye condition, the first step is to make an appointment with us to discuss.

Ready to book an appointment?

Online bookings available or call us on (07) 3463 0349.

This website does not provide medical advice.  It is intended for informational purposes only.  It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately dial Triple 0 (000).