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Claire Powell

August 7, 1949

Midwest City, OKlahoma

Myopic Degeneration

Eyes Affected
Right eye in 1997, left eye in 2000. Have worn glasses since I was in the 5th grade.

Eye Color

Age at Diagnosis

Visual Acuity
With correction 20/400 in right eye and 20/40 in left eye.

Laser treatment in right eye in 1997. (I did not realize anything major was wrong until I went for a yearly eye exam and I could not see the big "E". I just thought I needed a new perscription for glasses.) In June, 2000 I began seeing wavy lines. I had no treatment because of the location of the crack. I have been very closely monitored by my retinal specialist and finally the leakage has dried up.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
My right eye has not improved at all; however things are getting somewhat better in the left eye. I am very careful to report any change to my doctor as things can change so rapidly.

Family History
Neither of my parents were myopic; however my only sister is nearsighted. Her vision has improved as she has grown older. I am also convinced my grandfather (Mother's dad) had macular degeneration, but he died in 1964.

Impact on My Life
Until June, 2000 I was coping very well as only one eye was affected. Then I felt my world caving in when I began to lose my central vision in my left eye. It happened so fast. It was very hard to admit to others that I was visually impaired, but time makes a lot of difference.

Positive Effects
I am an educator of adults, so now I have new skills and understanding to work with individuals with special problems.

At work I have a 21" monitor as well as magnification software and also a magnifier connected to my computer monitor to use with printed text, etc. I am not allowed to drive "on the job" by my employer so another staff person (usually my secretary) has to drive me to my appointments and meetings. As a home economist I have learned many adaptations for various everyday skills.

I have been able to continue my work as a Cooperative Extension Service educator in family and consumer sciences since special accommodations have been provided by my employer. It has been difficult and sometimes definitely a discouraging struggle. It is very difficult for a teacher to realize the impact you are making with your students when you can't see them very well let alone see their facial expressions. Hopefully I will take a regular retirement this July after 33 years as an educator.

More About Me
I already have plans for my retirement. I want to write a cookbook for diabetics and I have a stash of collectible depression glass that keeps growing and needs to be marketed.

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