Losing precious sight from corneal blindness can be an overwhelming and difficult experience for many. For Ramona, who experienced a decade of vision loss from posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPMD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it was devastating. As a watercolor art hobbyist, Ramona relies on her vision to paint scenes and portraits. However, as her vision diminished, painting the world around her became increasingly difficult. Ramona struggled with vision loss for years.
“I would get up in the morning and have blurred vision. No one knew what it was,” she commented. The vision in her left eye, in particular, was troublesome. After undergoing cataract surgeries on both eyes, Ramona was then diagnosed with AMD- a disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision. She began treatment for AMD, but then suffered a hemorrhage in the left eye. Together, the AMD and damage from the hemorrhage caused spots of permanent loss in her central vision. But the remainder of the vision in her left eye was still blurry.
After visiting a specialist, it was determined that Ramona’s left cornea had a very low cell count. Eventually, she was diagnosed with PPMD- a fairly uncommon disorder that causes lesions on innermost layer of cells in the cornea. In March of 2011, Ramona underwent a corneal transplant to restore the remaining sight in her left eye.
Today, Ramona’s vision has improved drastically thanks to a caring individual who made the decision to become an eye donor. Although she still has areas of permanent vision loss and is undergoing treatment of AMD in both eyes, a new clear cornea has allowed her to paint again. “Painting is one hobby that I do not want to give up,” remarked Ramona.
After experiencing so many problems with her vision over the years, Ramona is a strong advocate to her friends and family reminding them to make regular visits to their eye care specialist. Early detection and treatment of vision conditions like AMD play a key role in reducing the extent of vision lost to this disease.