Lawrence Hoffheimer, Chairman of the Board for the Macular Degeneration Association is proud to announce:

 MATTERS OF VISION! 2023 Program Series LiveProgram Live

Learn about the latest developments, treatments & research for macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and low vision.

 July 8th:  Maddison, WI– DoubleTree by Hilton Madison Downtown, 525 W Johnson St, Madison, WI–Jeffry Gerson, OD

July 15th: Columbus, OH–Hilton Columbus at Easton, 3900 Chagrin Dr. Columbus, OH–Pamela Weber, MD

July 22th AM–The Hills Hotel 25205 La Paz Road Laguna Hills, CA AM program–8:30 am-11:30 am

July 22th PM–Hotel Maya 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach, CA–PM 2-4:30 program Speakers for both programs–Jeffery Gerson, OD, Richard Shuldiner, OD or Andrew Bock, OD

Aug. 12th: Elk Grove/Schaumburg, IL–HOLIDAY INN CHICAGO-ELK GROVE, 1000 Busse Road | Elk Grove Village, IL Jeffry Gerson, OD–Ronald Weingart, OD

Sept. 2nd: Minneapolis, MN–Doubletree Bloomington–Minneapolis South, 7800 Normandale Blvd Minneapolis, MN–Jeffry Gerson, OD

Oct. 14th: Sarasota, FL–Parkinson Place 5969 Cattleridge Blvd Suite 100 Sarasota, FL–Pamela Weber, MD–Marc Gannon, OD

Oct. 21st: Ocala/ The Villages, FL–The Water Front Inn 1105 Lake Shore Dr, The Villages, FL–Christine Kay, MD–Marc Gannon, OD

Matters of Vision! 2023 In-person & Virtual please check the website for

more information @ https://macularhope.org/programs.

Please go to https://MacularHope.org/Webinar-Programs/ to register

We are also proud to announce the addition of our blog and educational videos.

Blog – https://MacularHope.org/Blog/

Educational Videos – https://MacularHope.org/Videos/

Thank you for your support.

Special thanks to Foresee Home for being the sponsor of these programs. To find out more about the Foresee Home AMD Monitoring Program please go to: https://www.foreseehome.com.

We would like to thank the following sponsors of these programs: Iveric Bio, Regeneron, MacuHealth, Apellis & Notal Vision.

Illuminate Your Reading Experience:

The Crucial Role of Proper Lighting in Eye Care

By: Jarred Long, OD

I would like to shed some light on the importance of proper lighting for reading, a critical component of maintaining optimal eye health and comfort.

Within my specialty, low vision care, many of our patients have macular degeneration and they almost always do better with proper lighting arrangements. The eyes are constantly working to adjust to varying levels of light, and they can experience strain if they are not given the appropriate conditions. By ensuring that your reading environment is well-lit, you can significantly reduce the risk of eye fatigue and discomfort.

Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind when setting up the ideal reading environment:

  • Choose the right type of light: opt for a light source that mimics natural daylight, as it provides a balanced spectrum of colors and reduces glare. LED lights are an excellent choice, as they emit less heat and are energy-efficient.
  • Position the light source correctly: Place the light source behind you and slightly above your head, angled towards your reading material. This will minimize shadows and reduce the chances of glare.
  • Adjust the brightness: Your reading light should be bright enough to clearly see the text without straining your eyes, but not so bright that it causes discomfort. Experiment with different brightness levels to find the perfect balance.
  • Consider the room lighting: In addition to your reading light, ensure that the overall room lighting is adequate. This helps reduce the contrast between the reading material and the surrounding environment, minimizing eye strain.and finally…
  • Take regular breaks: Remember to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This gives your eyes a chance to rest and refocus, reducing the risk of eye strain.

If you have macular degeneration or another sight-limiting condition, use these tips to get the most out of your vision that is possible. Low vision specialists like myself are committed to helping you see better and live better. Schedule an appointment with a qualified low vision provider to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your eye care and vision needs.


–Take a Closer Look     A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO

The ‘microbiome’ refers to a variety of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, but also single-celled creatures (protozoans), fungi and viruses that live inside our bodies. As it turns out, 90% of the cells inside our bodies and 90+% of the genes within our bodies are not human! It’s no surprise, then, that these microbes could affect both our mental and physical health in a number of ways. In fact, the microbiome has been linked to a number of human health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, multiple sclerosis, and there is growing evidence that the microbiome (MB) also affects the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

So how does does the MB affect human health? There are several mechanisms, including maintaining a tight barrier between the intestines and the bloodstream, increased inflammation and disease once MB components pass into the blood through a leaky gut wall, and activation of microbial genes that release chemical messengers (hormones and other proteins) that increase or decrease the likelihood of developing specific diseases. In general, eating a high fat, high sugar diet increases the numbers of unhealthy gut bacteria which, in turn, leads to breakdown of the blood/intestinal barrier, production of harmful proteins that travel throughout the body, and multiple diseases. Smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol have similar bad effects, as can taking a lot of powerful antibiotics that destroy healthy bacteria. Eating low sugar, low saturated fat diet with regular intake of fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickles Kim chi) that help good bacteria grow will help maintain and/or restore a healthier MB, as can taking some probiotics.

Evidence suggests that a number of eye diseases are linked to an unhealthy MB, including dry eye, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, inflammation of the eye called uveitis, and macular degeneration. Serotonin is a powerful protein that affects mood and reduces systemic inflammation, and 90% of the serotonin in our bodies is produced by ‘friendly’ (healthy) gut bacteria. Recent research suggests that low levels of serotonin produced within our intestines increases the risk of developing AMD.[1] We also have very strong evidence that high sugar diet increases the risk and severity of AMD, and this may be due to negative changes in the MB that favor unhealthy microbes to grow and outnumber healthy microbes. The bottom line is that we need a healthy MB to maintain good health.

Lin P, McClintic SM, Nadeem U, Skondra D. A Review of the Role of the Intestinal Microbiota in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J Clin Med. 2021 May 12;10(10):2072.


Low Vision Rehabilitation and Support Groups

Don’t let macular degeneration control your life! Low vision rehabilitation offers a variety of techniques and adaptive strategies to help you make the most of your remaining vision. By working with a team of experts, including low vision doctors and occupational therapists, you can learn how to manage daily tasks and maintain your independence. From customizing lighting to teaching you new ways to read, low vision rehabilitation can make a significant impact on your quality of life. In addition to rehabilitation, connecting with a low vision support group can provide a sense of camaraderie, understanding, and hope. Sharing experiences and tips with others who are facing similar challenges can make a world of difference, offering new perspectives on adapting to life with low vision. Many support groups have guest speakers, including low vision professionals, who provide valuable information and resources. Explore the resources on the Macular Degeneration Association website or contact local organizations to find a support group that’s right for you and start empowering your independence today.

  1. Jarrod Long, OD, FIALVS

Owner and Founder of Midwest Low Vision.

Caring for patients with macular degeneration

and other forms of low vision for over 25 years.




Please check the website for more information on our

2023 In-person & Virtual seminars. MacularHope.org/programs

Three Things You Need to Know About Glaucoma

By: Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO

Glaucoma is a condition in which the intraocular pressure is higher than it is supposed to be and causes compression of the optic nerve. This can initially cause your peripheral vision to change and become weaker, eventually affecting your central vision. Here are three things that are important to know about glaucoma.

1) You cannot feel high pressures in the eyes…most of the time — Most of the time, intraocular pressure is not detectable by the patient. In more extreme situations, you can feel elevated pressures in the eyes, but this is a rare occurrence. The only way to accurately assess the intraocular pressure is to have it measured at your next appointment with your eye doctor to determine if it is within the normal range.

2) Early glaucoma is often times asymptomatic — Early in glaucoma, patients will not notice any changes in their vision. This is because it initially affects the peripheral vision and as such, it will most frequently not be detected by the patient. This is good news because if the condition is caught early, appropriate treatment can reduce the impact of the disease on the patient. But, because it rarely has any symptoms early in the disease, it is critical to make sure that you are having your eyes examined on a regular basis.

3) Make sure to follow your doctors instructions — If you are diagnosed with glaucoma and require treatment, make sure that you follow your doctors instructions. As discussed, glaucoma is often times asymptomatic so treatment won’t necessarily help you see better. But, in order to preserve your vision, it is critical to follow the doctors instructions and continue with treatment.

We are pleased to announce the retina and optometric practices awarded the distinction of

AMD Centers of Excellence!

Allisonville Eye Care (Fishers, IN)

  • Belle Vue Specialty Eye Care

(Hattiesburg, MS)

  • Brown Retina Institute (San Antonio, TX)
  • Carolina Eye Associates, P.A. (North & South Carolina)
  • Chous Eyecare Associates (University

Park, WA)

  • Developmental Vision Center (Oswego, IL)
  • Dr. Dorothy L. Hitchmoth, PLLC (New London, NH)
  • Eye Associates of Boca Raton, P.A. (Boca Raton, FL)
  • Fresno S Street Health Center (Fresno, CA)
  • Grin Eye Care (Leawood, KS)
  • In Focus Eyecare (Sarnia, Ontario)
  • Integrative Vision (Shrewsbury, NJ)
  • Island Retina (Shirley, NY)
  • Joseph R. Podhorzer, MD, PLLC

(Brooklyn, NY)

  • Lipski Eye Center, PC (Lewisburg, PA)
  • Low Vision Eye Care (Coeur d’Alene, ID)
  • Low Vision Optometry of New York

(Garden City, NY)

  • Low Vision Optometry of Southern California (Mission Viejo, CA)
  • Low Vision Specialists of Maryland & Virginia (Timonium, MD)
  • Marshall EyeCare Physicians, PC

(Holmdel, NJ)

  • Memorial Vision, PA (Houston, TX)
  • Ophthalmology Associates PSC

(Louisville, KY)

  • Orange County Retina (Santa Ana, CA)
  • Paul Vision Institute (Wilmington, NC)
  • Peter E. DeGraziano, OD, PC

(San Diego, CA)

  • Philadelphia Retina Associates (Plymouth Meeting, PA)
  • Premier Vision Group (Bowling Green, OH)
  • Professional Eye Care Center (Niles, IL)
  • Retina Associates of Orange County (Laguna Hills, CA)
  • Retina Consultants of Southern Colorado, P.C. (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Retinal Consultants of Texas (San Antonio, TX & Houston, TX)
  • Sarasota Retina Institute (Sarasota, FL)
  • Schoenbart Vison Care (Garden City, NY)
  • Scott Eye Care Ltd. (Oswego, IL)
  • Southern Low Vision (Ocean Springs, MS)
  • The Macula Center (Clearwater, FL)
  • Vision Center of Lake Norman

(Mooresville, NC)

  • Vitreo Retinal Associates (Gainesville, FL)
  • Wyomissing Optometric Center (Wyomissing, PA)

Why do my contact lenses bother me?

By: Mile Burjic, OD, FAAO

Contact lenses provide us an option to be less dependent on our glasses. Most people can benefit from this modality of vision correction. But what happens if your contact lenses start bothering you? Here are three things that you should keep in mind to optimize your chances of having the most comfortable wearing experience.

1) Make sure you are wearing your lenses the way that they were prescribed —wearing contact lenses incorrectly is the number one reason why we see people have comfort issues with their contact lenses. Make sure that you are not wearing your contact lenses for longer than they are supposed to be worn. As an example, if your lenses are meant to be worn for one month and then disposed and replaced with a new pair, you shouldn’t be wearing them longer than one month. Additionally, if your doctor has not approved sleeping in your contact lenses, make sure that you are not sleeping in them.

2) Make sure that you are using the cleaning solutions and eye drops you were recommended to use with your lenses. There are significant differences between the various cleaning and disinfecting solutions that can be used for contact lenses. Additionally, eye drops can be very different as well. Make sure that you are only using those solutions and drops for your contact lenses that were recommended by your eye doctor. If you have any questions, make sure to reach out to your eye doctor so they can provide you with appropriate recommendations.

3) Check in with your eye doctor — If the previous two things didn’t improve your wearing experience, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. There have been tremendous advancements in contact lens technologies over the last several years and there may be an option now that is better suited for your eyes. Additionally there may be an eye condition that is limiting successful lens wear that they can be treated by your eye doctor and provide you with comfortable lens wear again.

Keep these things in mind to optimize your contact lens wearing experience.




Without ongoing contributions from generous donors like you, the Macular Degeneration Association would be

unable to fund Research and Education for the millions of people living with macular degeneration.




Phone, Mail or Online

Phone: Please call (941)893-4387 today to speak to one of our Donor Services Representatives.

Mail: Send your check or money order today payable to:


5969 Cattleridge Boulevard, Suite 100 | Sarasota, FL 34232

Online: Please visit www.macularhope.org today and click on the Donation tab.

Stocks, Securities, Mutual Funds and IRAs

Please give serious consideration to the donation of stock and mutual fund shares as this offers numerous opportunities

to make a most gracious gift and receive tax advantages.

Wills, Bequests and Planned Gifts

Please give serious consideration to the designation of MDA in your Will, Charitable Trusts, Life Insurance, Appreciated

Securities and Real Estate as this offers preplanned giving opportunities that will serve the macular community for

years to come. Please call Lynne Henry (941)893-4389 at the Macular Degeneration Association, today, for personal

assistance in initiating this effort.

The following language has been reviewed and is deemed a legally acceptable form for including such a bequest in a will:

“I give and bequeath to the Macular Degeneration Association, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd. Suite # 100 Sarasota, FL 34232

for discretionary use in carrying out its aims and purposes, (the sum of $_____) or ( a sum equal to _______% of

the value of my gross estate at the time of my death under this will or any codicil hereto).”

The Macular Degeneration Association Federal ID number is 27-3025707




Honor a family member, friend or special event by donating to MDA. Pay tribute to someone you love whose life

has been impacted by macular degeneration. In lieu of flowers, please consider designating Macular Degeneration

Association as your charity of choice.




Launch a Giving Campaign

Please consider leading a team at work by encouraging your colleagues and staff to join together to help those

living with macular degeneration. Launch a workplace giving campaign today.

Ask about Matching Gifts

Many gracious employers double or even triple charitable donations made by individual employees. Some companies

will match gifts made by retirees and or their spouses. Contact your employer for matching gift eligibility

as this allows you to maximize your personal donation.


Thank you!


Newsletter Sign-up

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.