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I was set to buy a new Burgie 650 last fall when I got a diagnosis of Age Related Macular Degeneration (I'm 70 tomorrow) and had to start eye injection treatments for it. So I put off buying the bike. Now the degeneration has mostly stopped, but I do have problems seeing. I still drive a car, but can barely make out street signs, often can't make out the speedometer or other dash instrumentation.

My question is, are any of you (mostly) older riders coping with vision issues like this? Is riding a bike going to be any different than a car? What's your experience. What's your advice, give it up or try to get at least a few more years of riding in?
 

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Sorry to hear of your condition, but Based on your vision difficulties, I think it would be safer for others if you just rode a scooter. If you can't make out street signs or gauges that are right in front of you, how are you going to see a kid on a bike? In all likelyhood, while you are trying to make out a street sign, you wouldn't have full attention on what is happening in front of you. That happened to my mother. So in the event of an accident, you are much less likely to injure innocent people riding a scooter, than driving a 3000 pound car. Just my two cents.
 

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xbeemer said:
...Is riding a bike going to be any different than a car? ...
The problem in my mind, is that with a car, you can run over a 2x4 or other road hazard with a car and it is no big deal. All it does, is to startle you. With a scooter, what is no big deal to you in a car...can have you sliding across the pavement and leaving your skin behind on that pavement.

I wouldn't do it.

Chris
 

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This is a personal decision. What are you comfortable with? You will do well off highway on a scooter if you are familiar with the streets. The highway may not be safe driving any vehicle.
 

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Personally, (and though I don't wish this to seem harsh, I do fully realize it will come off as such), if you have trouble making out signage, and your own instrumentation, (even if only "at times"), then you shouldn't be operating any motor vehicle.

These things are just too dangerous to have the operator at anything less than fully alert, and as others have hinted at, if a child ran out in front of you, and you couldn't see them, with the resulting impact ending in the childs death. How could you cope with that? It would be on your conscience for the rest of your life.

I know this is a difficult thing, and I'm glad it's not a decision I have to make, yet, but if and when the time comes, I hope I would have the courage and altruism to make the hard decision, and remove myself from the driving/riding community.

I encourage you to look at all aspects of things, the risks, the necessity for transport, and the potential impact on the lives on yourself, and others, for each potential way to go. Then do the right thing.

Whichever way you decide to go, I wish you well.
 

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+1 to Fatjock :thumbup:

I had the same initial thought, but did not know how to say it with such compassion and understanding

Bill
 

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My friend who sometimes rides with us has similar eye problems. He rides fine but he cannot see the gravel and other objects in the road. I think he has gotten more concerned over the winter and he hasn't ridden with us this year. He rides a BMW K75RT and was considering a Burgman until recently. It concerns us all when he rides with us as he is in his late 70s. He didn't start riding until after he retired (and he loves it).
 

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I feel bad for you , but as Fatjock said as kindly as possible , maybe it's time to stop operating motor vehicles.

I am 69 and my vision is not anywhere as bad as yours, but i do notice that even with bi-focals , things are getting harder to see.
When the day comes and i know it will,that i have to stop driving , I only hope it's not due to me running into or over some person .

Good luck with your decision.
 

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I see you have not put a location up on your profile. I would think that would play heavily into your decision as well.
If you live in a rural community with little or no traffic and familiar roads I would make a much different decision than if I was in an urban or high traffic area.
I myself struggle to read street signs without my glasses and won't ride without them but will drive a car without them occasionally. :oops: Not recommended!
The toughest decision in any ones life is when to stop driving/riding and takes some real soul searching to come to grips with it.
Good Luck with your decision and be true to yourself and your capabilities. :wink:

PS - It might be a spouse or close relative that you should be having this discussion with as they might could assess your abilities better.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the well meaning comments. I asked for advice from people who have this or a similar condition thinking they would understand the issue, but I guess "vision problems" is such a red flag that it gets everyone to want to put in a word, regardless. So it seems I should have said more about my condition.

Macular degeneration affects only the central, fine vision, part of the eye, the peripheral vision is not affected at all. So to take the worse case example given above, if a child darts out into the street, I may not be able to tell who's child it is because I can't recognize faces, but I sure as heck could tell it was a child (or dog or deer or 2x4 or whatever) and make use of the ABS. Fine detail vision is less than useless in such situations.

Anyway, being of greater than room temp IQ, OF COURSE I consulted with my (several) eye docs about quitting driving - I know eventually I'll have to but the question is when? All tell me that I'm OK to drive for the foreseeable future. Basically, that's what the eye test on driver's license renewals are about. If you can pass that, you are OK, and I can pass that easily.

One of my eye docs is an ex biker, and he said that I should be OK riding as long as I keep in mind I don't have vision, reflexes, or any thing else I had when I was younger.

What I was hoping to get here, given that Bergman riders tend to be older, is insight from riders who are coping with this issue, who have actual experience with it.
 

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Just got done doing some reading on macular degeneration. If the OP is getting injections, he may have the wet type,which is a build up of blood vessels on the back of the eye. It said that it affects only about 2% of the field of vision, leaving the rest of the vision fine. All periphial vision is fine. Should have read about the issue before commenting. But glad the xbeemer elaborated. So who knows better than your doctors? If they say ride on, buckle your helmet.
 

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exbeemer; sorry if i came across badly, that was not my intention.

Thanks for clearing up any misconceptions about your particular vision problem.
 

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As a kid, I was blessed with better than 15/20 vision, just under the 10/20 level. As I got older, all the way to 40 years old, I had 15/20 vision. At 54 my vision went down to 20/20 and for me it sucks. To add insult to injury my last test showed a small amount of DRY type Macular Degeneration. We will be watching it, pun intended. :D

My spending money as a kid was returnable bottles. I could see a ring on a beer bottle from over 200 feet away. Now its just brown and I could not tell what type of bottle it is.

Vision is a very personal thing. Anytime someone says you must decide to stop driving, it will always bristle up the hairs on the back of the neck.

Good luck, hope the treatments work. For dry type there is not much help.
 

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xbeemer - As a practicing optometrist for 39 years now & still counting - I have seen many cases of ARMD (age related macular degeneration) Both wet and dry. Wet ARMD is the most devastating and also aggresive type while the dry ARMD can be present for many years and only needs watching at frequent intervals. The area of the retina termed the macula can be likened to a mountain peak as it occupies only about a millimeter of the total retina BUT is the only part which provides central vision and therefore capable of 20/20 vision. The rest of the retina provides only peripheral vision.

Some MDs will treat any type of ARMD with aggressive injections in an attempt to try to slow down or arrest the progression of new blood vessel development.... So far - there is really no effective treatment for ARMD and i doubt the need for these injections or even the effectiveness of them.....!!!! "SHOW ME THE PROOF!!" All of the journal articles I have read seem to agree with my line of thinking BUT.......if a procedure is reembursable by an insurance - most likely - it is going to be done!!!!!

YOU will never completely lose your vision and depending on what stage it was diagnosed - you still may maintain good usable vision for most activities...........including riding a scooter and driving a car. You want to maintain as much of your independence as possible and continue with your everyday activities.which may include riding a scooter!!

AND.............always get a second and even a third opinion..!!

If you like you can PM me and I would be happy to speak with you on the phone......
 

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v8eyedoc said:
...
YOU will never completely lose your vision and depending on what stage it was diagnosed - you still may maintain good usable vision for most activities...........including riding a scooter and driving a car. You want to maintain as much of your independence as possible and continue with your everyday activities.which may include riding a scooter!!
That is very welcome information. Many, many thanks!

I've made good use of Google on the condition itself, and the various treatments and studies. But hearing from someone who both knows about the issues and regularly rides makes a big difference.

For those who are interested and want the hard core information, try searching with something like "effectiveness of VEGF inhibitors in AMD."

Any other riders with AMD, I'd love to hear from you....
 

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And look at the Advertisement at the bottom of the page, click on screen shot below:
[attachment=0:1yq1pozt]MD.jpg[/attachment:1yq1pozt]
 

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v8eyedoc said:
xbeemer - As a practicing optometrist for 39 years now & still counting - I have seen many cases of ARMD (age related macular degeneration) Both wet and dry. Wet ARMD is the most devastating and also aggresive type while the dry ARMD can be present for many years and only needs watching at frequent intervals.

Some MDs will treat any type of ARMD with aggressive injections in an attempt to try to slow down or arrest the progression of new blood vessel development.... So far - there is really no effective treatment for ARMD and i doubt the need for these injections or even the effectiveness of them.....!!!! "SHOW ME THE PROOF!!" ...
My 80yo mother was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration 2 years ago. She has been having injections and these injections work like a miracle drug with dramatic improvements in her vision, such that she is capable of reading books and her ipad, and driving her car again.

She started off with monthly injections for a period of 3 months and these stabilised her eye to the point where further injections were not required until 9 months later when the symptoms reappeared. This was repeated through her second year. Now there is a higher strength injection available and my mother is optimitic she will need fewer injections, at less frequent intervals, in future.

To me this is sufficient proof of the efficacy of such treatments.
 

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farqhuarforever said:
v8eyedoc said:
xbeemer - As a practicing optometrist for 39 years now & still counting - I have seen many cases of ARMD (age related macular degeneration) Both wet and dry. Wet ARMD is the most devastating and also aggresive type while the dry ARMD can be present for many years and only needs watching at frequent intervals.

Some MDs will treat any type of ARMD with aggressive injections in an attempt to try to slow down or arrest the progression of new blood vessel development.... So far - there is really no effective treatment for ARMD and i doubt the need for these injections or even the effectiveness of them.....!!!! "SHOW ME THE PROOF!!" ...
My 80yo mother was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration 2 years ago. She has been having injections and these injections work like a miracle drug with dramatic improvements in her vision, such that she is capable of reading books and her ipad, and driving her car again.

She started off with monthly injections for a period of 3 months and these stabilised her eye to the point where further injections were not required until 9 months later when the symptoms reappeared. This was repeated through her second year. Now there is a higher strength injection available and my mother is optimitic she will need fewer injections, at less frequent intervals, in future.

To me this is sufficient proof of the efficacy of such treatments.
I am certainly very happy for the improvement in vision of your 80 yo mother BUT this is just anecdotal evidence of just one patient.. Just curious as to which of the two drugs were used on her for the intravitreal injections.??? Avastin..or... Lucentis.?? And did she also have steroid therapy and/or radiation therapy as well.?? Not all patients respond to anti VEGF drugs...!!! And in many cases - the results of any visual improvement are temporary and NOT a cure........!! Please view these videos: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/EyeHealthM ... ba7vPnUnSg
 

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farqhuarforever said:
My 80yo mother was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration 2 years ago. She has been having injections and these injections work like a miracle drug with dramatic improvements in her vision, such that she is capable of reading books and her ipad, and driving her car again.

She started off with monthly injections for a period of 3 months and these stabilised her eye to the point where further injections were not required until 9 months later when the symptoms reappeared. This was repeated through her second year. Now there is a higher strength injection available and my mother is optimitic she will need fewer injections, at less frequent intervals, in future.

To me this is sufficient proof of the efficacy of such treatments.
Thank you for adding that. I know of a gentleman who had given up driving and reading due to AMD, and then began the injections. He now passes driving eye tests and drives without problems and reads.

While wet AMD tends to move more quickly, though it can and does stabilize at times, at least there is now hope through the injections, especially with quick treatment. The dry type has no help available. There are also studies going on regarding AMD and vitamin/mineral supplements (AREDS1 and AREDS2) that offer encouragement. More and more is being discovered regarding prevention, though genetics is also a possibility. Certain characteristics tend to lend the individual to a more likely diagnosis of AMD at some point. Age-related can be earlier than expected when there's a genetic tendency.
 
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