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OT; Glaucoma. Get yourself checked!

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  • OT; Glaucoma. Get yourself checked!

    So. Yep. I got it. Went to the eye guy today who said my intra-ocular pressure is high, my corneas are thickening (and clouding up), and my optic nerves are damaged. I've been through the whole cancer thing in 1995, but somehow the idea that I might eventually go blind (OK, worse case scenario but it is a possibility) is much MUCH worse. Fortunately, I seem to have caught it in time.

    I've noticed that my eyesight had been deteriorating but had chalked it up to normal aging. DH insisted I get an exam because my gramma had glaucoma and, well, the news could be better (but it can also be a lot worse). The statistics are pretty scary; glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and is often called the "sneak thief of vision" because it is subtly progressive, and the damage done is irreversible. There is no cure but there is treatment that can delay or sometimes halt the progression of the disease. I cannot get back what I have lost. I can only hope that I won't lose more.

    So where do I go from here? Good question. Now that they have a baseline to go by, they can begin to monitor the amount & speed of any continuing deterioration in my eyesight. They have to know how bad it is before they treat it - which I suppose is preferable to just jumping right into the whole surgery thing (sometimes that works, sometimes not).

    I'm posting this to bring awareness to everyone on the board. When's the last time you went in for an eye exam? Do you even remember? For me, it was when I was 12.....32 years ago and far, far too long of a period. I can't say this loudly enough: [B]GET YOUR EYES CHECKED AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR[/B]. Please, please, please, do not wait until your vision is affected. Do not wait until you start getting headaches or notice funny rainbow auras around headlights and streetlights. We grow up hearing how important it is to get our teeth cleaned and checked every 6 months, but seldom do we think about our eyes. Vision is something you simply take for granted - until it's gone, that is. If you lose your teeth, you can get dentures. Lose a limb? They do marvelous things with prosthetics these days. Lose your eyesight and you're utterly screwed: there is no replacement for the human eye.
    Last edited by PuppyFluffer; 02-14-10, 07:19 AM. Reason: To keep things in perspective, not to freak everyone out!
    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

  • #2
    Thanks for the reminder

    We tend to push things aside and avoid the warnings...thanks for the little kick in the butt!
    Good luck, I hope everything turns out to be as minor as possible for you.

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    • #3
      I'm so sorry to hear this PF! That is absolutely the worst news you could get right now. I hope that it will be well managed and you'll be able to work for quite sometime. I had a coworker who had glaucoma and had it well managed. Good luck dear, my thoughts are with you.
      My Blog: <a href="http://groomwise.typepad.com/in_the_dogs_house/">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>

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      • #4
        Make sure you are under the care of a eye surgeon

        My husband did not have glaucoma, he had cataracts diagnosed at age 45. Two surgeries later he has prosthetic lenses in both eyes. The only drawback is that they are fixed focus, the doctor asked "do you want all near, all far, or one eye near and one eye far?" He went for far vison so he wears reading glasses.

        Here's something else to watch for, especially if you have hypertension. If you do something as simple as bend over then straighten up and then start to see "black dots" in your field of vision, RUN, do not walk to your nearest eye surgeon. That was the indicator that my husband's left retina had detached. He says the fix was only mildly uncomfortable, it was outpatient, and his vision eventually cleared up. But he sees a retinal specialist every six months that monitors his vision and checks for diabetic retinopathy. So far, he's good.
        "With God's help, all things are possible!"
        Laura Lee Ray
        I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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        • #5
          I can relate. A few years ago when I was 28 or so, I went to the opthalmologist for a routine eye exam and they found thinning retinas. I was sent to a retina specialist and they found six holes (or tears) in my right eye and over 30 in my left eye. I had to undergo laser surgery to burn scar tissue over the tears to avoid a detached retina. To date I have had surgery three times in my left eye and once in my right. I have to get rechecked yearly.

          It's definitely not an age thing. And no one else in my family has this. It's not something you do that causes it. And make sure you see an actual opthalmalogist that dilates your eyes.

          Dealing with your eyes is scary, and I remember crying when I found out. Plus, I'm one of those that likes to make a joke out of a serious situation, and I asked the surgeon if I was going to go blind, kind of joking. He answered, "Not right away."

          But, I can still see. For now!
          Last edited by SiberianLover; 02-12-10, 08:31 PM.

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          • #6
            PF, i hate that you are dealing with yet another problem, and yet Your true spirit shines through! Cared enough to remind us all. Strangly several women I know decided to get our eyes checked and go with each other, mainly so we didn't end up with ugly glasses. Thank you for caring.<<<<<<< hugs>>>>>>>>>
            ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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            • #7
              I had myn eyes checked in early December

              I didn't have them dilated due to a bad rainy day. I need to go back for only $15 for that. But my eyes look ok except I am starting to show slight rims of cataracts.

              I am sooooo sorry to hear this news. But I think it is good they caught it now. I fear macular degeneration My mom has it in one eye. But I am not a smoker.

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              • #8
                Oh I can so relate. I am "only" 53 and was diagnosed with glaucoma in September of last year. Absolutely no family history of it and it came out of the blue after going in for a routine eye check (I wear glasses for reading). Already considerable damage has been done to my peripheral vision with no hope of reversing it. But, at least it was caught in time and I will (hopefully) prevent further deterioration with nightly drops.

                Laurie

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                • #9
                  Thank you for the reminder. I think with so many of us without health insurance, and even the some that do have it, there is no vision coverage, so many people go without. I have my eyes checked about every 2-3 years. Not really enough, I have glasses for driving, though I technically don't NEED them, I like seeing better. I had my daughters vision checked when she was 4 and was surprised that she needed glasses for up close stuff. Not that she ever actually wears them. The teacher doesn't want her to rbing them to school because she doesn't need to wear them all the time and she thinks they'll get lost. At one visit the optometrist pulled a dog hair about 2-3 inches long from behind my eye that I hadn't even felt there.
                  I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I think you need a nice long tropical vacation! You definitely deserve it!
                  What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                  • #10
                    No, no its not like that...

                    Re-reading my post, I wanted to clarify that I DO NOT have advanced eye damage and HAVE NOT been seeing auras or having headaches. I mentioned these because they are symptoms of glaucoma that people tend to notice. I need glasses to read but my peripheral vision is still pretty good. Yeah, I have it but its been caught way early. As long as I dont ignore it, it'll be cool. And things could be a helluva worse. Now that Im aware of the condition I can keep an eye on it (lol) and treat it appropriately. I was just saying Id like everyone to get checked BEFORE it becomes an issue at all. K?

                    That said, after a good nights rest and some research, Im in a better frame of mind about it. Im also more strongly convinced that everyone needs to start thinking about the health of their eyes. They're important. And they're irreplaceable....

                    Nuff said.
                    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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                    • #11
                      A year ago, on my birthday, one of my co-workers committed suicide because of an eye disease that struck him suddenly. He just couldn't come to terms with being blind for the rest of his life.

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