Today I am grateful for my most excellent eye doctor. She's fairly young (early 30s maybe), and really seems to know her stuff. Along with being very friendly and pleasant, she is very thorough, and follows up on things to ensure my eyes are as healthy as they can be, and any problems are investigated sooner than later.
I went for my annual eye exam last evening. I get annual instead of the usual semi-annual exams because of my eye history. I have an abnormal left optic nerve (apparently abnormality is the story of my life! lol) Anyway, she likes to keep track of it and make sure nothing changes. As expected...as always...my prescription changed. She also took photos of my optic nerves...again, pretty standard. Apparently something wasn't sitting well with her, because at the last minute, she decided it would be best to dilate my pupils and take more photos with them dilated. Oh joy. Good thing though, as these photos revealed a hemorrhage in the aforementioned left optic nerve. (Ok, that would explain the headache!) Is not terribly serious in and of itself, but is a potential sign of glaucoma. And this is the second time such a hemorrhage has coincided with an eye exam, which makes me wonder how many other times it's happening!
I've already been through the whole gamut of glaucoma testing because of the first hemorrhage. I was referred to an eye specialist...who in turn referred me to a glaucoma specialist at the Eye Care Clinic in the hospital. And procedures from bright yellow drops to freeze the eyeball, followed by an occular device being placed right against it so the doc can really see what's going on in there...to blinding lights of optic nerve photography...to field of vision tests...and so on. (The field of vision test requires one to stare for 15 mins or so into a semi-darkened box and press a clicker each time you see randomly placed pinpoints of light, some of which are so dim as to be barely discernible, in fact the test is to check for false clicks too. As I recall, there are eye patches and/or goggles involved too.)
The good thing was that neither specialist thought I had glaucoma, but the glaucoma specialist recommended on-going monitoring by my own optometrist and the regular eye specialist just to be on the safe side. And now, 3-4 years later, it seems glaucoma is once again on the radar screen. I must say, I'm more unsettled about it this time because recurrences are always harder to shrug off. Also because there is a genetic factor to glaucoma, and an aunt of mine was diagnosed with it a few years ago, which fact I was not aware of during my last glaucoma scare.
Not that I actually want to have glaucoma, but...if turns out I do, I sure want to get it diagnosed and treated! My previous doctor didn't make note of, or follow up on, anything really. The eye specialist was not impressed that he'd never taken a baseline photo of my abnormal optic nerve. So I am very grateful I found the wonderful optometrist I have now!
As always, each Friday I invite you to click over to Diana Strinati Baur's blog and check out the other Gratitude Friday Club blogs...