Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"No Change" - Beautiful Words

Those were the words I got this week from my eye doctor.

I have glaucoma. I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was 56, exactly the same age that my Father was when he was diagnosed with the same. My Father lost all but a minor fraction of his vision in spite of intense care of a number of years - an event that I feel he never really recovered from.

I am fortunate however that the state of the art of medical care for the type of glaucoma I have improved drastically during the intervening years. I take a medicine in the form of eye drops every night. I am religious about this. I never miss a night. They always ask me at my eye doctor appointments if I'm taking my drops. I respond that of course I am Why wouldn't I? But they tell me that patients frequently don't take them and then find that they've lost a substantial amount more of their vision.

I go in three times a year. They always check my pressure (pressure build up in the eye is a primary cause of glaucoma). Once a year they take a picture of the retina. And once a year you do this test call a 'field of vision' exam. This is a little like playing a video game. You look into this machine and have to use your peripheral vision to see these lights flashing. It is always a bit stressful because some of the lights are very faint and there are periods where you don't see any lights so you're wondering if there has been new damage.

The doctor gets the result right away. So you're sitting with him (or her), he looks at the charts. Then come the words I'm always hoping to hear..."No Change." Sigh, keeping that demon at bay a little longer.


Tom P said...

Great report!

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

That is great news! And good job for taking your medicine so regularly.

I always really enjoy the field of vision test. In general, my eyesight is quite poor and getting worse, but my peripheral vision is still quite good, so it feels like the one part of the exam I can be proud of. As an aside, I am frequently grateful for the invention of eyeglasses; without them, my ability to drive, work, navigate a new place, would be substantially diminished.

alexis said...

oh man, I didn't realize grandpa started to lose his vision at that age. Just imagine if there is a cure in the intervening years?