An Eye-opening Experience

dreamstimecomp_12139239(EYES)My experience with my eyes having any ‘signs’ of needing to get medical treatment started in 2012.  I spend 90% of my day on the computer – and have done so since the late 1970s.  Wow – that’s sounds pretty rough – but it’s true.  I began having ‘watery’ eyes, actually around 2009-2010.  Not having health insurance at the time, I ignored the watery eyes because I thought well, I’m not having pain, just watery eyes, maybe I’m getting ‘weak’ eyes.  I am in my mid 50s. It was not until December 2012 (I knew my insurance would kick in January 2013) that I finally sought treatment.  Plus, I couldn’t take the watery eye any longer as they were getting worse.  I’m actually a tough person – tough in the sense that I’ve been through A LOT health-wise, but nothing could have prepared me for THIS particular diagnosis.  While doing the eye exam, doc kept saying to me, “your pressure in your eyes are so bad, it’s a wonder you ain’t gone blind.”  That is when he diagnosed me with glaucoma.  He also informed me that long-term use of prednisone (steroids) he feels is what caused the glaucoma many, many years ago.  Devastated I was!!  No pain,  no nothing but my right eye watering some. There are 2 types of glaucoma.  There’s an “open-angle” glaucoma and a more severe kind called narrow-angled (also known as “closed-angle”) glaucoma.  The closed angle glaucoma is what I have.   Glaucoma is considered the “silent thief of your eyesight.” Only having 15% of my optic nerve left is NOT good, but thank God I did go when I did.  After several consistent visits, laser eye surgery to both eyes (iridotomy) I CAN save what  optic nerve I can and keep my glaucoma under control. I’m not saying to go to the doctor/emergency room every single time we have a little ache.  What I AM saying is do not procrastinate like I did. Don’t wait weeks, months, years to get checked.  Call your community medical provider, ask questions, don’t just assume you can’t afford it.  You may find a really caring medical provider who will work with you.  Empower your health!

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