I did not want to go to the eye doctor; like many times before I was dreading the tests from the “air puff” test and the eye drops. I just dislike the whole process.
As the days got closer to my appointment I was struggling to sleep. So much so that the day before my appointment I only got about four hours. Soon I was sitting in the waiting room, and the tech called my name. I took a deep breath and followed her into the first room. As I sat there in front of the two machines, she examined my glasses, and she asked me about any symptoms I was having. I began to explain about my headaches and how my eyes, when they were tired, were giving me blurry vision; much more than on a typical day for someone who already has a visual impairment. She quickly noted it all down. Then came the dreaded “air puff” Glaucoma test. I was so nervous, and due to my Nystagmus, I was feeling dizzy. Because of this I had to have another tech hold my head still. Puff after puff came and 30 puffs just in my left eye alone, we finally had the answer to what my pressures were for both eyes. The results were worrisome! My pressures were high.
We went into the main exam room. That is where I had a pretest of reading the chart. The results showed that my vision had indeed changed. The doctor came in and we talked about my symptoms. Because I am a low vision patient, and because the doctor needed to do more tests my eye doctor had to call my caseworker from Division of Blind Services. My caseworker was helping by covering the cost of my appointment with a grant, and do to some paperwork errors I was sent home. I was told that my caseworker or clinic staff would call with my next appointment.
I had to wait two weeks before my next appointment. I had so much anxiety about whether or not I was going to lose the vision that I have. I Googled the condition Glaucoma and learned that if it was caught early that it could be managed with prescription medicines and some other treatment options. The weeks flew by, and once again I was back face to face with the “puff test.” machine. The results this time were about the same as it was the first time with both the “puff test” and the pre-test.
Luckily this time I was able to explain all my symptoms to my doctor. My eye doctor is very caring and understanding. Testing my vision did not take that long, and it was found that I did, indeed, need new lenses in a stronger prescription.
Then came the dreaded eye drops. When I was little I had a bad reaction to the drops. The day after the exam I would wake up feeling dizzy and with a headache and a nauseous stomach. The doctor decided to try a drop that only had a two-hour effect. The drops stung some, but it didn’t last long. While I waited for the drops to take effect I was able to look at frames. I found a pair I liked and they were ordered.
When it was my turn to go back for the rest of my appointment my eye doctor decided that I needed some pictures taken of the back of my eyes. Getting the pictures did not take that long and it did not hurt unlike it did when I was sixteen.
Then my eye doctor came back into the room and he looked at my eyes with a bright light. So far everything was going fine. The last test was one of the most important reasons for my exam. That was to double-check that I did not have Glaucoma. This last test was called the Slit lamp test. I had to get some numbing drops in my eyes to make the test more comfortable. The doctor used a little probe to check the pressures in my eyes. It did not hurt, it just felt a little uncomfortable. I finally found out that I did not have Glaucoma. I felt relieved with this news. The last thing my doctor did was review the pictures of my eyes. It was so neat looking at my anatomy. Then my doctor answered some last-minute questions that I had.
The results were as good as they are going to get, other than my eye conditions that I already have, I have the best possible vision that I can have. I am glad that I went for my appointment; not only do I have the best possible vision I can have but I know that this data from my appointment can be used to help medical doctors and scientists understand Nystagmus.
If you have not been to the eye doctor recently, I cannot stress the importance of going for an annual exam. I was lucky that I did not have Glaucoma, but only going every two years, as a visual impaired person is not a good idea. I now am going to make myself a promise and to go each year like my eye doctor has suggested. Please remember to schedule your exam yearly!
By the way, my eye glasses are so stylish!