Retina Check

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We’ve had a bunch of things going on that took (and still take) priority. Friday afternoon I visited Dr. Garg for an appointment. He is my retina doc. I was hopeful that Dr. Garg would spot something that could be corrected. My vision has been mired around 20/400 for the last eight months or so.

Unfortunately, Dr. Garg didn’t notice anything new. When I asked him his opinion on why my vision has deteriorated he told me that the multiple issues of congenital glaucoma, cornea and cataract surgeries, and a retina that was “pooping out” (his words,) were the reasons. He explained that while he didn’t notice any problems with my retina he said that age and everything going on with my eye causes it to “wear out.” He said that, like a favorite shirt that you wear often, each time you wear it and then wash it, it starts to wear out over time. He told me to take zinc and extra vitamin C (along with my current multivitamin) to keep the cells in the retina alive and healthy for as long as possible.

I was obviously disappointed that he didn’t find something that could be corrected which would then give me improved visual acuity. On the bright side, if there is one, I will cut back on all the specialist appointments to twice per year for each. If there is a problem, I’ll first try my local ophthalmologist.

As I continue to look for things to help me see stuff I can’t, I’ve found an app for my iPhone that is a great magnifier. It is the only app I’ve ever paid for and bought it after trying most if not all of the free magnifier apps. It is Magnifier – Capture the Micro World! by Game Lingo. I tried it the other day when I was home alone and wanted to know the serving size and calorie count of walnuts. I was very excited when I was able to use my iPhone rather than take the bag into my office and put it under my reading machine. I’ve been hoping for a good app for the iPhone because I just didn’t want to carry something else in my pocket. I’ve been looking for a good hand-held magnifier, whether it be a regular magnifying glass or a digital device like the Pebble from Enhanced Vision, for the last six months or so. Once I use the app more, I’ll post a more in-depth review.

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Everything Looks Fine…

I’ve been waiting for this appointment with my cornea specialist for weeks.  I have been having problems with my left eye since the middle of summer and both my local ophthalmologist and my glaucoma specialist noticed “folds” in my cornea.  Both thought that was the reason for my visual acuity dropping from 20/200 to 20/400 in my “good” eye.  My right eye has bothered me for the last day or two, so I wanted to have Dr. Ayers take a look there too.

I get called back and the “nurse” (she is more than a helper, but I doubt she is a nurse — please correct me if I’m wrong) puts up the eye chart.  I see the big E (20/400,) but not the SL (20/200.)  She drops the pinhole thingy over my eye and after some searching for the perfect pinhole, I see the SL line.  The OPLB line looks like some black blobs and I can’t make any of the letters out.  The “nurse” says, “Oh, that’s not so bad.  It’s only one line less.”  Really?  So if you are driving down the street, you don’t think seeing a sign with letters about 12 inches tall would be much easier to see than the sign with letters about six inches tall?  I’ve wasted a ton of money on signage then if it’s not that different.

After waiting an unusually long time to see Dr. Ayers (a total of about an hour fifteen minutes,) he finally came into the room.  We exchanged pleasantries and then discussed my eyes.  I told him about my left eye and not seeing as good as I had been and I am now having greater difficulty reading on the computer.  As I put my head into the applanation tonometer (the machine with the blue light on it,) I mention that my right eye is bothering me.  He took a look at the right eye and mentioned things like corneal edema, bullae, and some other things to the “nurse” who was writing everything in my chart.  I kind of knew that I had some bullae (small, fluid-filled blisters ,) because I’ve had sinusitis and been on antibiotics for the past two weeks.  (This is the third time I’ve had sinusitis in the last four months, could it be the mold at the store?)  The problem with the bullae now though is that when they pop, the pain isn’t going away and any kind of light brings additional pain.  I thought I might have an infection in the eye.  Doc said no and to use this stuff called Muro 128, which is basically a kicked up saline solution.  It also comes in a gel that I usually use.  I suppose I could also go to the kitchen and throw some salt in my eye…

As he checked out my left eye, he noticed the “folds” straight away.  He then said the “folds” are Haab Striae and I’ve had them for a long time.  He then (tried to) show me the sketches he’s done of my eye at every visit.  He realized I couldn’t see it and told me each one has them (the striae) there.  He said my eye looks good.  My IOP was eight in the left, 16 in the right.  Wow, so everything is good!  I am so relieved.  But wait, I can’t see as well.  There’s got to be something going on.  I do have a cataract in there, but the doc says he doesn’t think it is time to remove it.  Besides, by taking that out, it may wreck the endothelia that was transplanted in December.  Dr. Ayers says, “But we could just do another one.”  He said I might be able to 20/70 or 20/80!  Of course he said I’d get to 20/100 by doing the endothelial transplant.  I guess I’ve got to wait more than 42 weeks after the surgery to get there.  He doesn’t think the cataract is the problem though.  Dr. Ayers then adds, “Whatever it is, it’s not an easy fix.”  House!  HOUSE!  Where the hell is that guy…  Oh, he’s not real?  I thought that show was one of those reality shows.

Speaking to my dad about the appointment last night, he said, “What are they gonna tell you?  They can’t fix it, it is the way it is.”  I should have listened to him.  I’d have saved a few hours and the copay.  Not too bad for a guy that only spent two weeks in high school.

I’d like to thank Ken for transporting me to my appointment.  Since Ginny and Scott aren’t with us at the store, we don’t have coverage for Eliz and I both to leave store.  Between the mold, the economy, and my vision, it might be time to get into something else.

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