Tuesday, June 20, 2006

infiltration

The doctor said my vision was really healthy in back, it was up front that she worried about.

In particular, what she called an "infiltration" that she saw while she was performing the eye exam. You may recall that I broke my glasses back in March while cleaning them. I was just casually walking down the steps wiping off the lenses when they snapped in half, right at the bridge. I liked those glasses despite the scratches on the lenses. They were funky and fit my personality—plus they were paid for. Now I was going to have to go get an exam and pick out new frames and lenses. That added up in my head real quick to lots of $$$. Shit...so I put it off. I have contacts. They would do. And they did, until yesterday.

I went in to just look around at the frames and set-up an appointment for an eye exam. I was hopeful that I could just do a walk-in exam, but wasn't counting on it. I found five frames that I liked and instantly wished Josh or my Mom were there to help me narrow down my choices. Lucky for me, the optician was fabulous and helped me narrow it down to two frames from which I picked the winning pair. They are fantastic—a semi-rimless blue metal framework with rectangular-shaped lenses. Not as heavy looking as my previous pair but still a little funky. As an added bonus, the blue metal intensifies the blue in my eyes—which are dark like the ocean, not light like the sky. And, they were able to see me that morning if I wanted.

Best eye exam I've ever had. I will never go to Eyeglass World again. Optivue (where I was today) was so thorough. The doctor did things I've never had done during an exam before—weird litmus-type strips she wiped across my eyes to see if my contacts were infecting them, drops that dilated my pupils so huge that it looked like I licked an entire field of toads, some sort of trick where she folded my eyelid up over a long q-tip to look at...I don't know, my entire eyeball I guess. It's a good thing that she was so educated too, because it was during the exam that she noticed the "infiltration".

More specifically, a Corneal Neovascularization. Does that clear things up for you? No? Alright, well in english it's when a bunch of white blood cells pool in your eye and create the potential for an ulcer. According to info I found on one website, "Corneal neovascularization describes new growth of, undesired blood vessels into the normally clear cornea. These blood vessels are a response to lack of oxygen or significant inflammation of the cornea. When such vascularization of the cornea is observed, it is important to attempt to diminish and hopefully stop this vascular growth. A common cause of neovascularization is over-wear or sleeping with contact lenses. When left uncontrolled, progressive corneal neovascularization may lead to diminished or lost vision."

So, yeah, I had to throw away the contacts I had been wearing—for far too long—and get drops that have to go in my eyes every 2 hours. Fun. The doctor seemed happy to have caught it at such an early stage and feels that the drops and me not wearing those contacts anymore will take care of the problem. I hope it does.

Anyway, my quick trip to check out some frames and set-up an appointment ended up being a 2.5 hour endeavor that left me a few hundred dollars poorer, without contacts, and with a prescription for some eye drops that cost $65 out of pocket, and a follow up visit. I have insurance so the prescription only cost $20, but still. That was my Monday. Not exactly what I had planned. They put a rush on my glasses and I should have them tomorrow. She also gave me a pair of contacts and today I'm wearing one in my right eye (it's the left that has the CNV). That's awesome. At least I can see a little...

19 comments:

Tim said...

my eyes suddenly itch.

Melissa said...

ditto

Lynda said...

As someone who has had eye problems, I feel your pain. I hope the eyes get better soon.

And hey, at least you can see.

Nobody said...

Glad to hear you found a good eye doctor who was able to catch the problem early.

Blogarita said...

I hope everything clears up fine. You'll have to post a picture of your new glasses!

Think Frustrated said...

I used to wear contacts all the time. I think, for me, it was a vanity issue. I hated being teased all my life as "four eyes" and other such creative insults. However, nearing 30, I just don't care. I wear glasses. I lost the rimless look for something more modern and chunky that not only looks cool, but showcases the fact that I wear glasses. I'm tired of hiding it.

I used to go to this place, "Pearl Vision." They're like a mall eycare place. I never realized how much they sucked until I went to a regular Eye Doctor. They gave me a littany of different tests, including the "licked a toad" dilation thingy. I ended up with a much more accurate prescription.

Think Frustrated said...

I used to wear contacts all the time. I think, for me, it was a vanity issue. I hated being teased all my life as "four eyes" and other such creative insults. However, nearing 30, I just don't care. I wear glasses. I lost the rimless look for something more modern and chunky that not only looks cool, but showcases the fact that I wear glasses. I'm tired of hiding it.

I used to go to this place, "Pearl Vision." They're like a mall eycare place. I never realized how much they sucked until I went to a regular Eye Doctor. They gave me a littany of different tests, including the "licked a toad" dilation thingy. I ended up with a much more accurate prescription.

Vegas Princess said...

You are very lucky to have caught it in time. Ulcers on the eye are not fun. When I had Bell's Palsey the one thing the doctor kept telling me was make sure to use the eye drops so I didn't get an ulcer since I couldn't blink. Glad you caught it in time before it does any serious damage.

The Boy said...

Think she'll do house visits to the UK? My current eye doc is useless, time to find another.

Jen said...

When Kevin and I had our eyes done in Indy last year, the doctor harped on us both about that.
Said we weren't "changing our contacts often enough /wearing our contacts too long" even though we don't sleep with them in. Apparently although disposeable contacts are being made lighter and lighter to allow more oxygen in, it isn't good enough. I've always been careful to wear my glasses for a few hours in the a.m. when I wake up and p.m. before bed to allow my eyes some oxygen, as my childhood eye dr. advised. It should have made a difference, especially in this instance.

Quite frankly, I think it's some "new" bandwagon they're all jumping on, or that it's a crock. Because I've had eye exams every year since I was 8 and have had contacts since I was 14 and have never been told this before. My doctors have always said (before the disposeable era) that I took such good care of my lenses, cleaning them, that they were always pronounced to last "another 6 months" instead of replacing them all the time.

Now, the advent of disposeables and "no rub" solutions seems to be the root of this new infiltration thing (as last year's doc says). So, I'll just go back to buying real cleaners instead of the no rub.

The reason I doubt alot of what's been said is that after all of this, they couldn't even manage to send us a complete pair of prescription lenses.
They screwed it up completely. Kevin finally got annoyed at feeling like his right contact lens was always blurry (so is mine but I just let my eye adjust and don't focus on it. It's my bad eye, anyway.) and called them and had them fax our prescription over.
What the fax says is nowhere near what they actually gave us.

If we combine all of our lenses, we have enough for him to have a full set of the prescription the fax says he should have, and none for me.

At present, both our right eyes' lenses are much weaker than they should be and it is a pain in the ass.

He wants to just get new exams- and I hope that's soon because my glasses broke for the third time yesterday and until/unless I go buy an eyeglass repair kit and replace the nosepad that I have previously superglued until it can't be superglued anymore I can't use them.

Which really sucks now that I have to teach an early morning aerobics class. God I hate putting in contacts before 10am.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

tim—they aren't itchy or anything and if it wasn't for the doc I'd have been none the wiser.

melissa—see above

lynda—and of course we only get one pair of eyes so we better take care of them

nobody—yep, that's what I was thinking

blogarita—I so will (and one of me sporting them)

tf—Josh loves me in glasses so I'm sure the idea of me not wearing contacts for awhile thrills him

amanda—at Eyeglass World they mentioned a small ulcer in passing like it was no big deal. Idiots.

the boy—you could call her.

jen—my contacts were at least 2 years old and aren't the disposable kind. I never sleep in them but after all that wear, I don't doubt the doctor. I like wearing my glasses and do during the weekends but when you break them in half they're a bit hard to sport.

Melissa said...

I have diplopia (as in double vision) it's a right pain, because I literally see two of everything (you can imagine what being really really drunk is being like!) And unfortunately there are no glasses or anything that can help (there are for some people, just not me, i'm extra weird)

But yeah, just a bit of randomness to throw out there as we're on the topic of eyes.

Egan said...

Yep, been there. The eye stuff sucks. I just spent over $300 on prescription sunglasses because I can't wear contacts to save my life. Argh!

Are you only wearing one contact then? That's sort of freaky.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

melissa—that would be awful

egan—yep, I'm a freak like that.

Egan said...

Hey, if it works for you. That's one more contact than I can get in my eyes, unassisted.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I went to contacts years ago and would neve go back to glasses. It's just so much easier. If I ever couldn't wear contacts I would look seriously into the surgery.

Plus I hate the way glasses fog up when I come in from the cold. Because, you know, it gets really cold here in Florida...

Melissa said...

Ew ew ew ew ewww. I could not wear contacts.

Glasses I could deal with, but I don't think i'd ever be able to put in contacts.

Alistair! said...

Chicks in glasses are soooo sexy.

Just a bit of gratuitous leering there.

Leezer said...

Pixie:
My best friend Ruthie growing up had ONE contact in her left eye and 20/20 vision in her right. We were only 12 when she got the one contact, and we thought she was so cool. Except one time in biology the contact slid way up into her eye socket and I had to help pull it out - yuck. My husband and I both have 20/20 vision (why didn't I become a fighter pilot??) and we gave birth to a daughter with astigmatism and amblioplia. Now we're all up to speed on eye issues. Hope you're doing great now!