Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Eyes Have It

I have been struggling with eye problems since early May.  Actually maybe even longer, now that I think of it.  I had a bout with conjunctivitis in March that took a couple of weeks to clear up.  Anyway in early May I thought I'd contracted conjunctivitis again, but when my PCP checked me out, I was referred to the opthalmologist.  She examined my eyes and prescribed an antibiotic drop.  A week later I went back and things were improving, so she reduced the dose.  On the next visit, things were still improving, so she switched my drops to a steroid.  This is where things started to get interesting. She also said that my eyes were exceptionally dry so I needed to add artificial tears.  For a week or so, both eyes felt almost back to normal, but then one morning my left eye was again a brilliant red and was feeling very irritated.  I called the doctor who had me come in. This time she cultured my eye for chlamydia, often carried by birds, and since I have a parakeet, she thought this might be the problem.  That culture was negative so we were back to square one.    I went back to using the ointment in addition to the steroid drops.  My eyes still feel irritated, and often have a pinkish hue.  There is no discharge although occasionally the corners feel a bit itchy, but usually only for a few minutes after I put in the drops.  The eye doctor is one of the best in her field, but she can't figure out what is going on.  At my last appointment on Friday, she changed the drops to a stronger steroid to reduce inflammation, and added a prescription for the name brand eye drop advertised on TV to help your eyes produce its own tears.  She thinks what's happening is that because my eyes are so dry, they are picking up every virus that they come in contact to.  She's hoping that if I can get the tears flowing, they can resist infection.

It's a bit scary.  My eyes are so important to me.  Aside from all the reasons why sight is important, I also rely on them for my hobbies - reading and knitting, especially.  Every time I see a magnificent star-spangled night sky, or a garden of cheerful flowers, or the beautiful face of a loved one, I am grateful for the gift of sight.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

Gosh, this must add to the stress you've been feeling about the work change. I hope you'll find it all improves over the summer.