Here’s a brief story to illustrate why it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked regularly.
I hadn’t seen an optometrist since the last time I got new eyeglasses (I’m extremely nearsighted and have to wear glasses at all times), back in 1998. That’s a long time.
During a recent eye exam, the optometrist noticed two odd things: (1) very high intraocular pressure and (2) what looked like a freckle on the back of my left eye. She referred me to an ophthalmologist for further investigation.
The ophthalmologist discovered Pigment Dispersion Syndrome in there. Apparently, flecks of pigment can become detached from the iris and start floating around inside your eyes. These flecks can find their way into the “trabecular meshwork,” an integral part of the eyes’ drainage system. If that drainage system gets clogged up, pressure can build up inside the eyes. This can lead to pigmentary glaucoma with damage to the optic nerve.
There are no obvious symptoms of Pigment Dispersion Syndrome. If it’s not discovered, it can progress to pigmentary glaucoma before you’re aware of it. Once it’s been detected, the problem can be dealt with via prescription eyedrops (and/or a type of laser surgery), to reduce the pressure and make life easier for the optic nerve. This condition seems to occur most often in nearsighted males, 20 to 40 years old (that’s me).
So my advice, readers, is to get your eyes checked out at least once a year. Glaucoma is some scary shit. Hopefully, I will be able to avoid it, now that this problem has been discovered.
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October 1st, 2005 @ 10:08
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