Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Public Service Message

Well, folks, today I'm 43. I'm fairly upbeat about it, but I got some bad news recently.

I went in for an eye exam recently. I'm overdue, my glasses are in bad shape, but I've also been having problems with my right eye and I wanted to get a medical opinion. And my fears were confirmed: I have glaucoma. While I still can see out of my right eye, and there's been a minor loss in peripheral vision, I can still drive. But I'm to see an ophthamologist this week for a formal screening and he'll probably get me started on eyedrops. I was pretty bummed but I've had folks telling me all over, including an uncle, that lots of people have glaucoma for years and have been perfectly fine.

My case is odd...I'm fairly young for it, the glaucoma is not constant but comes and goes in spikes, and it's affecting one eye (glaucoma usually affects both equally). So my diagnosis will be interesting, to say the least.

Glaucoma, by the way, is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerves, generally from high pressure in the liquid inside the eye. It's frequently found in diabetes patients (although I'm not diabetic) and occasionally shows up in senior citizens. Left untreated, it can result in blindness. It is not preventable, and once damage is done, it cannot be corrected, but proper treatment can stop the process in its tracks. In some ways it appears to be congenital. It's the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.

So I'm urging all you folks out there reading this to get your eyes checked. How can you read all these great books when your vision is fading?

And, also freaking me out a little....I need bifocals. That horrified me at first, but my parents told me they had their first bifocals when they were my age or younger, so I guess it's no big deal. But still, it's almost like adding insult to injury.

But at least I'm getting new glasses, and the glaucoma's been spotted and hopefully can be managed, and I'm still able to drive. So there's some things to be thankful for.

I'll have some reviews to post tomorrow, so until then, I remain...43 and fabulous!

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