Sunday, August 05, 2012

Eye Doctors, Eye Doctors, Eye Doctors

Here are two letters my wife wrote to our children and to my siblings after my first two eye doctor appointments. 

Here is the first letter.

On Monday we saw an Ophthalmologist and after a very long doctor visit - 2 1/2 hours - we have more doctors to see.  He has a retinal wrinkle in his left eye which may account for his feeling that he is seeing something smudged on his glasses.  We are going to a Retinologist for that.

His visual field showed some abnormalities also that the Ophthalmologist couldn't explain so Friday we will go to Rush in Chicago to see a Neuro-Ophthalmologist. 

All in all not a very encouraging visit.  When he read the eye chart with one eye (with glasses) he was 20/60 and didn't see the 1st or last letters on the line.  Also, they flipped a little thing over, the occluder that had multiple holes in it and asked what he could see and he didn't see anything.  I tried it and you could see through the holes.

Oh and he also has the beginnings of a cataract but that has been there for several years so I'm not concerned about that at this point.

Here is the second letter P wrote after my appointment to the Neuro- Ophthalmologist. 
Well, here it is 8:30 p.m. and I am finally sitting down after our appt. with the Neuro- Ophthalmologist.  We had a 3:30 appt. and even though we left here at 2:00 we made it by the skin of our teeth.  We left the doctor's office at about 6:45.

So what did he have to say?  Daughter K. called before we left to make sure I would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so here goes.

The Doctor was not surprised about the double vision.  He said it is not uncommon in people with spinal cerebellar degeneration.  Because of how Phil has double vision, it indicates that his is a bit unusual in that it is affecting the nerve that controls the inside muscles of his eyes, making it difficult for him to focus.  He is to get a third pair of glasses - just for reading.  So he will have distance glasses, reading glasses and computer glasses.  Because his inside eye muscles are not working properly, it is hard for him to use his bifocals.  He also needs to do an eye exercise to try to retrain his brain to fuse the images he sees.

If these things don't work, he can add prisms to his lenses.  We need to go back in Nov. for a follow-up to see how the exercises are working.

He said that it could progress and it might not but it is part of the disease.  It's also good that it only effects reading at this point.

So, for a very long appointment we at least got some news and something to do to try to reverse or slow down progression.  That is more encouraging than our usual doctor visits.


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