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eye, eye

Yesterday I had one of my annual visits to Bristol Eye Hospital for my eyes, obviously, to be checked. I suffer from elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) or, sort of in my case, as ocular hypertension. The pressure in the eye, usually between 12 and 22 mm Hg (millimetres of mercury) is considered thus if the eye goes above this range. For me it was identified by bouts of blurriness and halo-ing lasting anything from an hour or so to several hours, resulting in headaches and eye-ache, as you would expect. This increase in pressure is a result of the eyeball not draining fast enough.

There is a risk of acute failure in the eye (sudden blindness) but luckily this was pretty much ruled out for me as an issue (at the time, I am not sure if it something I am still at risk at).

What it does mean, without treatment, is that I am at a much, much higher risk of a drastically earlier onset of glaucoma. Damage to optic nerve leads to a gradual loss of vision, starting on the periphery and working its way inwards until blindness onsets. But for catching it early I would probably be suffering the early stages of it now, as opposed to it happening in my sixties. the damage is non-reversible.

The results were good. My eye pressure was 9 and 12 (left and right), down from my initial measurement two years ago of 35 and 39. Bear in mind that the initial measurement was without the blurring and halo-ing, so my eye pressure would have been higher than that.

There is a question mark over my right optic nerve - it is slightly different to the left so my right eye is considered 'glaucoma suspect'. I will need to have it checked every year (which happens as a matter of course anyway) and will absolutely need to take my eye-drops every single day (I can be a little forgetful at times). The eyedrops result in a lot of red-eye (boo) but do compensate by making my eyelashes longer and thicker (yay).

Nobody wants to lose their sight, not even gradually or a little. I am acutely aware that so much of what I do is based on my eyesight; photography, writing, gaming, cycling, eating cake, etc. The idea of losing my sight is, well, unsettling. At least the likelihood is abeyance, so all is good in that respect.

Now to take my eyedrops.



a couple of things about death

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