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Glaucoma Treatment - Or Lack Thereof...


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#1 hedgey

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

Last week I went back to the VA optometrist for more glaucoma tests. After the pressure test and "what flashing lights?" test, she showed me a read-out where there appeared to be dark spots around each of my eye's range of vision.

She said "Now we have a base-line, we will check you again in four months and see if there is any progression. But looking at this, I'd say that you do have glaucoma."

She did not ask about my medications. She did not talk about any kind of treatment or what progression might mean or even what glaucoma was.

I was scared, had taken an Ativan to keep my eye open enough for the pressure test, and was too afraid/fuzzy to ask questions.

I mentioned this all to my mother-in-law's caregiver and she said that I should have been started on drops right away!!

Huh?

What should I do? We don't have outside insurance that pays for vision stuff, and despite what the world thinks, %100 does NOT mean you can afford everything. (don't get me started, I'll be crying all night...)

Should I be scared? Did I already ask this question?

I'm sorry if I did. I keep repeating myself. Drives my kid nuts.

#2 USMC5811

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:29 PM

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis and that it appears the VA optometrist was not more forthcoming with information for you concerning it. What I would personally do is make an appointment with your local VAMC immediately and speak to one of the doctors there in regards to your concerns...I'd push for immediate treatment if the VA optometrist diagnosed glaucoma.

There is an organization that might be able to help you in obtaining an IME for free http://www.glaucoma.org/


The link to free glaucoma exams is listed here - you'll have to see if you qualify for any of them though. I personally have dealt with the Lions Club (for my child) and they were very helpful.

http://www.glaucoma....g-resources.php

Edited by USMC5811, 13 August 2012 - 03:33 PM.


#3 pete992

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:05 PM

Last week I went back to the VA optometrist for more glaucoma tests. After the pressure test and "what flashing lights?" test, she showed me a read-out where there appeared to be dark spots around each of my eye's range of vision.

She said "Now we have a base-line, we will check you again in four months and see if there is any progression. But looking at this, I'd say that you do have glaucoma."

She did not ask about my medications. She did not talk about any kind of treatment or what progression might mean or even what glaucoma was.

I was scared, had taken an Ativan to keep my eye open enough for the pressure test, and was too afraid/fuzzy to ask questions.

I mentioned this all to my mother-in-law's caregiver and she said that I should have been started on drops right away!!

Huh?

What should I do? We don't have outside insurance that pays for vision stuff, and despite what the world thinks, %100 does NOT mean you can afford everything. (don't get me started, I'll be crying all night...)

Should I be scared? Did I already ask this question?

I'm sorry if I did. I keep repeating myself. Drives my kid nuts.

Try to relax, the optometrist said that she thinks you do have glaucoma and made an appointment for you to return in four months. When you return they will check your eyes again to see how severe your condition is and most likely start treatment. No need to panic, since you are 100% VA will treat your eyes and any other condition that comes up. You can do some research online and prepare some questions for your next appointment.

#4 Teac

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:20 PM

Glaucoma is not determined by the "flashing light test" which is really a field vision test..... which is a test to determine how much if any vision you have lost.

Glaucoma is determined by the pressure readings in your eye, just because you had one or two high readings does not mean you have glaucoma.

Normally Doctors at the va or for that matter anywhere do not administer these test it is usually a "medic" and often times they speak when they should not. I doubt that it was a doctor that admisistered the test if not they were not qualified to render an opinion.

If you think you have gloucoma you need to start treatment ( usually eye dropsonce or twice a day) but frankly they do help everyone.

If you have gloucoma you will lose some of your vision regardless of treatment..... or how soon you start drops,,


best of luck

#5 jvretiredvet

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:21 PM

I believe you are on dangerous ground here.

Glaucoma is not determined by the "flashing light test" which is really a field vision test..... which is a test to determine how much if any vision you have lost.

Glaucoma is determined by the pressure readings in your eye, just because you had one or two high readings does not mean you have glaucoma.

Normally Doctors at the va or for that matter anywhere do not administer these test it is usually a "medic" and often times they speak when they should not. I doubt that it was a doctor that admisistered the test if not they were not qualified to render an opinion.

If you think you have gloucoma you need to start treatment ( usually eye dropsonce or twice a day) but frankly they do help everyone.

If you have gloucoma you will lose some of your vision regardless of treatment..... or how soon you start drops,,


best of luck



#6 hedgey

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:40 AM

Dangerous ground?

I'm trying not to be anxious or overreact to an early diagnosis. The person who did the tests was an optometrist... is that a "real" doctor?

Sigh. I'm so busy trying not to think about my PTSD issues that I'm chasing shadows and fretting majorly about my MIL and my vision. I'm going to worry myself into an early grave, even if I manage not to put myself there on purpose.

I'm an idiot. There. That's my diagnosis and it explains EVERYTHING.

#7 USMC5811

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

Hedgey I don't think "dangerous ground" was meant for you at all . Note that someone elses post was quoted and "I believe you are on dangerous grounds here" was posted in reference to that post.

Your right in trying not to be anxious or overreact to an early diagnosis. Your have every right to be concerned though, but your best course of action is to have your
concerns answered by a professional in this matter = Doctor.

Your NOT an idiot at all - I honestly don't think one vet on this board would not be concerned if they were told what you were told at your last optometrist visit....

#8 jvretiredvet

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:30 AM

I have no idea whether you are on dangerous ground or not. Please note that my posting was not a direct response to one of your posts.

FWIW, you can choose to believe whomever you care to, whether it's your MIL's caregiver or some anonymous personage on an internet site. Rather than guess or opine about your condition remotely, I'd go with your optometrist's opinion because after all, that person has actually looked at your retinas, taken photos of them, reviewed test results, and so forth.

Dangerous ground?

I'm trying not to be anxious or overreact to an early diagnosis. The person who did the tests was an optometrist... is that a "real" doctor?

Sigh. I'm so busy trying not to think about my PTSD issues that I'm chasing shadows and fretting majorly about my MIL and my vision. I'm going to worry myself into an early grave, even if I manage not to put myself there on purpose.

I'm an idiot. There. That's my diagnosis and it explains EVERYTHING.



#9 carlie

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

hedgey,
I would not put alot of stock into what a tech at the Optometrist's office
said when they were doing a visual field test.
Glaucoma is diagnosed by a pressure test, you hear a little puff of air
when they take the measurements.

Anyways, any worry now, I would put to rest by scheduling an
appointment with an Opthamologist.
JMHO

#10 Pete53

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:18 PM

Hang in there but if it were me I would want to see a professional that is not connected to VA. Your pressure determines whether or not you need drops. My wife has glaucoma and has to take drops every day but when she uses the drops the pressures are good. The main thing is to get a plan and stick with it.

#11 hedgey

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

Sorry for my confusion about the ground thing. Jumpy and scared.

Called my private PCP for an appointment. If she refers me to an ophthalmologist, Blue Cross might pick it up as a medical issue versus a "vision" issue. Fingers crossed!

Thanks, y'all, for posting and caring. Hope I deserve your kindness.

#12 Teac

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:20 PM

I believe you are on dangerous ground here.


Dangerous ground.... I don't know what you mean but I have pigmentary glaucoma and know the subject very well ....Its not very helpful when people speak in code, say what you mean or please don't respond at all.....

#13 Teac

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:25 PM

Thank you Carlie and Pete53 for confirming what I said.....

#14 Chuck75

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:22 AM

Dangerous ground?

I'm trying not to be anxious or overreact to an early diagnosis. The person who did the tests was an optometrist... is that a "real" doctor?

Sigh. I'm so busy trying not to think about my PTSD issues that I'm chasing shadows and fretting majorly about my MIL and my vision. I'm going to worry myself into an early grave, even if I manage not to put myself there on purpose.

I'm an idiot. There. That's my diagnosis and it explains EVERYTHING.


A confirming outside diagnosis by a qualified doctor is what I'd do. Glaucoma and loss of vision is nothing to fool with.