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Christina Vaughan

I’m 25 years old and have been wearing glasses since I was 5.
I never realized how my bad vision means increased eye problems.
My perscription has been pretty stabilized for the past couple years at -8 in. Left and -9 in right with astigmatism -2-25 and -1,75 I right. My visual acuity has always been 20/40, I don’t know why. I remember my regular doc saying it’s because I have a slight nystagmus....I don’t notice it and nobody else ever mentioned that.
I’ve been going to chains my entire life and last September I had a new eye doc for my appointment.
He kept my perceiption the same but wanted me to see a retinal specialist because he noticed some laquer cracks and enlightened me with the knowledge of floaters/ flashes and retinal detachment.
He insists on telling me not to worry, he just wants me to get checked out because of my high myopia.
So, naturally, I FREAK OUT and read stories online about people going blind. Ever since that day he told me about them, I see floaters and sometimes I see really quick flashes in my peripheral vision that aren’t really bright.
I have HORRIBLE anxiety that I managed fine until he told me to go to the specialist and now it’s back.
I don’t know if I am seeing this as a result of anxiety or eyes.

I finally go see the retina specialist and he dilated me eyes does some tests takes pictures and exams me and was confused on why he referred me. He then looks at my eyes and noticed some laquer cracks, titled optic nerve, and peripapillary atrophy. (I might be spelling that wrong). He said it affects everyone differently and thinks I’m going to be fine because of stable visual acuity but wants me to come back yearly. Also tells me not to worry. He was surprised I see floaters and the flashes sometimes and I have no tears or whatever but if they increase call them right away.
I had another appointment with the chain eye doc hoping t would be the original doc again and it was a new lady. She basically treated me like I was crazy and said my eyes are fine and you can’t do anything and your visual acuity has remained stable so try not to worry then found out she lowered my astigmatism to -1.75 on my right eye instead of -2.25.

I am in nursing school and finally found a career I am so excited about and I fear I am going blind and not being able to love my life as a nurse or have children and see them and drive and such.
Is there any hope? I spend ALOT of time on the computer...should I stop this?
1 Responses
233488 tn?1310693103
First of all you errored GREATLY by trusting your abnormal eyes to chain optical. They are staffed my non-MD optometrists.  You need the services of a comprehensive Eye MD ophthalmologist and a Eye MD retina specialist.  You should have been referred many years ago by the chain for your high myopia and your subnormal vision.  DON"T GO TO THE CHAIN OPTICAL.  see your retina ophthalmologist and find a comprehensive ophthalmologist. You could even ask the retina Eye MD to recommend a good one.  While the chances of you going blind (no light perception in either eye) are extremely small you are at increased risk of retinal detachment,  you have myopic macular degeneration, increased risk glaucoma and cataracts.  When you use your computer you need to look away from the screen every 10-15 minutes, focus at the furthest thing you can see (out the window would be great) and blink you eyes firmly 10-12 times. This helps dry eyes and relieves strain on the ciliary body (focus muscle) that may increase your myopia. Also spending a hour or more per day outside is good for myopia (all the near focusing  for books, computers, iphones, video games, texting, etc is creating a world wide epidemic of myopia especially among Asians).   You should also read about amsler grid testing, print one out, put it on your refrigerator and look at it daily one eye at a time. That is because lacquer cracks and myopic macular degeneration can cause "wet" (exudative) macular degeneration. With any sudden change in vision or amsler grid you need to see one of your two ophthalmologists IMMEDIATELY.   Also live a healthy lifestyle:  don't smoke, eat great diet, if you use alcohol us in moderation, watch your weight, gentle exercise like walking or swimming,  be checked annually for hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol.  Avoid high impact activities like contact sports and amusement park rides, don't do head down yoga.  Enjoy your nursing career my mother and two of my aunts were RNs that's how I got into medicine. If you can't control your anxiety see a psychiatrist or psychologist.
I realized I have made a great mistake and never realized opticians weren’t MD’s because they always refer to them as “the eye doctor”. I am very sad nobody has ever told me to go to an ophthalmologist. I will find one. I remember the specialist said I had slight peripapillary attophy but he did see a couple laquer cracks. If I’ve only ever seen 20/40, what are the chances it will get worse? I see the grid normally. I used to smoke for a couple years unfortunately but live a healthy lifestyle now with exercise and lots of fruits and vegetables  except for the stress of my extreme anxiety that I am going blind from this discovery. I can’t seem to move on even though the specialist did not seem concerned.
Also you mention light exercise, I recently got into running. I plan on doing 5ks. Should I not do heavy cardio? I also do yoga as it calms my anxiety tremendously.
You have to do a lot of self education in life, start now. Running is fine.  Some of my research is on the adverse effects of marathon type running done decades on end (I did marathons for over 40 years) and it damages the heart.  Short runs of less than 1 hour not bad especially when done easy pace.  Yoga is okay but keep head above waist.  The chances of going blind in both eyes are probably less than one in 10,000.  Yes there is a chance of vision getting worse than 20/40  You can minimize that by healthy living and putting your care in Eye MDs.  
Thank you so much. I will just have to accept all I can do is live a healthy lifestyle and hope it does not progress. (And of course, find an ophthalmologist.) I hope I can come to accept this situation somehow  and not freak out so much.  Thank you, again. You have provided me with much more explanation than any other “doctor”  visit I’ve had.
That's because I am not a chain optometrist
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