Can't....Handle....The Pressure!

In March I went for my annual eye exam and ended up spending entirely too much on two new pairs of glasses. My prescription changes just a teeny bit every year (amusingly, my eyes appear to be getting *better* as I age, so every year I could get weaker glasses) and so every two years or so I get new glasses. I decided this year it was time because two years ago I got Transitions lenses and boy...I hated them. I liked the fact that hey, sunglasses! Without changing glasses or carrying around another set in my purse. But then you go inside and it's like walking around in a tomb for fifteen minutes while they try to un-sunglass. And also? They don't work in the car. Which is when I really needed the sunglasses. Maybe that's just me though. (Not that they work in the car for other people, more than maybe I'm the only one who got them so that I could drive and still see other cars coming at me. It's a quirk I have.)

Anyway, at that appointment, the pressure in my eyes was "a little high." I'm fairly certain there's no family history of glaucoma, so I wasn't really worried, but he said come back in six or so weeks and we'll recheck them. I was supposed to go on Friday, but strangely they didn't want me to come in with pink eye. Imagine. So I rescheduled for today.

When I got there, they applied the annoying puff of air to my poor little eyeballs and hmmed and hawed and decided that while it was less high than in March, it was still "a little high" and thus I should take the visual field test. Essentially this is for your eyes what a hearing test is for your ears. (Everyone knows the hearing test, right? You wear the circa 1960 headphones and they play all kinds of beeps and tones and you click the clicky or raise your hand when you hear something.)

So, you sit on a chair and they put you in front of this big white bowl standing on its edge (this is what it looks like...either that, or the room where Mike TV meets his unlamented end in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Minus the chocolate, in this case, unfortunately.) You put your chin in the divot and an eyepatch over one eye (Arr!) and you stare at the yellow LED in the center of the bowl. And then they give you a clicker and whenever you see or think you see a light (while staring at the yellow LED - and you're not supposed to look around, so they're constantly moving your head ever so minutely if you start to look around to keep your vision centered on the LED) you click the clicky. This can take up to 5 minutes per eye.

After about 30 seconds on my right eye, there was a semi-permanent glow just off to the left of the LED that kind of looked like a light flashing off and on, but also kind of didn't...cause it didn't ever really go away. So I clicked it a few times, but then there were the real lights to click so I stopped clicking it even though it was mostly there.  My left eye didn't have that glow issue. But the black edges were creeping in on my vision throughout that one because really, go stare at a yellow LED pinpoint in a vast sea of white and see if your vision doesn't go black.

Anyway, my right eye took 3 and a half minutes. My left just over 2. (Apparently this is some sort of land speed record in my eye doctor's office. But they're not putting my picture on the wall or anything, which seems kind of like a cop out to me.) I didn't miss any lights and only had a few clicks that weren't actually lights (I'm guessing that's that glow.) And the eye doctor's only real comment was that I must be good at video games. Sadly, I'm not all that good at them. But I am good at seeing all the things coming at people coordinated enough to actually play video games and pointing them out. So I have that going for me.

I thought that was the end. But no! I got to have the fun little numbing drops and the exciting yellow dye. And more chin divots and forehead straps. And then more numbing drops and this little poker thing that he sets on your eyeball (yay for numbing drops) to measure corneal thickness.

I have to (get to?) go back in September for more air puffing and, if I fail that, another VFT.

But for now, all is good. I just apparently have pressurized eyes.


Rob said...

I had a similar experience last year when a routine eye exam turned up peripheral vision concerns even despite normal eye pressure.

My optometrist did a number of tests and started me on a regimen of drops to lower the pressure even though it was within the normal range. When I went back for a follow-up, the pressure hadn't changed much, so he sent me over to a specialist who, thankfully, doesn't see a need to do anything surgical to remedy the issue.

So now I'm using a different drop twice a day and they sting like a momma bear! But a little sting twice a day sure sounds better than going under the knife - even if said knife is a laser.

Anyway, part of why I wanted to leave a comment was to tip you off about buying glasses on the Internet. You can read about our experiences with this here:


But suffice to say, buying online is FAR less expensive and we've not had any problems at all. Buying online affords you the freedom to experiment a bit without it costing you an arm & a leg to do so. Like you, I tried the transitions lens and was also a bit underwhelmed by them. But I was able to experiment with a pair of rimless, Transitions, progressive (no-line bifocals) in a very snazzy Oakley style for less than $90 delivered. Will I buy Transitions again? Maybe. Rimless? Unlikely. Oakley-style (straight leg) frames? Definitely not! But even if I don't wear them often, I have a great pair of backup classes.

beth said...

I will check out online glasses next time, for sure - you're not the first to mention them! Part of my problem, of course, is that I have a hard time visualizing them on my face from a picture. But still, $90 is cheap...might be worth it! The other thing I need to do is see what brand the sunglasses are before I fall in love with them - cause that's how I ended up with designer frames on my sunglasses...which I never would've done if I'd known ahead of time.

Anonymous said...

Wow. My own opthamalogical (?) adventures have never gone that far, despite my near blindness. When do I get to play the videogame flashy thingy?

T'other day, I ecided to give my eyes a rest and wore my glasses instead of my contacts. It just so happened to be a softball practice day, and the first one to which I had worn said glasses.

The team (a gaggle of 11 and 12 year old gels) was collectively dumbfounded. They were even more dumbfounded when I mentioned that said glasses were, in fact, bifocals. From the looks on their faces, I think they expected me to hobble over to the nearest porch and start berating them to git off'n my lawn.

But for all that, I will never EVER subject myself to lasic.

- Robbo

beth said...

I should rename my blog such that it implies that you must be named some version of Rob in order to comment. :)

I love contacts. I miss them desperately. I am allergic to them. If I wanted to spend half my life switching brands and switching solutions (every, say, 3 months) then I could wear them. But honestly, that's slightly more trouble than just wearing glasses and being done.

That said...I'm also unlikely to ever do LASIK. Tim had it done and loved it. My sister had it done, loved it for 5 years, and is now back in glasses. I figure I'm more likely to end up like her should I ever have it done and really, why have a laser burn off layers of your eye for five years of being glasses free?

Rob said...

Some of the online eyewear places let you upload a photo of yourself that you can try the glasses on. And this works ok for the general shape, but I found it difficult to get an accurate feel for the sizing.

The way I did it was to use the measurements from a pair of glasses I already owned (and liked the look & fit of) and match those dimensions fairly closely.

And again, with these running as low as $35-ish for a pair, you can afford to experiment a bit.

I bought new glasses for both my son & me from Coastal Contacts for slightly under $50, shipped! Mine are New Balance and his are Disney, so you're not necessarily relegated to buying some unknown brand.

Jen said...

http://zennioptical.com - I got 2 pair of glasses for less than $50.

The key is measuring your current glasses and then looking for frames that match those measurements. That way you know the size of the frame will work on your face. Then it's a gamble for whether or not you like the frame on.

It's where I got my red glasses. Beau got his bifocals there a month or so ago, too.

Re: the glow - you mentioned it to the doc, right? I only ask because I have an early cataract, so glowy things in my field of vision concern me.