The iridotomy I had last week apparently isn’t working for my eye condition. The day of surgery and the next day everything seemed fine. I could see that the pupil was getting smaller again, and my iris looked more normal than it had in a while. But the following day my vision was distorted in my right eye. It seemed like I was trying to look through a blob of goo on the eye, and it was easily fatigued while working on the computer.
I called the ophthalmologist’s office on Wednesday and was told to come in that day to see the doctor. After a thorough examination, he said that the pressure was back up again, and the distorted vision was caused by my cornea thickening. My eye was showing signs of inflammation, which would be considered normal after the surgery, and could be contributing to the increased intra-ocular pressure (IOP) and cornea thickening. Nonetheless, he wanted me to stop the eye drops I had been taking to reduce the IOP and start using a different drop that was a combination of the previous medication, plus another one. I had a follow up appointment scheduled for the following Monday (yesterday), and was to continue with the post-op routine of prednisone drops(to decrease inflammation), plus the new drops until then.
Over the remainder of last week, I struggled to work as normal. The vision in my right eye was basically uncorrected. My glasses were no help, and in fact I was more comfortable with them off than on if I was looking at something across the room. However, I’m now at an age where reading glasses are necessary, so not wearing them at all makes it difficult to read any text. My eyes were easily fatigued, and the bright computer screen was uncomfortable after just a few hours. I messaged my boss that I needed to work reduced hours and he responded with a supportive message.
Yesterday (Monday), I went back for my check up with the ophthalmologist. I told the assistant that my vision was still quite bad in the right eye, and that computer work was very challenging for me. The brightness of the screen hurt my right eye, although switching to High Contrast seemed to help. She had me do the standard eye chart test wearing my eyeglasses and everything — and I do mean everything — was blurry, and looked like it had shadows behind it. Sadly, the IOP in my eye was barely changed, too. When the doctor came into the room I was crying. I told him that I felt my vision was worse now than it had been before the surgery. Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed that there was any visual loss before the surgery, but now my vision was terrible and the sensitivity to screens was making it very difficult to work.
The doctor was reassuring about my visual abilities, though. The pindot test (where you view the eye chart through a tiny pinhole) was very good, and the peripheral vision tests they had me take the previous week showed only small areas where my visual acuity wasn’t good. He noted that the reason I was having trouble with the brightness of the computer screen was because my pupil couldn’t dilate properly because of the pressure in my eye. Since the pupil was enlarged by the pressure and it couldn’t adjust smaller as needed, my eye really was being flooded with light which is uncomfortable, to say the least.
I received a new set of eye drops to add to my current regime only at bedtime, notice that he was going to refer me to a glaucoma specialist, and speculation that I have something called I.C.E. syndrome. The only good news about this disease is that it typically only affects one eye.
Last night I used the new medication and this morning I discovered that while it did seem to work since my pupil was smaller, I am having side effects that will likely make me unable to keep using it. Just looking at the digital alarm clock in the dark hurt. When I turned on a light this morning, it felt like I had been stabbed in the eye. This light sensitivity and the accompanying extreme redness in that eye are slowly going away, at least. I’ve left a message with the doctor’s office about my symptoms and am waiting to hear back.
So there’s still no definitive diagnosis, nor is there any course of treatment at this point. I’m simply trying to reduce the pressure in my eye and learn how to deal with wonky vision and light sensitivity until my next pressure check appointment on Friday. The mental load and screen issues make it a challenge to focus on work, but I’m muddling through as best I can. I’m able to work maybe 6 hours a day before I need to knock off the screen time completely.
Using the High Contrast setting seems to be helping, but my issues now aren’t just about screen glare. They are also about processing through how to deal with the changes and challenges in the immediate time and near future. The glaucoma specialist isn’t local, so somehow I’m going to have to get a ride (probably a car service) to and from appointments there if I do have surgery. And the lovely California sunshine that I moved here to enjoy is now something I’m trying to avoid because of the pain it causes my eye.
I really need a hug.