My heritage

  • As a little child I got lectures because I left my toys cluttering at the floor at my grandma's place. I had to put the chair back on its exact spot so my grandmother would be able to find her way through the house at the touch of her hands.

  • My aunt sometimes has to ask where the sugar is on the table, when it is sitting right beneath her. She has to look down to see stairs.

  • My dad has taken eye drops for years and years and about 15 years ago he underwent eye surgery.

  • Several of my cousins are taking eye drops and apparently so would have my greataunts and their decendents across the Atlantic .

Glaucoma is part of my heritage and I've seen it around me all my life. I'm familiar to intraocular pressure numbers, the concept of shrinking visual fields, etc... "Do you have to take eye drops" is a quite normal question at family gatherings. All my life I've assumed that I'll get it as well, altough that's not certain yet.

Now that I've turned 30 I got tested for te first time. I really wondered what the verdict would be? Would I start walking the family's steps from now on or not?

Several eyedrops and shiny lights in my eye later, after staring at blue dots without blinking and facing hell flashes, I can now say that my test was negative. My intraocular pressure is 16 (nicely below the 20) and the pictures taken of my optic nerve didn't show any enlarged cup yet. And in the mean time my vision got tested as well and received a 10/10. Woohoo, no glasses in the near future, no chronic medication yet, ....that was a good visit :).

And I loved those pictures of my eye! Wow, wicked cool. They are like a nice big full moon with wriggling blood vessels on top of it :p. I wondered if it would be appropriate to ask a digital copy of those pictures for my blog, but I didn't dare to ask. I wouldn't want people to think I am a blogging freak, right ;).

source: University of Toronto, faculty of Medicine

For those readers among you older than 40: 2% of the population has glaucome. Do get yourself tested every 1-2 years! More info can be found in this good website from the Belgian Glaucoma Society.


Drun said…
Yep... I got tested for the first time at age 25, and guess what? I was an exception to the rule that people only get it round 40.

Since then I have been taking eye drops twice a day every single day, and there is no damage so far, so it's perfectly under control. Glad they got the medication, because otherwise I would have been blind by the age of 50.

Getting tested every 6 months to make sure though. It's a hell of a heritage indeed.
Goofball said…
Hey Drun!

Yeah I heard you were "blessed" with our "heritage" as well. In our family it seems to be more an exception not to have glaucoma, no? I've always heard since we have a history in our family that we should indeed get tested much earlier than 40 and more frequently.

But if you catch it in time and keep checking , you won't get damage I'm sure. My dad has had glaucoma for decades without getting any damage. Since his surgery, he's medication free and the pressure remains low enough.
I have that same heritage, but they started testing me at 21... interesting. And so far, I have also tested negative. Yay! I'm glad your test was negative. (I do have glasses, though, but that's nothing to do with the glaucoma).
Fourier Analyst said…
Glad it turned out okay and I will be having my eyes tested when I visit Texas in April. Thanks for the reminder.
R. Duckie said…
I do like the Eye pic. I don't know much about glaucoma, it sounds quite serious!
Hello from Colorado, I stumbled here via somewhere, but read with interest about glaucoma. I just had a test and it was negative. Eyesight is indeed precious. I am up to two separate pairs of glasses now, one for driving, one for computer work. I miss the good old days of seeing up close and far away with the same clarity. Excellent advise and I'm happy for you, that your test was negative.

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