Random Thoughts on Eye Exams
I had another eye injection recently. I’ve been on Avastin from the beginning and it seems to be doing the job. It had been 12 weeks since the previous shot, and I’m hoping I can continue this schedule, or perhaps even extend it further. I’ve read about recent research showing that treat, extend, stop may work as well as every 12 weeks, but only for certain patients. Monitoring at 12-week intervals is still required.1 I asked about this and we’re going to discuss it further next visit.
My eye has remained stable
I had the OCT pictures done a few days earlier, as the doctor had been away. This way they can maintain social distancing. I didn’t like the idea of going to his office twice for one shot during COVID-19, but the same day appointments were saved for his out of town patients. Because of COVID-19 the fundus photos, which require the eyes to be dilated are not being done. So at least I am still capable of driving myself home. The exam showed no change; no leaking. My eye has remained stable, thank goodness.
The grey smudge in my dry eye had worsened
During the regular vision test, they told me my vision is slightly better than last time, but it feels as if it has deteriorated. When I told him I thought my vision was slightly worse this time, that the grey smudge in my dry right eye seemed to cover more of my vision he said the OCT pictures showed no physiological change. Some days are just better (or worse) than others on this journey.
The pinhole test
I’ve always been curious about that paddle with the holes in it that we use in a vision test. After researching it, I find that the “paddle” or pinhole occluder to use the correct term, works along the same basis as pupil constriction in bright conditions, causing an improvement in visual acuity. Through a smaller pupil, the effects of minor ocular irregularities are diminished.2 Basically, if your vision improves by using the pinhole, it is probably the front part of the eye that is causing the blurred image (the cornea or the lens). If your vision is not improved by the pinhole test, it is likely the back of the eye (the vitreous or the retina) that is affected. So still a good tool in their toolbox.
Outcome of my latest shot
It’s amazing how fast we can get used to something in our vision. Instead of that one large black sequin-like spot I normally have, which disappears the next day, I had one very small sequin-like spot and what seemed like millions of extremely tiny dots. This was the first time for that outcome in 4 years of shots. I’ll need to ask about it next visit. Trying to read or watch tv over the next few days was strange. Like looking through a field of 3-D dots. Remember the Star Wars movie introduction? Just like that. A week after my injection I still had hundreds of tiny grains of pepper sprinkled in front of my vision. It is slowly improving, with only a few annoying larger ones left. I hope this won’t be permanent.
How was your last eye exam? Any noticeable change? Any random thoughts?
Do you feel that you've maintained independence with macular degeneration?