The Eyes Have It

Apologies for not keeping up with your posts today, but I spent a long time at the eye clinic this morning. After two years of waiting, I finally received an appointment for the Glaucoma clinic in Norwich, and attended at 10:30 this morning.

There is no parking there, so it involves driving to Dereham and parking the car, then getting a bus for the forty minute journey into the city. The clinic is not attached to the main hospital, and is in a side street a short walk from the bus station.

On arrival, you check in and wait for your name to be called. Then a technician takes you in for a prolonged eye test. First without wearing your glasses, then with them on. You read out what you can see on the chart, but they don’t tell you if you succeeded in ‘passing’ the test. What follows is a ‘Visual Fields’ test. You have to stare into a machine, one eye at a time. Looking intently at a small bright orange light, you are given a small button to press every time you see a white light flash anywhere inside the screen.

After a while, you are imagining lights where none exist, and forgetting to click the button when you see an obvious one. This takes some time, and once again you have no idea of your success rate.

Then it is back to the waiting room, until you are called in by the Specialist Eye Nurse Practitioner. In that room, your internal eye pressure is taken, after anaesthetic drops have numbed your eyes so that you do not feel the device touching them. Once that is all over, you are allowed to ask how you are doing. My results were encouraging.

Eye Pressure. Good, and less than it was last time. The daily eye drops seem to be working.
Eye Test. Vision good with glasses, less so without. To be expected. No new glasses prescription required.
Visual Fields. In the ‘acceptable’ levels for my age, but far from perfect.

I asked about my cataracts, and was told that they are ‘minimal’ and do not currently require surgery. I was also told that I will not need another appointment for at least a year. Before leaving, I had a painless eye scan in a different room, with a different technician.

By the time I waited for the bus home and then drove back from Dereham, I had been gone for three and a half hours. Ollie was ready for his walk, and fortunately the sun shone, despite a cold breeze.

This evening, my eyes feel sore and tired where they were ‘prodded’. That is only because the anaesthetic had time to wear off of course. They should be fine tomorrow.

As hospital visits go, that was a good one. And it was free of charge, on the NHS.

I will catch up with everyone tomorrow.

72 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It

  1. Sounds like the eye tests we have at Boots. They also said our cataracts are too minimal for an operation. I had eye drops but I forget to use them until my eyes feel tired.I need so much more light than my hubby I keep going into rooms and switching on lights when he didn’t think they were needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday, I was told that if they decline it over eyesight, I can ask the consultant to send them a letter stating in his opinion I am fit to drive. (I have to pay his fee to do that, it’s not free.)
      Apparently, the DVLA send you to Specsavers, for an ‘Independent’ eye test. Then they base their judgement on that alone. I have 11 days of driving left before my birthday, so it is still all up in the air at the moment. I feel edgy, to be honest.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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        1. Not yet. They told me it could take 28 days for my licence to arrive,due to ‘Covid backlog’. If I hear nothing by Monday, I am going to email them. Spending hours on hold is not something I want to even attempt.
          Best wishes, Pete. x

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            1. Thanks for the link, Jude. I read that last month, but it does contain this clause, further down.
              ‘Your last licence was not revoked or refused for medical reasons.’
              Eye issues qualify as medical reasons, according to what I was told at the clinic yesterday. I also have to inform my insurance company today, something I was not previously aware of. They may choose to not continue to insure me, so it is something like ‘the perfect storm’ at the moment. x

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            2. Just spent 40 minutes on hold to Direct Line about my car insurance, to tell them I have Glaucoma. Only to be told by the lady that it is not something they are concerned about. 😦

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  2. Happy to hear all went well. I’ve had the thing touching my eye (pre-cataract surgery) and it didn’t hurt but I fairly well freaked out watching that thing come at my eye. Shudder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is not about the pain, more about how strange it feels to leave your eye open as they try to touch it with a small brush. They have to hold my lids open manually, Lelia.
      Best wishes Pete.

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  3. Glad your eyesight has been checked. It must put your mind at rest. I hear cataracts can not be removed until they have “ripened” – that’s one heck of a way to put it, isn’t it?! 🙄😵

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy to hear all went well for you, Pete. I’ve also had the visual field test where tiny lights flash randomly here and there. I didn’t much enjoy it either as you get a bit stressed hoping you’re seeing everything you should when you should! But I guess it’s a good thing that they keep track of any decline so they can treat it early. I’m probably due for another test myself!

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  5. Pleased that it went OK, I broke into a cold sweat just reading the procedures, I cant stand anything or one anywhere near my eyes. Keep well Pete and enjoy the coming of spring and summer

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    1. I hate having my eyes touched, Bobby. They told me I am shown on their records as a ‘difficult and nervous’ patient. But when they are trying to stick what looks like a tiny toilet brush into each eye, is it any wonder? 🙂
      Cheers, Pete.

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        1. No, they can still refuse it, and send me for an ‘Independent’ eye test. All that is still up in the air as I wait for them to contact me.
          Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. Glad it went well, Pete. Sounds very much like the exam I had recently. My eye doctor is wonderful, taking time to find just the right adjustment for diplopia. Now if the rest of my “team” was like that!… I had my cataracts done 18 months ago, aged 73 (more or less).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. They usually have trouble getting a reading off my eyes, so I tend to get ‘poked’ more than most people. They keep telling me not to move my eyes, or they will scratch the cornea. That makes me stressed! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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