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Ocular Hypertension Journey

Submitted by Nancy on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 5:20pm

Greetings to everyone at the end of this lovely autumn day ~

 I've documented much of my 30 years with ocular hypertension and will be sharing this information and my experiences in this blog.

 My name is Nancy and I was diagnosed with ocular hypertension 30 years ago. At that time, actually, elevated pressures were synonymous with glaucoma. In retrospect, that may have been a good thing. I took all of this very seriously from the beginning.

 I don't regret the 30 years of drops -- and worry -- because I probably took much better care of myself in every other way than I would have otherwise. I believe it was Dr. George Spaeth who referred to glaucoma as a sick eye in a sick body. That holistic approach wasn't embraced, maybe not even recognized, when I began my journey. It made sense to me, though. I think that's because of the strong eye-body connection that exists. People see and feel stress in their eyes. That's actually what precipitated my going for that routine exam that set me on this path.

 I was a college sophomore, my 20th birthday a few months away, commuting almost two hours a day to college, and working part-time. Most of my classes that semester were accounting and computer information systems. In other words: a recipe for eye strain. So, I had an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

I've always had a "thing" for anyone coming near my eyes. So, the prospect of an eye appointment was stressful to say the least. Sitting in the waiting room was the worse part. Anticipation usually is. Fast forward to the appointment: my pressures were 28 and 29. In hindsight, I wonder how much of those elevated pressures were due to the fact that I was so anxious. (And my corneas were so thick, but I'll save that for another post.) I suspect it accounted for much of it.

Looking through 30 years of this experience, there's a much stronger correlation between my emotions and my pressures than any other factor. In fact, the only other factor that comes even close is the doctor taking the pressure. Even that further supports the pressure-emotion connection as I'll detail in subsequent posts.

Before I wrap up my first post, I want to thank Dave for launching this site and his invaluable contributions. And thank you to everyone who participates on this site. It's not always easy to put yourself "out there". As I see it, though, we have a chance to change the way glaucoma is viewed, treated, and, who knows, maybe even cured.

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