"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Large discs

The optic nerve heads or discs in my eyes are larger than normal. The central part of the nerve head has a depression, referred to as a cup and  large optic discs typically have larger cupping because of the absence of
axons in the middle of the disc as the neurons leave the retina in the larger rim tissue of larger discs.
With me so far? Good.
Now, this is significant because this situation can apparently make opticians suspect the presence of glaucoma and then they refer you to the local ophthalmology department for further investigation. In my case, I then attend the hospital every six or twelve months for a couple or three years and am then discharged because I don't have glaucoma. 
This has been happening to me for the past twenty years but, as no-one had explained the process to me until my latest appointment on Thursday, I just thought that each time I was referred, it was because the condition had worsened, although never enough for me to be prescribed medication. This time, however, the nice lady doctor did explain what had been happening. If the pressure readings are above a certain level at the optician's, he automatically refers me to hospital and round we go again. 
"I might as well keep seeing you," she said, "because if I discharge you, the optician will only refer you back again. So I'll see you every 12 to 18 months and if you get fed up with that, just let us know and I'll discharge you again. But at least, if you keep coming and you do develop glaucoma, we will pick it up very early."
OK, fair enough - I suppose...


Murphyfish said...

Sought of makes sense, I think....

Jennyta said...

In one way, John, but it is also an example of how the training and experience of the professional (the optician in this case) comes second to 'the system' which takes no account of individual variations.

cheshire wife said...

It is always best to get a second opinion. And you only have one pair of eyes.

mrsnesbitt said...

How nice for the LADY to explain all! Enough said my dear!

Jennyta said...

Quite right, CW.
mrsnesbitt, enough said indeed! ;)


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