October 29

My Resume

..back > Keratoconus > History

In the summer of 1990, an optometrist suggested that I showed signs of an eye desease called Keratoconus (abbriv "KC"). My eyesight had deteriorated dramatically during my first year of college (20/20 all through high school!) and he prescribed me with a pair of glasses. Over the course of several years, two more optometrists, several prescription changes, and intermittently wearing Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contacts, I ended up at the point of not being able to drive, be out in the sunlight, or even read half the time. Come to find out, my KC had continued to progress and I was showing the standard signs...double vision (even out of one eye), uncorrected "blurry-ness", seeing lots of glare and hyper-light sensitivity (photophobia). My ability to tolerate my RGP lenses was down, and the doctors could no longer make glasses that would correct my vision. Thankfully, I was referred to the Dean McGee Eye Institute. Through the course of several months, I was re-fitted with new RGP lenses that properly fit my eyes and many of my symptoms stabilized. In late 1997, many of the same symptoms resurfaced, and I was moved to "piggy-backing" my RGP lenses over a soft, disposable contact lens. (you can guess the type of reaction I get when I tell people I wear four contact lenses!). Other than an occasional off-day, my eyes had been pretty stable. Light sensitivity was usually worst in the morning, and if I pushed my luck wearing my lenses too long one day, I'd usually have to lessen my wear time the next. With proper preparation, for the last six years, I haven't had to worry too much about my KC. There have been ups and downs - usually solved by reducing contact wear time. I do keep extra contact solution and cases in my car, desk at work, and in my wife's purse (she really does love me!). And other than people regularly commenting that I wear sunglasses everywhere, all the time, I've almost felt normal - whatever that is. September 2002 brought significantly decreased wear-time in my right eye, and a lot of pain / soreness in my eyes. The frustration is that once this starts, it only gets worse - I've been here before. I found myself often wearing only the left lens, and getting about 50% time in the right, then having to take them both out as soon as I got home from work. After seeing my contact lens specialist, she indicated that there was not anything more she could do. We had another (of many) short discussion about quality of life issues, as well as the fact that I have advanced KC in both eyes and both my eyes are good candidates for transplant. This is one of those discussions I knew was coming, but it still doesn't make it any easier. In order to maintain a level of functional vision, it makes a lot of sense to move forward while BOTH eyes are not giving me problems.

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