The Eyes Have It

The one where I finally get my eyes taken care of

Published on September 25th, 2015

About 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with Keratoconus(KC) in my left eye. For the link lazy, that means my eyeball looks somewhat like this (not as extreme, but the potential is there):

kc eye

Smear Vaseline on your glasses, or on your car windshield. That’s the closest to what the world looks like through my left eye. Due to circumstances both within and outside of my control, I never followed through with complete treatment. A couple months ago, I decide it was time to man up and finally do something about it, so I made an appointment with a doctor at the Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center (that’s a mouthful!) here in Arizona and was re-evaluated.

KC is a funny thing. It’s hereditary, but it’s also not. It can be brought on by eye trauma or can just happen. I fall in to the latter category.

When I was 11 or 12 years old, I sliced my cornea with one of these babies:


“LOLWUT? Those are harmless!” You say? Yeah, well twenty years ago, they were cheaper, vacuum formed, sharp edged devils…that’s how I sliced my cornea – one of the sharp edges.

The doctor, knowing the full story, said all of the symptoms of KC are there: the conical shape of the cornea the gradual slide to ultra-mega shitty vision (it’s been 20/400 – legally blind – and fortunately(?) hasn’t changed much in 20 years). He also said that it could very well NOT be KC at all and is simply a result of the childhood trauma. The end result and treatment is the same.

After a full battery of vision tests, we discovered – via a Pinhole Occluder – that I can actually see the big “E” on the eye chart.

The first line of attack is going to be custom hard contact lenses. The cornea needs to be flattened and kept that way to attempt vision improvement (I can’t wear those soft extended wear type as they fit to the shape of the cornea). After a month or so of wearing those, I go back to the doctor for follow up.

If the treatment works, we continue along that path. If not, we’ll look at the next option: full corneal transplant.

In the end, Doc says that it all depends on this: Am I happy with the results? Am I happy to be able to see the Big “E” (and maybe better)? Do I want to be able to see more, or explore other options?

My fitting is next month. We shall see (ha see what I did there? Double ha! Recursive humor!) how it goes.

This is one of a series of blog posts about my ongoing Keratoconus treatments. You can find all the posts at The Keratoconus Chronicles page.

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