She Says I Don't Have Glaucoma
Upon still further testing, the ophthalmologist has determined somewhat definitively that I do not have glaucoma or any other immediately apparent degenerative eye diseases. Which is good news, if you're asking me. I do, however, have a significant case of the dry eyeballs, along with various other issues associated with excessive use of computer screens and being old in general. (If you're wondering what dry eye feels like, imagine your eyelids are slices of American cheese (the orange kind), which stick to your eyeballs and drag gently over them with each blink. It's exactly like that.)
I also have chronic eyestrain. On the internet, this is sometimes called Computer Vision Syndrome, but none of my doctors or their technicians have ever used the phrase in my presence. What it means for me is that fluorescent, and some LED, lighting cause everything to appear as though it is vibrating and painful to look at, much like a field of snow on a bright winter's day. Switching focus from near to far and back again hurts and doesn't quite work right. It may take a second or two to lock on fully. On severe days, I see color flashes and after images; and there's a slight headache that never lets up. The worst of these symptoms go away if I reduce my screen time for a few days and force myself to take more breaks throughout the workday.
The doctor has put me on Restasis for the dryness while acknowledging it's possible any benefit I experience may be strictly the result of a placebo effect. I have to say, after only a few days on the eyedrops, my eyes do feel a fair bit better. According to my research, given what Restasis is supposed to do and how it works, any relief this early is almost definitely the result of placebo (and perhaps the long Memorial Day weekend). I'll take what I can get.
I'm also switching my glasses prescription up to a progressive lens. We think this may reduce some of the impacts of my wearing reading glasses for hours and hours while at work. It will definitely help with the issue of needing to take my glasses off every 5 minutes to talk to someone, only to put them back on again a moment later to look at what we're talking about on the screen. (That's incredibly frustrating.) I ordered the new lenses this afternoon. Progressive lenses are a great deal more expensive than my old prescription. I was not so happy about forking over $310 for new lenses in old frames (even with insurance), but at least I don't have glaucoma.