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Re: low dose topamax theo

Posted by headachequeen on May 22, 2004, at 19:28:13

In reply to Re: low dose topamax headachequeen, posted by theo on May 22, 2004, at 14:48:59

> What kind of eye tests do eye doctors use to check for glaucoma?

The "puff test" or usual one measures intraocularpressure. Another way doctors may measure it is by pressing an instrument called an applanation tonometer against your eye to determine how much resistance there is.

Your eye doctor may also want to check for optic nerve damage by dilating your eyes, or to check for vision loss with a visual field test. It involves staring straight ahead into a machine and clicking a button when you notice a blinking light in your peripheral vision. The visual field test may be repeated at regular intervals for your doctor to determine the extent of vision loss.
It is not difficult or stressful and takes a very short time...
this one the eye specialist ordered to be sure that there was no serious damage after he had ruled out glaucoma and to try and find out why there was so much pressure and why I could not see from the corners of my eyes...
He also ordered an ultrasound... it was really incredible...
they use fibre-optics and it is incredible at risk of repeating myself... the technology is amazing...
a technician actually passes a fibre-optic brush over the eye to see what is happening in the eye itself... you barely feel the touch of the very gentle little tendrils... and it tells her so very much as it does its work...

Your eye has pressure just like your blood; when intraocular pressure increases to dangerous levels, it damages the optic nerve which can result in decreased peripheral vision and, eventually, blindness. Glaucoma is sort of like ocular hypertension but with accompanying optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma gradually reduces your peripheral vision, but by the time you notice it, permanent damage has already occurred. If your IOP remains high, the destruction can progress until tunnel vision develops, and you will only be able to see objects that are straight ahead.

One of the reasons I thought I was suffering from glaucoma was that my eyelids were causing such pressure on my eyes that I was in constant pain, as if someone were driving a railway spike through my skull into my right eye and turning a large corkscrew through my temple into that eye. I had no peripheral vision in my right and very limited peripheral vision in my left eye.

Glaucoma produces sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, haloes around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting. These signs may last for a few hours, then return again for another round. Each attack takes with it part of your field of vision.
So I began to be greatly concerned as I was suffering most of these symptoms. At night, lights shimmered and had a halo effect. During the day, they didn't have that effect, but then who uses lights during the day???
My eyes were itchy and sore all the time, and constantly red and puffy -- of course, I was rubbing them constantly too and the lashes were scratching against the lens part of the eye which did not help at all.
The migraine headaches did not help my concerns any and the pain from the nails being driven into my head certainly added to the fears.
In addition I began to see things in sepia for days at a time and in the evening and at night everything was totally blurred despite my glasses which I had changed twice, thinking that perhaps I needed a new prescription -- and I did each time.
My neurologist had me tested for myasthenia gravis because of the drooping eyelid -- the right eyelid was so pronounced that he was convinced that it had to be myasthenia...
and that is a test I would not wish on my worst enemy!

>>>Even SSRI's have caused blurred vision and redness of eyes, so if and when would be a true sign to hit the panic button and have your eyes checked with Topamax?

Anyone at risk of glaucoma should be tested every two years at least... if you have concerns or worries then yearly would be an option but remember that it is a rare side effect.... and happens only on high doses...
I am on a fairly high dose to control migraine and seizures and to control the other anti-seizure med and I have no risk of glaucoma
The glaucoma concern of pre-topomax days having been laid to rest and the fourth and fifth surgeries to my eyes having been accomplished last week (only two to go... wheeeeee!!!) I shall have my eyes checked for glaucoma in two years' time as a precaution because of the earlier scare but not because of the topomax

>>Again, I'm taking a very low dose and should probably make a decision to give it an honest try and not put myself through this anxiety. I actually have less eye twitching and less redness in the morning when I wake up for some reason, maybe better sleep and less headaches even at 25mg. Do you think it's a good med?

Moi??? Moi, I think it is a great medication...
yes, there are side effects. I do not rule out the reality... I am after all a journalist first and foremost... cynical and a realist <g>... but I see the changes that this med has made in my life and I see the value of it and I am grateful that it exists...
Without topomax I would still have the days in the darkened room and the trips to emerg for something to kill the pain of the migraine, the days when I was totally unable to be productive...
without it I would still have the breakthrough seizures in their heaven-knows-what-numbers, as the tegretol was not accomplishing any great success in stopping them...
so, yes, in MY opinion, it is good...
there are others, though, who think it is awful or worse...
as the man with the broken leg said, it's a matter of a pinion...




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