a poke in the eye: not just an idiom anymore

by Bella Rum

poke-in-the-eyeWednesday, I submitted to a poke in the eye for the third time. What can I say? I’m hooked on the idea of preserving my vision. I wrote about this a few months ago. My condition is (My Doc wrote it on a post-it note for me) Idiopathic Juxtafoveal Retinal Telangiectasia (IJRT). Say that three times fast. It’s very rare and little is known about it. That means there isn’t a lot of profit in discovering a cure, but a lot of people are probably misdiagnosed because there’s so little known about it. If more people were diagnosed, there would be more incentive to find a cure or treatment.

A Simplistic Definition

Blood vessels become dilated, something like varicose veins, but on a smaller scale. Over a period of 10 – 20 years, leakage from the blood vessels causes loss of central vision, the vision we use for reading and driving. That could explain why, until I was very close, I didn’t see that jogger the other day.

Even though you’re born with it, most people are asymptomatic until midlife or later, when vision begins to slowly decline.graph1

If the injections work, the decline will level off. 

The injections that I get in my eye were developed for Macular Degeneration, a very common condition in which a cure or treatment can provide significant profit. The injections only work about 50% of the time for IJRT, but wait for it. They “appear” to be working for me. What does this mean? It will not restore my lost vision. Like an umbrella in the wind, once lost, farewell, but it will inhibit the progression. The decline that I’ve experienced should level off. This means that five years from now my vision will be better than it would have been without the injections. Not bad, huh? I’ll take it.

I told the nurse there’s a point in life when it’s no longer about improvement but more about maintaining – holding on to what we have. As far as my vision is concerned, I’ve reached that place. So, leveling off sounds good to me.

Not the most fascinating post, but there’s little on the net about Idiopathic Juxtafoveal Retinal Telangiectasia (IJRT) and much of that is pretty abstruse. I thought I’d add my two cents. There are times when a poke in the eye is a good thing.