- Left eye with 20/400 acuity – legally blind in this eye
- Right eye with 20/20 corrected acuity – one treated blind spot with one sleeping spot in the central fovea
- Field of View Screening exams – Passed and hope to keep it that way!
- I have never received treatment other that laser (no eye injections).
I hope you found my page on Presumed Ocular Histoplasmosis of some help to you. If you would like to add a link please let me know. And please, drop me a note and tell your story!
I do not live in the Ohio Valley, nor have I been there, but I managed to “pick-up” the fungus somewhere when I was 21 years old. I was born and raised in central Alberta and I have, like others, discovered the not-so-pleasant effects of this fungus.
While sitting in my nursing class in Edmonton in 1981, I discovered some distortion to the vision in my left eye. It didn’t take long to get into an Ophthalmologist and I was examined and sent home with blood thinners and a new prescription for eyeglasses. I was told to come back in one month.
Well, he’s the specialist and I did what he told me to do – I filled my prescription for the medication and glasses and carried on with my schooling. Little did I know that my retina was haemorrhaging a little more everyday. I did notice that the distortion was a little bigger towards the end of the month but I didn’t know what to expect. I went back to see the specialist and I restated what I had told him a month previous and that the distortion has not gone away but has gotten bigger. When I saw the look on his face my heart dropped to my stomach and I realized that he didn’t listen to what I told him one month earlier. My vision had deteriorated needlessly.
This time, he sent me immediately to the Retinal Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. I had laser surgery and was sent home. Due to continuing activations, I had to return to the retinal unit a couple of times within that year for more fluoresceine angiograms and laser surgery.
The laser acts in two ways:
1. it stops the bleeding under the retina, and
2. it causes damage to the retina in order to stop the bleeding and itself causes blindness.
I now had no central vision in my left eye. All activations have been cauterized. And I was told that my right eye would never be affected. I carried on, grateful that I had one good eye left.
I was in and out from seeing the ophthalmologist and I think I went for 4 years without an incident. I kept track of my vision on my Amsler grid daily.
I think it was 1994, about eight months after moving to British Columbia when the bad news came – my right eye was now affected and I required the laser to stop the bleeding. The doctor says that I also have a spot in the right eye that is located dangerously close to the fovea and if it activates they will be unable to laser it without me losing all my central vision. This will leave me legally blind in both eyes. Thank goodness I can still drive my car.
Since that time I have had one other trip to the eye clinic in Victoria for treatment and multiple visits where I left happy knowing that all was ok. I continue to have annual visits to my Ophthalmologist and the occasional check-ins when something doesn’t seem quite right. I sure do appreciate having a great specialist in town and a retinal clinic an hours drive away.
When I hit 40 years old my vision changed, as expected for most people. I now needed to remove my glasses for reading. Since then I have had multiple prescriptions for single vision glasses as my vision gets worse as I get older. It’s a pain reading, or doing other close-up work, and working on the computer sometimes because it’s a constant taking off the glasses and putting them back on, and it can be a strain on the eyes.
Why don’t you wear bifocals you are thinking? I rely on my right eye (although not perfect), and my peripheral vision in my other eye to see where I am stepping, so a bifocal would affect my vision when I look down. It would be especially hard on the uneven ground, which I have a hard enough time walking on.
I have been fortunate compared to others who have POHS and I feel for them. It has been about 20 years since my last activation but I still live day to day. I could be blind tomorrow but I try very hard not to think about it. I have always tried to carry on without thinking the worst. Of course, I have had to adjust my career path a few times but I am pretty good at finding other things to do. It’s quite easy when I have so many interests. And I have fought the suggestion from others that said, “You can’t do that” or “How can you do that if you are blind?”. I am not blind yet and I am not going to live my life like I am blind now. But there are some things that I really miss like playing baseball in my younger years, losing the enjoyment of walking on rocky beaches or hiking on uneven ground, or really seeing the stars in the night as most others do (I still look to the stars and always will). I still visit the seashore and walk down forest paths just not quite as enthusiastically as I used to. You can’t stop living. Don’t miss out on the beauty of our planet! I always appreciate the things I see and get quite overwhelmed with the beauty because some people can’t see what I can see.
Not everyone will experience continued activation. You could end up with long-term inactivity as I have. Let’s hope it’s that way for you. But then again, tomorrow could bring on a whole new chapter.
Be well and keep in touch.