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My Close Call to Vision Loss

Mariel Betron - 5/23/2016 3:32:15 PM

May is healthy vision month and I thought how ironic that in the past month my close call to vision loss has given me a new perspective on losing your sight. Working for Bosma Enterprises  has given me some insight to blindness and the people who are dealing with vision loss everyday, but it’s not until it happens to you that you really know what it’s like to be visually impaired.  

May is Healthy Vision Month

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About a month ago I was cleaning my bathroom with SoftScrub with bleach which is a bathroom cleanser. As I was scrubbing my bathtub, a small splash flew into my eye and started to burn. I quickly went to the sink and washed my right eye with water. It seemed all was ok afterwards and figured the burning will stop eventually as this was not the first time in my life that I’ve gotten cleaning agents in my eye. I went about my cleaning and the rest of my day without noticing anything the matter.
 
Later that morning I went out with a friend of mine to brunch. As the day went on my eyes began to get red and irritated. I began to get stuffy nose, headache and congestion. I thought this was due to possibly allergies as the symptoms were very similar. So my friend suggested we stop by a pharmacy and get some allergy medication. We stopped by CVS and picked up some allergy medication and during brunch I quickly took the prescribed dosage. This however, did not stop the reaction I was having. My eyes were getting redder by the minute and my head felt cloudy and dizzy. I told my friend I needed to go home and lay down as I wasn’t feeling well. I drove home with one good eye and the other one was completely blurry at this point. I didn’t know if I was going to make it home okay with my vision in my right eye.
 
When I got home I quickly ran to my bathroom and removed my contacts. As I removed the one in my right eye, it stung and burned very badly. I tried to wash it out with more water but that didn’t seem to work. At this time, I really thought that I was having really bad allergies or possibly an allergic reaction to something I ate or drank. I decided to lay down and rest for the night.
 
The very next day I went to my eye doctor and found out that this was due to the cleaning agent that got in my eye. They said I was really lucky that I had caught this in time and came to see them right away. They checked my eyes and due to the bleach, my right eye had what they call a corneal ulcer. This is an open sore on the cornea. According to my eye doctor, a corneal ulcer usually occurs from infection, physical or chemical trauma, corneal drying, or overuse of contact lenses. I cringed when my doctor mentioned misuse or overuse of contact lenses as I definitely was guilty of that. They told me that I would have to go through antibiotic drops for my right eye and be monitored for the next few weeks. So for the next 3 weeks I put those antibiotic drops in my eyes every 2 hours and was at my eye doctors every other day for follow ups. I also had to wear my eyeglasses daily instead of contacts. It was a good thing I purchased a new pair the month before not knowing that I’d need to wear them daily. Needless to say I think I have a whole new outlook on what my vision means to me. I have always taken my eyes and vision for granted and this experience has given me a whole new appreciation to having healthy vision. I'm on my way to a full recovery but unfortunately I will always have a scar that only my eye doctor can see but a constant reminder to be very careful with my eyesight and not take it for granted.  For many of us, a visit to our primary doctor for physical checkups are top of mind but our eyes are something most people take for granted. The National Eye Institute, encourages everyone to make your eye health a priority and take the necessary steps to protect your vision by getting regular checkups. Below are some great tips to ensure you are taking the right precautions.
 
  • Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Live a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy and exercise daily
  • Know your family eye history
  • Wear protective eye gear and sunglasses
 
For more information and resources about navigating blindness, go to Bosma Enterprises resource page. Don’t wait to make the necessary steps to prevent vision loss, take care of your eyesight today and have a long and healthy vision for a lifetime.