Living with Multiple Myeloma: Serious glaucoma concerns

here on Flickr”>Goldmann perimeter visual field machineGoldmann Perimeter Visual Field Test

When I was originally diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, buy information pills I was given a drug called Pamidronate, which is given to Multiple Myeloma patients to help keep their bones strong. As Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow, it will eat away at the bone marrow in your bones, leading to a variety of problems (e.g. ease of broken bones). However, I had a severe side effect, in that it caused ocular inflammation, which required me to wear sunglasses at all times as any light was to intense for me to look at. Even the light from my cell phone was too bright.

After seeking medical treatment, I was referred to a glaucoma specialist. They prescribed eye drops, which eventually lowered my extremely high eye pressure (30 each eye) back to normal. Thankfully I did not get glaucoma. BMy semi-annual appointment to my glaucoma specialist in January showed my eye pressure to be normal (14 left eye, 16 right eye). It has been fairly normal for a while, so I didn’t expect anything different when I saw my specialist on Thursday. Recall I began Velcade chemo treatment in February. How wrong I was.

Silt Lamp Biomicroscope
Silt Lamp Biomicroscope for checking eyes

I arrived early in the morning as I was the first appointment of the day and I hoped I could get in and out quick. When my eye pressure was checked, the results (21 left eye, 25 right eye), showed that wasn’t going to be the case. It is unknown why exactly my eye pressure has increased, however I will see my cancer specialist this week and will discuss this my medical setback.

Latanoprost eye dropsMy increased eye pressure is probably due to either my cancer, my chemo treatment, or the steroids I weekly take (dexamethasone). I was given a prescription called Latanoprost, which will hopefully have the effect of lowering my eye pressure and preventing me from getting glaucoma. Before I go to bed I put eye drops into my right eye and later this Fall I will have a follow up appointment. After the prescription was written, my eye specialist sent me to have a visual field test.

The particular visual field test I was given was on a Goldmann Perimeter machine (originally designed in 1945). The Goldmann Perimeter (diameter 60cm) is a hollow white self-illuminated hemispherical bowl positioned a determined distance in front of the patient, who sits on a chair for the visual field test. There are single lights of different intensity and size that appear, with the patient indicating by tapping the table with a small object, when it is becomes visible.

Goldmann perimeter visual field machineGoldmann Perimeter

Lights will either blink in a stationary fashion or will move from the periphery to the centre. I had to focus on the middle of the bowl at a bulb fixated there and the test is to determine potential problems in my entire peripheral visual field. Basically I really had to control myself to focus on the centre rather than the blinking/moving lights. The technician had a paper map of each visual field and she marked off each response resulting in a map of my retina that tells my eye specialist where my peripheral vision may have been lost. This is a common test used to help diagnose or monitor glaucoma.

Automated visual fields test such as the Humphrey Machine also becoming more commonly used as this Perimeter was designed in 1945 by Hans Goldmann.

Yeah, I know I have alot of different medical issues, but I’m focused on staying positive.

Just to give a recap, I am living with Multiple Myeloma (blood cancer). Since February 2013, I have been on my 4th chemo treatment called Velcade, which are weekly in-hospital injections, in addition to a variety of other pills I take to supplement my chemo treatment. You can read the background on my diagnosis and previous treatments on my blog.

BC Cancer Agency: Mission, Vision, Values
BC Cancer Agency

About tyfn

From December 2019 I've been on Darzalex (daratumumab) IV chemo with Velcade (Bortezomib) injection chemo + dexamethasone. Have Multiple Myeloma + anemia, a rare incurable cancer of the immune system. Life goal: To spread awareness about Multiple Myeloma through my self-portraits. UBC MSc Grad.
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1 Response to Living with Multiple Myeloma: Serious glaucoma concerns

  1. Pingback: Image from page 151 of “Atlas and epitome of ophthalmoscopy and ophthalmoscopic diagnosis” (1910)

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