Optic nerve Issue/Field Vision Test

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I had my annual eye exam last Thursday. I hadn't had one in a couple years. I have very bad nearsightedness- my numbers are -6.50 and -5.75. Other than bad eyesight, my health history is completely negative. I've never had any other diagnoses and have never been prescribed meds of any kind. (I'm 28 just for reference). I've always been blessed with good health thus far. Never had high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, or anything that might put me at risk for eye issues.

I had my eyes dilated at the eye appt and the puff of air glaucoma test. She initially said everything looked good after checking my eyes after dilation, but then paused and asked if other optometrists had ever mentioned I had a "strange shaped" right optic nerve. I said no. She asked if I had ever had a traumatic injury to my right eye to which I said no. She then took me to another room to take photos of my right eye which she showed me. She said there was a "spot" on part of the optic nerve and it was strange and she had never seen anything like it before. She said it could be I had an injury and was unaware, or I could have been born with a strange shaped optic nerve. She then casually said in rare cases it could be a tumor, and then continued on with the convo like she hadn't just terrified me out of my mind. She said she was scheduling me for a field vision test (which I've never had) on Monday and based on those results she may or may not refer me to an opthamologist. Now, I'm a registered nurse and I consider myself very level headed and reasonable, but understandably so I have been a nervous wreck this weekend. The optometrist truly didn't seem too concerned, but just her mere casual mention of "tumor" has sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and fear and Google searches (terrible idea). She says all this to me then cheerily sends me on my way to the front desk to schedule the field vision test. The reasonable person in me says chances are it's nothing serious because she would have sent me to the hospital or opthamologist straight away if she deemed it serious, but I am almost having an anxiety attack now that's it's been 3 days of sitting here dwelling on her words. Advice from anyone? Anyone experience anything similar or had to have a field vision test? Just looking for any words to calm my nerves until after my field vision test tomorrow. Thank you all!

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  • Posted

    Not surpised you are worrying after information like that.  As you are a registered nurse maybe she thought you would be level headed but failed to understand you are also a human being with all the normal fears.      Not good patient interaction...should have known better.

    However I have had lots of field vision tests and they are very simple to do.....the patient is asked to look into a machine,usually one eye at a time and then press a buzzer when they see a small pinprick of light appear on a rounded screen. The tiny lights will appear at different points during the test. It usually takes a few minutes for each eye.   I'm surprised you have never had this done before if you have regular eye examinations.

    Incidentally a friend of mine had a spot appear on the retina which her optician thought was odd but it was totally innocent like a mole appearing on the skin. Do let us know how you get on . Stay calm.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much Marina. Somehow just talking about this is calming. Most people will not have regular field vision tests with their annual eye exams unless they have increased intraocular eye pressure or have glaucoma (I have neither). I know she is just seeing if this weird shaped optic nerve is affecting my field vision, but I cannot get the word "tumor" out of my mind and I've truly had an anxiety ridden weekend, which I've never experienced before. New respect for those who suffer from anxiety on a regular basis because this is just terrible.

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  • Posted

    Hi I wish doctors would choose their words better or at least explain things better so people arent left with anxiety. I think most people have had that happen. You are most likely fine. I also hate it when a person has to wait so long. Keep us posted. Xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Renee, are you in the US?

    In the UK, Optometrists are not medically qualified, it it the Ophthalmologists who are the medically qualified people & comments like the one your optometrist made, make me angry because of the distress they cause.

    I have had Field tests done in hospital & also on the High Street.  The last one I had done on the High Street, resulted in the girl trying to sell me new glasses while she was doing the test!

    Can you get a referral to an Ophthalmologist?  It doesn't matter how rational you are, there will now always be that nagging doubt in your mind because of careless talk.

    Marina has explained about the Field test, it isn't difficult & there is nothing to worry about.

    Good luck Renee.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mrsmop. I live in the US. Here, optometrists do have a wider scope of practice than they do in other countries. They can diagnose and prescribe meds and they can also even follow and treat patients with glaucoma, although many will still refer those patients to ah opthamologist. I had not seen this optometrist before and she was very young (in her 20s, looked around my age) and I understand she wants to cover all her bases, but the more I think about it, it was a very tactless thing to say and has caused me so much stress this entire weekend. I have the field vision test this afternoon and I know if I fail it will just make me even more anxious. However, here in the US its very hard to make an appt with an opthamologist unless you have a referral (usually from the optometrist). Prayers please that everything goes well. Thank you for your words
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