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I had LPI about three weeks ago. I was nervous admittedly, because I’m both a nurse and an artist. I was given steroid drops, to be taken 6 times a day for the first week and then down to 4 times a week for the second week. I started to notice problems in the second week, by detail through my right eye was bad, with detail down by 75%, not vision loss exactly, but inability to see detail, so looking at say, a number plate, the white background would have cobwebs of black around the edge and across the image, while the numbers would just be a black blur. I also noted some swelling of the eyeball.This made working incredibly hard with computer work a headache causing task, my vision constantly being cross my trippy colours, and even focusing on patients faces, incredibly hard, with expressions being constantly cross by shadows and flashes of colour.

I got an emergency appointment and was told that the steroid drops had increased the pressure in my operated eyes from 18 to 38. The drops were stopped immediately and more drops to reduce the pressure in that eye. I went in for a check up yesterday and the pressure in my right eye had dropped to 20, which was good, however I am still experiencing acuity loss, though it seems a little better and something I term as ‘ghosting’, This is like the effect you get if you stare at a TV screen, or maybe lights, then look away and the coloured flashes of light follow your vision. This concerns me but the doctor told me to relax.
The thing that continues to annoys me, is that I’ve seen three doctors so far, and none of them will actually give me a rationale for having LPI in the first place. With drops my pressure was sustained at around 17/18, but having LPI appears to have had no effect at all. When asked the doctors simply cannot give me a rationale for why I needed LPI, what improvement (if any) it will have, and why, if drops maintain my pressure, is LPI even necessary. It seems to be simply something they do. I’m a psychiatric nurse, and have to admit that certain treatments, ECT immediately comes to mind. Basically, we don’t know why it works, or how it works, or even if it will work at all, its simply an option…..a sort of ‘poke it see what happens’ approach.

Medical science is proud to look down on psychiatric treatment as being unscientific, yet here we are, with ophthalmic treatment doing just the same.
This is hardly a clear clinical rational for drilling a hole in someones eyeballs.

Don’t get me wrong, the principle is sound. Too much fluid in the eyeball increases the internal pressure, in my case due to a narrow vent that doesn’t get the fluid out enough. So drill a new hole to make up for the restriction of the other. However, if there is a chance that it will not work, or in fact add additional problems. And if it actually doesn’t reduce pressure, why bother with it, if medication can effectively do the same?