Chronic Illness Health Tips

My Update On Relapsing Polychondritis, Lumigan, And Glaucoma

relapsing polychondritis and glaucoma causes

My Update On Relapsing Polychondritis, Lumigan, And Glaucoma

In a previous HypoGal Blog, What I Learned About Lumigan For Relapsing Polychondritis Eye Disease, I share how I was shocked to learn about my high eye pressure.

This blog post is My Update On Relapsing Polychondritis, Lumigan, and Glaucoma. 

Before I share how Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy was beneficial to my high eye pressure, let me share some background information:

The past couple of years I have randomly experienced series of sharp stabbing behind my eyes.

My past eye exams have shown my eye pressure to be good and within normal range. 

The eye pressure in my left eye has consistently lingered around 10, and my right eye pressure hovered around 13. In the world of Opthmaology, both of my eyes had fabulous eye pressure. 

The Glaucoma Research Foundation Input On Eye Pressure

The Glaucoma Research Foundation states eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Normal eye pressure ranges from 12-22 mm Hg, and eye pressure of greater than 22 mm Hg is considered higher than normal.

A person with elevated IOP is referred to as a glaucoma suspect, because of the concern that the elevated eye pressure might lead to glaucoma.

Vision loss from glaucoma occurs when the eye pressure is too high for the specific individual and damages the optic nerve.

Any resultant damage cannot be reversed.

My Eye Pressure Changes

You can read about my experience with my eye pressure changing on this HypoGal Blog post.

Thursday, November 9, 2018, my Optamalogist is concerned when he reviews the substantial change in both eyes pressure.

My doctor informs me that within months my left eye pressure has risen from 10 to 26, and my right eye pressure climbed from 13 to 29.

The Optamalogist asks me a series of questions and then prescribes Lumigan eye drops. The doctor tells me to squirt two drops into each eye every night.

I ask the Ophthalmologist what he thinks is the cause of my high eye pressure.

The doctor immediately replies, it is your chronic use of steroids.

Ugh… The Ophthalmologist words are not what I want to hear.

Why is it that every doctor blames steroids on all evils that happen to the body?

I swallow steroids each day to produce the cortisol my body does not produce naturally.

I only increase my steroids during illness, surgery or extreme emotional stress.

Relapsing Polychondritis And Steroids

After the Ophthalmologist replies, steroids, I quick inquire about Relapsing Polychondritis.

The Ophthalmologist quickly states it is the steroids I take to control Relapsing Polychondritis that are causing your high eye pressure.

I ask if the Relapsing Polychondritis may be causing inflammation around my optic nerve.

The Ophthalmologist does not answer me.

I continue to speak. I go on to say, I believe my entire head is inflamed, and the inflammation is putting pressure on my optic nerve. I go on to tell the Ophthalmologist about my new experience with Gingervitis, swollen neck, the frequent burst of eye pain.

The Ophthalmologist does not answer me.

The Ophthalmologist then writes me an eye drop prescription for Lumigan.

The Side Effects Of Lumigan Eye Drops

I ask about the side effects of Lunimate eye drops.

My soft-spoken Ophthalmologist grins as he tells me longer eyelashes are the side effect of Lumigan eye drops.

I say to the Ophthalmologist that I can live with long eyelashes.

The Ophthalmologist politely hands me the Lunminate eye drop prescription and exits the small eye exam room.

After two months of taking Lumigan nightly, my eyelashes have not grown, and my eyes continuously look bloodshot.

My Ophthalmologist forgot to tell me eye redness is a side effect of Lumigan.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg)

The month of December 2017 I feel the Relapsing Polychondritis eating through my cartilage. I become weak, open to all treatment options and sad.

The past couple months of Neurology testing have left my Neurologist with unanswered questions and test results.

My Neurologist mentions Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg) to me.

Without, hesitation I tell my Neurology I feel hopeless, and I would like to try Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg) treatment.

Friday, January 5, 2018, is the first day of a five-day IVIg treatment plan. Wednesday, January 10, 2018, I experience deja vu in my world. I begin to feel like the old me. I was the person I knew when I only tried to manage a couple of challenging ailments; me with more memory and more energy.

My body no longer feels like it is being burned alive.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg) And My Ophthalmologist Appointment

Thursday, January 11, 2018, I have an appointment with my Ophthalmologist to check the pressure in my eyes.

At the Ophthalmologist office, my eye pressure is checked and rechecked.

I receive the excellent news that my left eye pressure of 13 and the pressure in my right eye is 16.

My Ophthalmologist applauds the impressive results of the Lumigan.

I tell the Ophthalmologist that I believe the Intravenous Immunoglobin Therapy (IVIg) is why my eye pressure is once again within normal range.

The Ophthalmologist listens to my explanation of why I believe IVIg treatment has brought down the inflammation in my body, especially the inflammation I felt throughout my head.

The Ophthalmologist says that it was the Lumigan eye drops that brought down my eye pressure. 

I inquire what is the maximum degree of eye pressure that can be achieved with Lumigan eye drops?

My eye doctor tells me, that patients using Lumigan eye drops may have up to a 30 percent decline in eye pressure. 

As a side note, I am unable to find how much Lumigan lower eye pressure.

Allergan is the manufacturer of Lumigan eye drops.

Click on the following link to be taken to the Allergan, Lumigan eye drop website.

Some quick Math on my calculator after my Ophtalmaoligst appointment provides me with these numbers.

If Lumigan alone was extremely effective at dropping my eye pressure then my left eye pressure would be 18, and my right eye would have eye pressure of 20.

Since I began taking Lumigan, my eye pressure has lowered more than 30 percent.

Perhaps, my body responds exceptionally well to Lumigan, or the Intravenous Immunoglobin IVIg treatment combats inflammation.

I believe IVIg treatment fights inflammation and helps in reducing the pressure in my eyes.

I have an Ophthalmologist appointment scheduled in April to have my eye pressure checked.

Fingers crossed, my eye pressure remains stable. 

 

Resources:

https://www.glaucoma.org/gleams/high-eye-pressure-and-glaucoma.php

http://www.lumigan.com/About-Lumigan/FAQ

 

I hope this HypoGal Blog post, My Update On Relapsing Polychondritis, Lumigan, And Glaucoma is useful.

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