Thursday, February 14, 2013

Didn't see it coming.... 

Tuesday was my twice-annual eye exam. Because I am on a medication called Plaquenil which can in rare cases affect eyesight, I have to have what is known as a visual field test. Well, much to my surprise, it revealed that I have some vision loss in my right eye.

I've been on Plaquenil for a decade. I hadn't noticed anything different with my eyes, and my test six months ago was normal. Fortunately, the damage was caught quite early and is minor, but it is unknown whether my vision will return after stopping the Plaquenil.

And to add to the fun, I have had a reaction to the drops they put in your eyes for the dilated exam. My eyelids are swollen, red and itch like there's no tomorrow. I had this happen two years ago, but it was much worse that time and took two weeks to resolve. I am hoping this time it will clear up on its own.

I took Plaquenil for a few years in the early 1990's, shortly after I was diagnosed with lupus. I had the same eye checks and fortunately no vision loss ( my vision is extremely poor anyway). My consultant took me off the drug in about 1996.
Loss of vision is considered a rare side effect that increases in prevalence the longer you are on Plaquenil, usually at the 10 year mark. But if you found something that worked just as well, it was probably a good thing to discontinue it.
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