A few months ago, my optometrist notified me that the time had come for my routine eye examination. Even though I have haven’t ever had any problems with my eyes, I also don’t want to get any problems, and I want to stay healthy, so I made the appointment.
All went well, but this time, I was told I had a raised intraocular pressure in one eye, which is sort of like having high blood pressure (hypertension) in the fluid of the eye. There’s no relationship between hypertension and ‘ocular’ hypertension, except that neither is good for you. Extensive testing of the squirting-local-anesthetic-into-your-eye-and-looking-at-very-many-coloured-dots-lines-and-letters variety later, it was determined that there was no permanent damage. My optometrist referred me to an ophthalmologist in Bowral, and they checked my pressures again and prescribed nightly eye-drops, of a drug called Latanoprost.
No-one likes taking drugs every day, of course, so I was complaining to one of my patients who is another, different ophthalmologist, Jenny. She told me today that Latanoprost, taken regularly, has been known to increase the darkness and thickness of one’s eyelashes (!). It can also make your irises go brown.
So-when you see me again, be prepared for longer, darker lashes over a set of cow-like-irises?
There is a dental connection, of course: the risk of high pressure in your eye can be an inherited, genetic trait; it’s mostly painless (although there is an acute variety that is painful) and you need a trained professional to detect and treat problems. Regular surveillance after a certain age is recommended. If this sounds familiar, it may be because it’s how we approach some dental problems, like periodontal disease. Having regular examinations even though you feel well is part of a sensible approach to your whole-body health. If you’re interested in staying well for life, we can help. Till next time, stay well.