Fear of the glaucoma test
February 23, 2011 9:30 AM Subscribe
How can I learn to tolerate glaucoma tests?
posted by Metroid Baby to health & fitness (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've always had a very strong don't touch my eyes reflex. I'll cheerfully go to the dentist, give blood, whatever, anything but my eyes. I can't give myself eyedrops, and optometrists have told me, "yeah, don't even bother trying contacts."
Glaucoma tests are the worst by far. I've never been able to hold still for the puff, and I can't do the one with the blue ring of light either, because I know that thing is going to touch my eyes. Even the numbing eyedrops freak me out a little: they make me feel like I have holes in my eyeballs.
My last full eye exam was over ten years ago; I don't remember the details, but I recall that I panicked and the doctors tried to hold me down. (They let go and gave me a moment to breathe, and I think maybe then I actually ended up sitting through the test for once - but again, I can't recall for sure.) I've been to eye doctors a couple times since then, for minor complaints. A few months ago I went for what turned out to be a case of dry eyes, and the doctor figured he'd do the blue-light test for good measure, and my reaction was "okay, I think I can do that I'm calm NOOO AUGGHH UNCLE."
I've broken my glasses beyond repair and my prescription is years out of date, so it's time to get my eyes checked, and I want to get it over with.
Can I simply opt out of the glaucoma test when I go? How do I explain it to the optometrist? Can I put it off indefinitely, or is there a point when I'm going to have to suck it up?
More importantly, how can I overcome this fear/reflex? It's not going away on its own, and I don't want it to get worse. (I'd rather not resort to medication, but the thought has crossed my mind.)