Look Into My Eye…

Eyeball PictureSeriously, look INTO my eye!

These are a couple of photos that were done at the University of Minnesota for a study that I am involved in. The main purpose of the study is to determine if a low dose of ACE inhibitor medications has any impact on delaying or preventing kidney damage. Along with that though they got funding for detailed eye photographs. This was very similar to the annual visit where they dilate your pupil and then just look at the back surface of your eye. However this visit they actually took photographs.

As you can see, they dilate your pupil, so it’s WIDE open – looking into the dark is almost too bright. What makes it worse is that they then have to shine a light directly into your eye to see the inside. And of course your job is to hold still and keep your eye open. This process was even worse though – instead of just shining a light into my eye, they had a camera – with a flash. A very bright flash. We’re talking brighter than the sun on a summer day at the equator bright.

It was kind of a neat device, except I was on the wrong end of it. I had to rest my chin on a little chin rest, and put my forehead against the headband deal, and there was the camera mounted directly in front of my eyes, which could be positioned every which way. Then there was a “target” at which I was told to look at, which positioned my eyes in whatever angle the photographer was looking for. The problem with that though is that after a couple exposures to the flash, I couldn’t see a damn thing.

So the photographer took like 20 pictures of each eye. Look up, look down, look left, look right, look upper left, look lower left, look upper right, look lower right, etc. It was strange because after he was done with the first eye, and I had a chance to sit back for a minute, everything I could see from that eye was red. It’s like the receptors got tired of being hammered by the flash and shut down or something. It also became increasingly difficult to keep my eye open for the camera. In fact, there were times where the photographer had to hold my eye open!

The slides didn’t scan anywhere as nice as I hoped they would, but you get the idea. I’m happy to report that after 25+ years of DB that my eyes look pretty good! I thank my lucky genes for that – I hope I can continue to prevent complications moving forward. Every little bit helps.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, and advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…