Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today I went to the eye doctor, for a regular check up. She mentioned contacts and I said I'd like to use them. For the first time in my life a doctor said yes to that. I have PHPV.

Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV)
What is PHPV?
Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous is the former name for persistant fetal vasculature or PFV.  PHPV is condition of the space behind the lens of the eye in the gel which keeps the eye in a round shape.  The gel is typically clear.  It is called the vitreous.  In the eyes of people who have PHPV, the vitreous is not clear.  The vitreous stays the way it was while the eye was growing in the unborn baby.   Persistent means that it stays how it was.  It does not change into a clear vitreous.

Hyperplastic does not mean that the gel is like the plastic toys are made out of.  Hyperplastic means it is growing too much. In other words there is too much of the unborn baby’s vitreous gel.  The vitreous gel is hazy and scarred so that it does not let as much light into the back of the eye.
Primary means first.  The primary vitreous is the vitreous gel that first formed as the baby was growing inside the mother.  In most people the first gel slowly washes away and is replaced by clear gel.  In people who have PHPV the primary or first vitreous gel stays in the eye.  It is persistent. ~

As far as I know I don't have any other syndromes or anything associated with this and I'm pretty sure my retina is not involved. They took pictures of my eye today and everything they could observe was intact, but the vitreous is in the way of seeing everything. It has limited my eyesight in the affected eye to peripheral vision only. 

In the past, every eye doctor I've asked has told me they will not prescribe contacts to me due to the risk of injury to the eyes. Glasses create a barrier to protect my eyes. The concern is for possible injury to my "good" eye. 

I'm excited for the opportunity to not be weighed down by my glasses, but also wonder if maybe I shouldn't wear contacts and stick with glasses because the risk of blindness for me is there. It is a fear of mine. I'm blessed to have the vision I do have and to see the things I do see. To have that be gone, because of a bad choice... well it isn't worth it. However, I don't know anyone who doesn't wear glasses that suffered from an eye injury from just going about their day. Well, aside from a friend when we were teens and another friend threw a pop bottle that hit her in the eye, but she didn't lose vision because of it. 

To most this problem seems like no big deal, but for me, even my parents were against contacts as I was growing up and my husband isn't a fan of the idea either. For me there is a reason to question whether they are a safe choice or not.

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