Optometrists Report

Hi guys and gals,

Nothing to do with AF (yet !) but given the oft post on here about Thyroid and AF thought I'd toss this hand grenade into the battlefield. Went for my 2 year Optometrists check on 14 Jan 2015, he declined to prescribe new glasses as he claimed to have picked up three things from my eyes. 1) a heart issue, 2) a diabetes issue and 3) a blood pressure issue. He wrote to my GP recommending all this be checked out. Well 1) is my AF and told him it was being treated with meds and diet - no sweat. GP arranged for a series of blood tests, my normal annual blood tests to check kidney,/liver/thyroid but also HbA1c blood test for diabetes and that came back clear - well, actually I scored 39 (42 and above is pre diabetes and 48 and above is type 2 diabetes). So GP recommended going added sugar free, look at carbohydrates etc and getting more exercise as I was not diabetic but was certainly at the high end of the normal range. Next test in 6 months. Re blood pressure, bit more interesting ... normally I'm pretty steady at 127/75 but between 14 and 18 Jan BP went haywire, totally erratic, all over the place and has now settled back down to around 128/80. GP fitted me with a 24 hr BP monitor on 19 Feb which also behaved erratically and during the night kept me awake with bloody error messages on and off all night. Get the 24 hr monitor results late this week.

But interestingly whilst thyroid was normal and is usually included in the annual tests, my next thyroid test will be every 3 months.

I toss this in just as an interest item but if anyone wants to comment feel free. Nothing conclusive so far so I can't do anything .... next large glass of red please :-)


13 Replies

  • Hi John, good to hear from you and sorry to hear you story. RE your BP I wish mine was that good! I had my annual blood tests recently and all came back OK apart from slightly raised cholesterol (5.1). She suggested that I increase my statin but I told her I would try to limit my toasted cheese sandwiches to three a week.lol It's nice to feel that people are looking after us isn't it. Just run out of Hardy's!


  • If the eye doctor takes a picture of your retina during each eye exam, the doctor can tell if there has been changes. These pictures will indicate issues such the ones that you mention, but maybe not AF, and the images don't lie because they actually show damage that has taken place. You probably should insist on a very thorough GP examination. Too much alcohol over time can damage your eyes.

  • Hi EngMac,

    Thanks for your comments - yes, depending on the outcome of the 24 hr BP monitor thingy I am seriously mulling over your thoughts on a more thorough examination. AND yes, your bit about 'images don't lie because they actually show damage that has taken place' are virtually the words the Optometrist used. In fact I was diagnosed with AF at East Surrey Hospital in Jan 2010 when I lived in that part of the world and kept in for 6 days while they did all sorts of other cardiac type tests. No other heart/artery/cardiac issues was the result. 5 years has now slipped away amazingly - so I'm going to contact East Surrey's cardiologists secretary to get copies of everything, tests, test results and reports then go back to my GP for a review of everything (I now live in Cornwall). I feel that at 5 years a review is not out of place.

    I have to admit that I have reduced my drinking :-(


  • A-ha. Toasted cheese sandwiches? Now we're talking. Have you tried some onion with them? Also, ham, onion & Stilton is awesome! Enjoy :-)

  • Yes! Good mature cheddar - and sprinkle of Lea & Perrins before toasting!

  • Hello Bob,

    Yeah, funny old times we live in - not that many years ago a cholesterol of 5 ish would be considered pretty good - now in the age of statins (as you say) 5 ish is considered raised !! OMG,

    a toasted cheese sandwich ........... maybe for lunch today. And, no Hardy's .... terrible, you need to replace it soon. Must say I love my Edam and a drop of red, luckily no problems with cholesterol.

    Stay well.


  • Hi John, I also live in Cornwall and my EP is brilliant, Dr Slade. Treliske on black alert at moment so my AV node ablation was cancelled, goodness knows when I will get the next appointment. Interesting about your eye test, I am due one in April and I will be interested to know what the optician sees!

    Love all your posts, you are so upbeat!

    Take care and Angel blessings to all.


  • Hi Di,

    Thanks for the tip about Dr. Slade ... hopefully I won't need to make his acquaintance .... buuuut ! one never knows. Good luck with your eye test ... hopefully you are perfect, but, I'd be interested to know the outcome if you don't mind. Just out of curiosity. You might be interested to know that I am a co-conspirator in trying to set up an AF patient support group down here but because of the black alert at the moment at Treliske its all gone on the back burner... not helped by the fact that the lead consultant is away at the moment too. Watch this space. I'm also battling away with my local GP and local CCG about using my Coaguchek XS device for my INR tests.

    May the force be with you.


  • Hi John, yes I will let you know about my eyes, not due to go until April, but sight is getting worse. Treliske is now on Red alert, so the lunch time news tells us! Let me know about the patient support group as I would be interested on the outcome as and when it comes off the back burner.

    Take care.


  • Now you've made me crave a toasted cheese sandwich, with lots of onion... Not to mention a glass of red! Everything in moderation, I say. I'm giving up chocolate for March to raise money for the British Heart Foundation so I shall be disgustingly healthy (if deprived). Does AF create damage in the eye that can be detected? My dad had high blood pressure and I know that caused eye damage (that was how it was detected, he started having vision problems). But I didn't know AF could cause issues. I'd definitely be looking for a really thorough check-up, just to be sure everything is hunky dory. Take care!


  • Hi Lis,

    I'm unsure of the science of the eye but, an Optometrist can pick up from in the eye, indicators of changes in health, it might not pick up AF but it will detect heart issues. In my case it picked up something I already knew about and two things I didn't. The diabetes one was interesting as my Dad had and died from diabetes - so - if I hadn't had my eye test goodness knows where I would have ended up ... it has given me the chance to reverse my bad habits - but kicking 'added sugar' ain't easy. The AF heart issue was picked up before I had AF diagnosed. The latest thingy with blood pressure is for me a little more 'uncomfortable' as I have had some really weird BP readings especially as they began the day I had the eye test. It wasn't the readings that worried me per se but the erratic behaviour of the readings, spiking real high one minute and at other time jumping up and down, high and low and everywhere in between like a yo - yo. It all repeated a week later. All resting readings too.

    See my GP tomorrow morning. Watch this space.


  • Take care... Yo-yo readings are a bit worrying, I'm glad you're getting help. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!


  • Exactly Lis, exactly. I'm happy with low readings, happy with high (consistency I like) - but the yo - yo effect does bother me especially as the BP 24 hr monitor check revealed the same trend ( you can see the readings through the little window on the device) but then at night it chucked out all these error messages so I'm hoping its a cross between 'Whitecoat syndrome' and trying to sleep with this bloody thing attached to me. Hardly a good nights sleep I can tell you with the little alarm going off with every error message.


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