PMRGCAuk
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Eye test

I was diagnosed with PMR in May this year and then with possible GCA, after seeing a rheumatologist, in August. I developed double vision but my eye tests showed no other problems and the double vision was corrected with prisms in the lenses of my glasses. I'm now finding that my vision is blurred - my eyes are very "runny" - but, if I can wipe my eyes enough, I can still see OK. I'm not too concerned about the GCA - I'm currently reducing VERY slowly to 20mg Pred over January - but wonder whether I need yet another prescription change. Ive just made an appointment with my optician for an eye test but the receptionist feels I will have to pay privately for it. I then phoned my local surgery to ask their advice and was told it was up to the optician to decide! Now, I may well be wrong but I feel I've read somewhere that there is an exemption for PMR/GCA sufferers but I don't know where to make my enquiries to check this. Has anybody had this problem and, if so, do you have any information about this?

Thank you so much.

Jan

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This is advice regarding free eye tests in uk.

nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcos...

I am sure someone with GCA will know better than me (pmr). I get mine because of diabetes.

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Thank you so much for your very quick reply. Looking at the above link, it only gives info regarding free tests (I get mine free because I'm over 60) on a yearly basis but, because it was only about 5 months ago that I had my last test, the optician seems to think I'll have to pay for a "private" one. Why is nothing straight forward with this illness ?!!!

Jan

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I had an extra eye test at Boots and it cost £25.

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I think that’s what I will have to pay - worth every penny for peace of mind.

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Btw. You sound like you are managing with dx a little better now. I know a lot of people use eye drops on this forum. I have blurry vision due to pred. If I stare too long at tv or reading my eye start to water. Perhaps I should use drops!!🌻

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Trouble is, the drops make your eyes even worse and, in my case, I just look as if I've been bawling my eyes out 😊

Jan

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What kind of drops do you use? I find preservative free artificial tears are very helpful and they don't irritate my eyes.

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My eye drops are SYSTANE and I have them on prescription, on the advice of my optician. They don't irritate my eyes, they just make them more blurred for a while!!

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Oh I thought when you said you looked like you had been bawling that they were causing redness. As with so many things here mine aren't on prescription, but they are what my eye doctor advised.

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Sorry for the confusion - I meant that I end up with tears streaming down my face - not a good look 😉

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If your eyes are running a lot and you have blurred vision it could be dry eye syndrome - and the optician obviously thinks the same if they give you Systane drops. There are other products - maybe one would suit you better?

You could ask for a referral to an eye specialist at the hospital. I don't think an eye test is that expensive is it? £20-25 seems standard - but if you look online you will find that Tesco is doing a special offer free at present.

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Thank you so much for the advice. Yes, I feel it’s worth paying privately for peace of mind. My own optician is very good - in fact, she was the one to diagnose and treat the double vision, after A&E told me it was because I had a headache and sent me home 😡 - so I shall go back to her again. As I said before, there’s nothing straight forward with this illness !!

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Hi

over 60 you are entitled to only one free eye test a year

My GP informed me this was not correct and told me to go back to optician and ask for another as I had blurred vision I only had test about 6 months previously .

Optician told me GP was miss informed but they did do one for me

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Yes, I think one test per year is the rule. But I think I'll ask for a private test, just to see what's happening to my vision. As people say, you can't put a price on looking after your eyes.

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Too true

Good Luck

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I have had 4 eye exams at local opticians in the last year, all paid for by NHS. The opthalmologist said that if the prescription has changed the NHS will pay. I was diagnosed with GCA in feb 2016, then PMR in march 16. Developed galloping cataracts in autumn 17, had first cataract op in dec, after 5 weeks no follow up appt so went to optician as experiencing balance issues and temporal headaches. He thinks it is because of the vast difference between the 2 eyes, but is writing to my GP. When cataracts first got bad I went to emergency eye clinic who checked eyes on NHS, and said I had done right thing with dx of GCA. We can no longer self refer to eye clinic but have to go via 111 service, who were also helpful and knowledgeable! I think you just have to find a sympathetic optician, mine was an independent until recently and is now part of a small local chain.

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Thank you for your reply. I actually had cataract surgery on both eyes about three years ago so at least I don't have to worry about that. I've made an appointment with my excellent independent optician and will see what she says when I see her - and will just pay if necessary. I just want to know what's happening.........

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Tesco gave me eye test free under 'medical' ground, however Tesco opticians have since been taken over by Vision Express so don't know if same applies. Specsavers also only charged me £5.00 on previous test when I told them GCA concerns had prompted visit rather than need for revised prescription.

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Specsavers were giving out free eye test vouchers the other day in our local market square.

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