Eye exams and medication

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/16/2011 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Do I see a Optometrist or Ophthamologist?
I'm supposed to be having annual exams because Plaquenil can cause damage to the eyes.  I am also having problems with dry eyes and I believe I need glasses.  My insurance is ending at the end of the month possibly and can get in a lot sooner with a Optometrist rather than an Ophthamologist?  My doc says go to an Opthalmologist and Optometrists say as long as I have a full comprehensive exam with them, it is the same as a medical exam and Ophthalmologists do more surgery related issues?  Anybody have suggestions?
Also, I have patches of yellow skin on my face, I believe from Plaquenil.  It's not a rash, but spots of discoloration that are becoming more and more noticable.  Has anybody else experienced it and is there anything that can be done about it other than covering it with concealer?

Lupus and Reynaud's Syndrome 2002; Fibromyalgia added 2006; Lupus diagnosis changed to Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease in 2007; Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) 2007-2010; Lifelong struggle with depression; Anxiety with panic attacks since 2008.
Medications: Plaquenil, Fentanyl patch, Tylenol, Aleve, Methocarbamol, Klonopin, Wellbutrin, Microgestin, Kava, Vitamin D, Miralax, Multi

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/16/2011 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to see an Opthamologist and have what is called a Plaq test each year.  My medical insurance covers it but requires I see an MD, not an OD..The test is a little uncomfortable as you have to sit very still for about 20 minutes.  All you do for this test is sit with your chin in a little seat and use a clicker when you see specific flashes of light.  I'm sure this is the test your Doc is telling you to get.  Scared me at first when I was diagnosed and put on Plaq, I was told Plaq can cause Macular Degeneration, however my eye doc says he's never seen a case of it.  Also they should give you a paper with  a graphlike image on it and have you look at it your self several times a year to see if the lines are looking wavy.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/16/2011 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh I forgot to mention, my eye Dr. gave me a sample of Refresh Optive, it's over the counter, expensive but works well for the dry eye.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 877
   Posted 5/16/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
My sister worked for an opthamologist. She says that an optomotrist is a VISION doctor and an opthamologist is an EYE HEALTH doctor. She keeps telling me to see an opthamologist to confirm possible Sjogrens. A regular optomitrist does not do this - they are more concerned with your vision not the health of your eye. Hope this helped and that I explained it properly.

Fibromyalgia. Arthritis/bursitis/meniscus tears in both knees.
Cancer survivor

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep, ophthalmologist needed! Here is the eye chart for self-testing, but you should still see the Dr once a year.

Plaquenil and Your Eyes rolleyes

Here is an eye test that is easy for all of us to do online, without going to the doctor right away. Scroll down after you go to this site until a graph shows up with a dot in the center. Look at the dot with one eye at a time, and if the lines change, then you might need to see the doctor. Instructions & more information is available on the page.

Check Your Eyes
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 5/18/2011 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
If you are taking Planqueil, you need to see an opthamologist, not an optometrist.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/6/2015 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
To Lynwood,
Re: Oscar Wilde quote:
Red Skelton said something similar:
"Why take life seriously? You're not going to get out of it alive, anyway."
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