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This response submitted by Karen on 2/26/98
I was diagnosed with drusen of the optic nerve at age 25, had no further symptoms save an enlarged blind spot in one eye and than about 2.5 years ago more loss of vision in the right eye, but I can still drive, read, etc. It is very scary. My 15 year old daughter had a floater appear in her eye an some vitreous liquidifivation, which the doctor say sis not related, but thatīs what preceded my diagnosis of drusen by a couple years, so I wonder if there is a connection.
In extensively researching this topic, an I mean extensively, in both the scientific and alternative healthcare literature, I have come up with some interesting associations, leading me to my own informal theory ( I am a healthcare weiter/researcher with a masterīs in healthcare field). Here they are:
Drusen sometimes form in people with opthalmic migraine--lack of blood flow to the optic nerve. Drusen are also a first sig of the ischemia (lack of blood flow) to the retina that precedes macular degeneration, and it is a normal concomitant of aging in many people. Therefore, drusen do appear to be a sign of vacular flow poblems that are hereditaty, with drusen as a symptom of this. Both times my drusen progressed, I was on a medication (danocrine) that caused some mild liver toxicity as evidenced by elelvated liver enzymes. People with congential liver disease have a higher level of drusen.
Drusen associated with macular degeneration can clear up with proper nutritional supplements--antiocedants, for example.
My conclusion is that, although medical doctors say there is nothing you can do about drusen, any type of therapy that improved ocular blood flow might help, i.e., certain calcium channel blockers, but not one that decreases optic nerve perfusion--check with opthalmologist. Avoid birth control pills, cortisone, conditions that raise or significantly lower blood pressure. Some people with optic nerve ischemia are believed to have drops in blood pressure at night-- you can have this tested with an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring kit. Donīt take blood pressure medicines before bed.
Try some relaxation or even biofeedback to improve circulation-- many people with ocular blood flow problems also have circulation problems to their hands which can be detected by various methods. This condition can be helped with biofeedback, fish oil capsules per doctorīs recommendation, and certain medications.