More threads by Salpeter


Some of you may know my clinical fear/psychological weakness already. I face my biggest challenge in my life yet - and I can lose everything.

I have high myopia w/ corneal irregularity. In the last three days I noticed that something is wrong w/ my (right) eye(s). My eye(s) was/were significantly indolent while following/focusing on relatively fast objects (i slept enough on those days!). I also noticed 1-2 small flashes. My eyesight may be at risk.

Naturally, every rational being would consult an eye doctor, BUT here lies the problem: There is nothing I fear more than everything even remotely associated w/ physical eye-(contact). I used the superlative of fear already w/ other things, but in a exaggerated way! Here it is true that my biggest fear is personified. I fear I can not express w/ words the magnitude of this fear. I am generally very sensitive and react w/ fear against many (clinical) things, like blood samples, but the phobia I explain in this topic has a parameter exponentially higher than all my other fears!

In my childhood I couldn't bear to watch my friend touching his retina w/ his fingers, or my cousin dropping a medical liquid into his retina. Likewise, I find it personally extremely repulsive to watch people putting in their contact lenses. As a matter of fact, I have never done so! When my myopia was worsening and I went to the eye doctor I refused the dilution. I don't thing anything has ever touched my retina except water in my childhood.

Even if I only think about what could happen in the future (analysis, operation) or try to find out the cause on the Internet and identify a probable cause, my heart beat frequency drastically increases and I get extreme panic and stress . I think it is very well possible that I faint while even walking into the eye doctor's office.

I face a very significant problem and I appreciate any help/suggestions!


I believe there is a fairly light duty form of conditioning that can be learned by working with a psychologist working in that field.

People who are afraid of flying, needles, snakes and all kinds of things seem to respond to this type of therapy.

What would you do if you were told that you would have two weeks to live unless you underwent an eye examination?

This may be an oversimplification of the problem, the underlying question would be how do you deal with absolute necessities when your phobia interferes with it?

If you need health care, the I would urge you to get the therapy you need to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way of your health.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
In the shorter term, I think if you are up front about your fears, tell your doctor about your dilemma. S/He can probably arrange to have you sedated or even to have any procedures done under light general anesthetic to minimize your discomfort.


I think, if I were you, I'd speak to the opthalmologist of my choice and be honest about my feelings. It's possible that the opthalmologist can work with your family doctor to come up with a way to reduce your anxiety before the necessary examination is done. I understand you're afraid, but ... if you think about it, potential blindness is far more frightening than finding a way to get through an eye examination. Communication is key.
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