For Patients

A Life Changing Moment

Patient: Vicki Odegaard
Diagnosis: Acoustic Neuroma
Sight Restored: 2016

Vicki Odegaard and her husband

In a 2014 survey, facial weakness or paralysis was reported by approximately 25% of those who undergo surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma (AN), a rare, benign tumor of the balance and hearing nerves, the removal of which can lead to severe dry eye. The Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) is a helpful resource for those looking for solutions for their AN-related health challenges – solutions like BostonSight PROSE treatment.

When Vicki Odegaard (pictured with husband Paul Adelmann) had an acoustic neuroma removed in December 2015, she experienced significant nerve damage. This resulted in total paralysis on the right side of her face, decreased tear production, and an inability to blink. “The dry eye after my surgery was the most painful thing I had ever experienced,” remembered Vicki.

Vicki, a retired Army nurse and currently Chief of Quality Services at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, soldiered on, but her eye pain was making life untenable. “Eye drops didn’t do any good,  I had to use ointment at least once an hour, but that made my vision blurry.” She also developed nagging, persistent headaches.

As many of us do, Vicki turned to the internet to find help; fortunately she found the ANA. The support offered by the ANA led her to the Optometry Clinic at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), which has partnered with BostonSight to provide PROSE treatment. “I spoke with Dr. Olson on the phone, and he thought I would be a perfect candidate for PROSE.”

Vicki was impressed with Lieutenant Colonel C. Kelly Olson, OD, MBA, FAAO, and the team at BAMC. “Kelly is one of the best doctors I have known. His ability and compassion were beyond belief.” Her new PROSE device provides her with 20/10 vision, and, “the minute I put the device in my eye, the burning pain was immediately relieved and my vision improved. So comfortable, no pain, no drops or ointment, It was truly a life changing moment.”

A hard contact lens wearer for more than 30 years, Vicki easily adapted to using her PROSE device, and has become proficient in applying it each morning. She wears it for around 12 hours each day. “Sometimes I get some mucous build up, but I just “window wash” the outside with a saline moistened Q-Tip. I can deal with that inconvenience, because the quality of my life is just so much better since I got PROSE.”

When Vicki returned home she shared her experience with her physicians in Washington State, who were unfamiliar with PROSE treatment. She hopes that her experience will be able to help others. “Madigan is a teaching hospital, so sharing this information with physicians in training will allow them to offer this option to other patients in the future.”

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