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11-07-2019 11:04 AM - edited 11-07-2019 11:06 AM
On 8-30-19, for no apparent reason, I developed two retinal tears. I suspected the urgency so I immediately went to my optometrist. He ran tests and confirmed and sent me to a retinal specialist immediately. There was so much blood in the eye that the surgery was by freezing rather than laser as the doctor could not see where to laser. I had only numbing shots and had no pain or even discomfort whatsoever. Went for re-check in a week --all looked good. Appointment made for 6 weeks for re-check. Three days prior to that on 10-14, I had a blood vessel near the cryosugery site to burst. Even more blood in my eye this time when my "bloody" vision was almost cleared up from the tears. Surgery was scheduled for removal of the blood and the gel in my eye. They can replace it with saline and sometimes use a gas bubble, depending on the type of hole/tear. They kept warning me that if my eyesight got worse or better before the surgery, to be sure and call them. One week prior to the surgery, my eyesight started improving. I rushed to the doctor and he cancelled my surgery for the time being. My eye continues to improve and I pray that I won't have any more issues. It is very scary to say the least. Please always have a driver with you when you go for these appointments. They will sometimes dilate both eyes to make comparisons and you probably shouldn't drive with limited vision in one eye and then add dilation to the mix. You also never know what type of procedure they might want to do on the spot so you need a driver.
Age is a major factor along with the nearsightedness. I am only 60 and was surprised that I had never heard of this. The gel tends to turn more liquid as we age and wants to pull away from the back of the eye, sometimes taking the retina with it. Please adhere to your surgeon's recommendations as a detached retina will require surgery to prevent loss of the eyeball. My uncle lost his vision but still had to have the surgery to preserve the eyeball.
Edited to add that I have regular check ups and had just had one in June and all was perfect. So you never want to take a chance with your eyesight.
11-07-2019 03:51 PM - edited 11-07-2019 03:52 PM
@Marky1 You have explained this perfectly! I had a regular exam about six months ago, with the test since I'm diabetic and have had problems with ripples in that eye (as well as other things). There was no sign of a tear or hole at that time.
On this regular six-month check-up, I knew there was a problem but wasn't prepared for such a shock! You are so correct that it has to do with aging. I'm 71 and have been near-sighted all my life, with astigmatism. Knowing my son is going with me (he has offered for other office visits, but I've never felt it necessary) is comforting. His questions and a second pair of ears will be helpful. I'm over the frightening part and will face it like anything else.
Thanks for your wise and helpful comments.
11-10-2019 02:33 PM
Coincidence that I should see this thread -- currently I'm recovering from surgery to repair a retina detachment and hole in my macula. My surgery - Vitrectomy surgery - was almost 2 weeks ago. I first saw the surgeon who did my cataract surgeries several years ago. He referred me to a retina specialist. For me, it was kind of an emergency situation. I asked what would happen if I didn't have the surgery, and the specialist told me I'd eventually go blind. Easy decision to have the surgery!
Good that you are taking your son with you to the exam. In my case, they gave me so much information that I needed my husband's ears to help me remember everything. There is a lot to absorb! Plus, the dilation drops they used for the tests were much stronger than I'd ever had at my opthamalogist's office. I couldn't see for several hours. Otherwise, the exam is a piece of cake.
I was hoping to read information on this board regarding the length of recovery and any complications. Has anyone here had a Vitrectomy? Any encouraging words?
@BirkiLady, I'm thinking about you and wish you only good news.
11-10-2019 03:49 PM
@tototwo So glad you responded!
Please tell me about your recovery. Are you able to sleep on your back or not? (I've read stomach sleeping only). Is you eyesight improved in two weeks? When are patients able to drive? So many questions!
I have so many other lab work, Dr. & DDS appts. later this week and the following week that I need to keep! Does this have to be done immediately? My Dr. made it sound serious when he made the appt. with the specialist, but I was too stunned to ask any questions. I honestly could not read the top row of letters on the eye chart with my right eye, which was frightening.
Anything else you care to share would be appreciated. I live alone and am still trying to recover from the fractures in my back and knee. The timing is awful . . . but doubt there is ever a good time for such things.
11-10-2019 04:08 PM
When they discovered my hole, I was send early the next morning to have laser done. Never a question of delay at all. Turned out well and they did not have drain my eyeball, so no laying face down.
Still have odd bright flashes and it has gotten worse after cataract surgery.
Between the light show and the frequent floaters, I am endless amused.
11-10-2019 05:52 PM
@Still Raining Sounds like I should not have put this off until my son could go with me? Wednesday is the day; my original appt. was last week, but I changed it to accomodate my son's day off.
Although my eye had been having floaters for several months and I had cataract surgery a couple of years ago. Didn't expect to go in for a regular check-up and not be able to read the top row of letters! We'll find out more this week.
That eye has always been bad and I simply wasn't paying enough attention, apparently, to how bad it had become. Hindsight is wonderful.
11-10-2019 06:04 PM
@iMW My friend and I both had torn retina's. We both had them repaired.
I've had lots of operations. A few years ago I had both knees replaced at the same time.
Anyway, I don't regret getting the torn retina repaired but honestly nothing (the knees, the many back surgery's you name it) hurt as bad as getting that retina repaired.
Essentially, they glue the thing. My friend also said it was extremely painful but she didn't regret getting it fixed it.
It's just one of the things you have to get done. I don't know anything about the hole.
I was supposed to have cataract surgery this past week but it was canceled for now.
It's really hard when you get old getting "things" fixed or repaired, etc.
It's usually because something has just worn out or needs fixing.
The human body is amazing (GOD did a good job). But it does wear out.
When I saw you say it was painful, it brought back memories.
But I'm an optimist. I remember seeing a fireman who had a DETACHED retina. He had to keep his head down for a long time (forget how long).
11-11-2019 08:00 AM
@BirkiLady-- there's never a good time to have retina surgery! ha! Mine was not an easy laser repair like others have stated. Yours may be. It depends. Whatever surgery you require, they will give you lots of information and instructions to read.
At 12 days post-surgery, I still am not allowed to be on my back or to recline. I have a gas bubble inside my eye and have to keep that in position to hold all the repairs in place for now. You have to be face-down for at least 4 days - that was hard, and my neck got sore. Also, there's pain in your eye and around the eye. Tylenol Extra Strength helped. That side of my face was swollen and bruised and my eyeball is still red. For several days I looked like I'd been in a bar fight!
I still cannot see out of my operated eye mainly because of the bubble. It's like looking thru dark jello that wiggles. I will not be able to drive until the bubble dissolves and my vision returns - which could be 6+ weeks. You'll have to have someone drive you or stay home.
I don't want to give you too much information -- some things might not apply to you. Ask lots of questions at your appointment! My surgeon also gave me an emergency phone number to ask questions prior to and after my surgery. I used it.
I have a follow-up appointment on Wednesday. I have a long list of questions for the surgeon. I won't even know if the surgery was successful until I see the surgeon and have more tests.
11-11-2019 10:34 AM
@Annabellethecat how true your words. In the last 3 years I've had 5 surgeries and am scheduled for a 6th
this Wednesday for PVNS and a severely torn meniscus.
The hardest part of my conditions is dealing with my dh. He gets extremely stressed, has bipolar and anxiety
disorders. So my first order of business is taking care of him, otherwise my life becomes unbearable, he will have an episode.
11-11-2019 03:54 PM
@tototwo Ahhh . . . you've answered many of my questions! Thanks so much. Had a feeling my research was right about keeping the head down, which means I'll have to schedule the actual surgery for another week (if possible) since I have so many other Dr. and DDS appointments which cannot be skipped or delayed. Dang, I'm not ready to be getting old and falling apart right now . . . give me another 10 days!!
Sending best wishes for a successful healing. Your experience mirrors what my reading has me expecting. I appreciate you honesty. Keep in touch about your appointment on Wednesday and how your recovery continues. I care.
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