And There Was Sight! A Coda for Retina and Cataract Issues

NIH A.D.A.M. Encyclopedia. Click for larger version.

NIH A.D.A.M. Encyclopedia. Click for larger version.

Check out the story about my retinal condition in the March 2013 issue of Prevention. The magazine does not allow non-subscribers to access the articles, but if you happen to be in the grocery check-out line, you can read about many of the eye problems that people experience as they age including the detached retina in my left eye and my subsequent treatment.

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you have read some of my posts on aging eyes (see below). I wrote these not because I wanted to share my problems — I am actually somewhat shy about doing that — but because eye problems are often a part of aging, and we all need to know what to do about them, whether for ourselves or our elder parents.

Floaters and flashes may indicate an emergency eye condition. Furthermore, cataracts can develop naturally or they can be the result of other eye surgery. Something else important to note is that people who develop cataracts do not need to wait until they are debilitating. Ignoring these problems may only make them worse and make a person far more uncomfortable.

My eye journey of nearly five years has included monitoring, treatments, and surgeries by three amazing surgeons, Drs. Kanifar, Deegan, and Gaspar, who returned my vision to a quality that I cannot remember since I started wearing glasses when I was five years old and contacts when I was twelve.

A steady stream of eye problems — floaters, in both eyes, then a tear in my right, then more floaters in both eyes, a left detached retina and vitrectomy, and the resulting left cataract side effect after the vitrectomy. When the surgery returned my left eye to almost perfect 20-20 vision, my right eye continued to get worse. My right retina never actually detached, but more and more large floaters decreased my vision and made it impossible to drive at dawn, dusk, and at night. Moreover, with one really good eye and one really terrible eye, I could not be fitted for glasses — everything we tried gave me double vision.

So last month I had surgery on my right eye to get rid of the intrusive floaters and a small cataract. The two surgeons preformed their procedures together. Now four weeks out, I have really good distance vision, wear reading glasses, and continue to several times a day to wonder, just a bit, if something else might go wrong. My last surgical follow-up appointments are about six weeks from now. Most of the time I am optimistic that my recovery will continue.

This post is not a substitute for talking with your physician.

Read my other posts about being a detached retina patient.

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