The posts below reflect my experience as a patient in treatment for repeating detached retinas. While a small detachment in left eye healed after one vitrectomy and a gas bubble, my right eye is diagnosed with proliferative vitreoretinopathy, (PVR) which means, basically, that my retina keeps detaching, probably as a result of scar tissue.
Initially my right eye had two laser procedures in the fall of 2011, attempts to prevent a detachment. Now I am up to five vitrectomies in that eye for retinal detachments occurring between February 2013 and December 2013. Each surgery repairs damage and works to prevent further detachments. It is important for readers to know that I am a compliant patient who follows physician instructions to the letter.
Since I regularly write for this blog on aging topics, and retina problems frequently happen to people over age 50 (though by no means exclusively), it seems natural to keep track of my experiences, though I’ll admit that I was expecting to conclude this series after four or five posts.
As I continue sharing and posting here at As Our Parents Age, my goal is to describe. I explain what has happened to me without indulging in too many feelings about the process. (I have plenty of people around me who can listen to me share my angst or complain — if I absolutely need to do it.). I am also blessed to have thoughtful and skilled physicians, a supportive (and at times overprotective) spouse, and a wonderful employer.
These posts are not intended as a substitute for visiting a physician. Indeed, with retinal tears and detachments, the sooner a person visits a doctor, the better.
A supportive and active Detached Retina User Group community lives over at Yahoo Groups, and people are welcome to ask questions of others who are challenged by retina conditions. Hal Moyers, the gentleman who started the group way back in 1999, maintains a resource page at Sightwise.org. The detached retina Yahoo group is filled with helpful and concerned people who ask questions, offer some answers, direct people to resources, and sometimes just comfort. It is reassuring that when an individual shares some symptoms, the first recommendation of group members is to tell that person to get, without delay, to a physician.
Do you want to share with other people who have experienced detached retinas? The retina posts here on AsOurParentsAge are descriptive in nature — and this is not a high-traffic blog where people can share experiences. If you seek a group with good conversation and support, check out and consider subscribing to the Detached Retina Group over at Yahoo. there is also a Facebook group.
Detached Retina Group Email Addresses
These posts are in chronological order beginning in the fall of 2011 with the most recent piece uploaded in March 2014. Please visit this page again to see additional updates. Many posts have reference links that lead to detached retina resources at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Eye Institute (NIE), and various eye institutes at teaching hospitals.
- And There Was Sight! A Coda for Retina and Cataract Issues in My Right Eye (Except that it wasn’t a coda.)
These posts are no substitute for communicating with your physician or surgeon.