Go directly to my detached retina posts.
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
- Subscribe :email@example.com
- Post Message :firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unsubscribe :email@example.com
- List Owner :firstname.lastname@example.org
Detached Retina Posts
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.
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Thanks for sharing your experience. My journey is much the same. It brings me peace to read and feel your optimism.
Thank you for your comment, Shirley. I am trying to maintain my optimism as I navigate through this process and am so happy that I can convey this, at least a bit, to others. I also have a short prayer that I repeat quietly to myself from time-to-time.
Marti, please tell me what ever ended up happenning with your detached retina. My husband has had 4, retina and macula both off, now scheduled for his 5th surgery next week. I’m terrified and devastated. It’s been 7 months and no prayers have been answered. What was your final outcome?
Hi Cheryl. I am doing well, though my retinas are never far from my mind. I am fortunate that my left eye only required one surgery. I’ve taken a bit of a rest from the blog, largely due to the responsibilities I have providing support to my parents. However, I will write an update soon.
I am 61 and I’m a week from my retinal detachment surgery on my right eye. I’m having a very low day. My vision is just a smudged blur. The hardest part for me is the sleep positions. I suffer from severe lumbar spinal stenosis and advance hip dsyplaysia. Which makes sleeping on my left side and stomach torture. And that is with pain killers and muscle relaxers from my primary care doctor. I have Ehlers Danlos Symdrome which is a connective tissue disorder and I am used to a life of pain. But, this addition of no sight in my right eye and being forced to live in positions that make pain even worse has really got me down. Thanks for giving a place to share.
Hi Sheryl. You certainly have some challenges. Consider asking your physician about various aids — charges, large pillows, etc., and whether any of them can help you position and sleep better. In fact, always check in with your surgeon, even if you feel like you are pestering.
Now after 7weeks after a successful retina surgery, I am leading my normal life, the vision is slowly resumiong to normal with a visible improvement every day, yet, there is some blurriness as yet. I am able to read distance letters with fair clarity as much as the other normal eye, yet, I have a blurr effect in vision as yet.
I know that with time it will be normal as well!
Thanks to the technology and those who discovered this wonderful method of setting retina right!
I had retinal pucker surgery in early June 2014. During surgery, retina detached & was reattached at that time. So, I had a vitrectomy w/a gas bubble. Bubble disappeared w/i 3 weeks. Since mid-July 2014, I’ve had what seems like a smudge or shadow in my line of vision & below. This smudge/shadow hasn’t improved at all since. Is this recovery time normal? I’m worried this will remain indefinitely.
Thank you for reading my blog and for your thoughts. My recommendation is that you check with the doctor about the shadow. Retinal problems are not the easiest to experience or recover from, but things can be even more difficult if a person lives with a symptom without reporting it to the doctor. I’ve had some unusual symptoms, and I am stable now in my right eye; however, I never hesitate to pick up the phone and call my retinal physician if I experience something unusual. These ophthalmic surgeons expect to be called whenever one of their patients has a new symptom. Please check out the shadow in your eye.
Thanks for your reply. I reported this symptom to my surgeon in a follow-up in mid-July & again in mid-October. He told me that this smudge/shadow is due to the fact that the wound from the pucker surgery is still healing. He told me this could take up to 2 yrs to disappear! But logically, if the wound is healing, wouldn’t the smudge/shadow also be dissipating? It hasn’t changed since mid-July. My next follow-up will be in April 2015 & if I call him now about this, he’ll just tell me the same thing, I’m afraid. This is why I’m wondering if my symptoms, & time involved to clear up, is to be expected, or is the surgeon hoping I’ll disappear in 2 yrs!!
In my experience various types of healing can take a long time. I get a lot of security from hearing the same explanation over and over from my physician. He is patient with me, and I feel a bit better each time he tells me that nothing has changed.
Short introduction of myself, I am 29 this year and from Singapore, came across your blog after a Google search.
I was diagnosed with PVR on my left eye and went through a vitrectomy where my surgeon removed scar tissue and laser treatment with an endolaser. Silicone oil was injected into my eye and I was told by my surgeon to posture myself, 23 hours a day facing down staring at my toes for 3 weeks. He gave me a success rate of 70%. I was also told to avoid screens as much as possible. This was my first ever surgery, my fear and anxiety was over the top then.
I had purchased a massage table ( must be one of my best purchases ever!) to help me cope with the posturing. For 3 days, my back ached as my body get used to this new sleeping position. Tears were also constantly produced due to the stitches on the eye. The psychological stress was immense as I was clueless about what is happening in my eye. All I saw were shadows and slight movement. Without my family, friends and audiobooks, I wouldn’t have been able to get past this week.
My surgeon told me that my eye was recovering well and I had done my posturing well. I begin to start seeing a bit more details and colour. Of course, the negativity didnt completely leave, I was still feeling anxious and clueless, but I felt better. At the end of the 3rd week, my surgeon extended my posturing for another 1 week, by then, I can see big fonts and clear colours, but everything is like looking through oil. When there’s a change in ambient light, I will also experience ripples of light on my left eye as I blink. It was also light sensitive and I cannot stare at things for long. Other than wavey distortions, there were also “warped fishnet-like” distortions at the sides of my vision.
Week 4 (current week)
Vision is much clearer now, less distortion (not sure whether my brain has learnt to ignore it). My recovery process was more or less painless, i only took 2 tablets of paracetamol for a throbbing headache the day I came out of the operating theatre. Surgeon said that I am a very lucky but did not go into specifics into why I am lucky. In fact, he said that I am lucky at least 3 times when he was looking at my eye.
Fingers and toes crossed, I hope that the recovery will continue to be smooth.
Wow! Lots of detail here. I am glad the recovery continues to go smoothly.
I would love some input on my situation from anyone. I had a retinal tear in March 2014 and it was repaired. However I then had a blood vessel bleed in the back of my eye but doctor said it was fine and that I need not come back every time something happened. I went to a second dr for an opinion and on that Monday he also agreed that tear was still completely healed and that blood was not a factor.
Next day something was off but I waited 4 days to see the second opinion dr and was told that my retina was half way detached and eye filled with blood.
This was repaired by a sclera buckle, vitrectomy and gas bubble. Needed two lazer surgeries after that to still adhere the retina. However, it was finally attached and stayed that way for months. Vision was lousy and had double vision and distortion but my brain seemed to mostly use non affected eye which was not my dominant eye. In March 2015 I had cataract surgery and it was miraculous for 3 days. I actually was able to drive with no glasses and my brain used the left (repaired) eye. When I used a contact lense in right eye I did not have any double vision in rhe morning however it did come back after sitting at a computer all day. On the 4th day I started to notice blurred spots and Cataract dr sent me back to retina specialst who advised that I need to get the scar tissue on my macula peeled off.
My biggest concern was now he was going to the back of my eye and what were the chances that my retina would redetach. I was advised that it was so small and since my retina was attached for so many months and since I had a buckle that there was barely any risk.
Well, 3 days after scar removal my retina redetached and I was back into sugery getting gas bubble again. 3 weeks later when gas was smaller on Mothers day it redetached again.
Last week I was back in surgery and now they did the silicone oil. My vision in that eye, if I close my right eye is beyond distorted. I have shooting pains in the eye and massive headaches.. They tell me that my retina looks good and the pressure is down but that is all I know for now.
What scares me is that they need to go back in to remove the oil.
Any one out there to give me some other info that perhaps my doctors are not telling me. Thanks
Luckily I have not had the pleasure of going through retinal surgery, and I would prefer to keep it that way. I am glad to hear that you were able to get help with your eye problems. Do you know of things one can do to help prevent this problem?
Bubble — When will I be able to live again? I have to go to work need money but w bubble I’m it’s so screwed up its floating in my eye for 12 days now. Will I be normal again?
I’m 4 weeks post op for a partial retinal detachment (RD) and 2 weeks post-laser procedure (in office) for a 2nd RD in same eye. My vision in the affected eye is OK when I’m resting/relaxing/sitting down, but blurs once I begin any level at all of physical activity, the more activity the more blurring. My retina specialist seems to think it’s just part of the healing process, but I’m skeptical. Has anyone out there had this post-RD surgery complication? Many thanks in advance!
Thank you for the great information. I have never heard of presbyopia until my dad was diagnosed with it. He is almost 70, which is why it is extra important for him to take care of his eyes. I came across an article, https://www.ez.insure/2020/06/eye-care-tips-for-seniors/ that talks about all the different kinds of eye issues seniors can have and what he can do to protect his eyes. What are your thoughts on it?
I had cataract surgery on October 29th 2020. The doctor said it went very well, three weeks later I was driving home and started seeing tons of black objects in my left eye. I called my doctor who said to come in and she found I had a tear in my retina. The next day I saw a retina specialist who said I had 2 tears so he had to laser both areas. He said the procedure went very well and that I could not do anything for two weeks which I followed. Three months later I saw a dark area in that eye which looked weird. I was lucky when I called the retina specialist they were closing but he said to come in and it was a good thing I did. He told me I had a detached retina and that he had to perform pneumatic retinopexy which he did in his office and put in the gas bubbles. I had to sit at a 45 degree angle for a week so the retina could heal (the detachment was on the top of my eye). After a week the bubbles disappeared and he said my eye looked really good. I have some floaters in the eye and the eyesight is ok. I do not see as well out of the eye as I did before. I am very nearsighted which does not help. If I had to do it over again I don’t think I would have had the cataract surgery, none of this would have happened.
Great information about retinal detachment! Thanks for Sharing!
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