Friday, January 7, 2011

A Flash

On Wednesday I posted about my mom's ongoing visions problems and the amazing improvement she has seen since have cataract surgery. One of the big concerns with getting the surgery is that is increases the risk of a detached retina. Considering that my mom has already had a partial detachment, this was a real concern for her. As I said, my grandfather's detactched retina ended up leaving him blind in one eye, and seriously impacted his quality of life. We take detached retinas pretty seriously around her.

While I know that Karen and her husband Todd know the symptoms of a detached retina all too well, I'm not sure if everyone else does. According to Wikipedia, the symptoms are as follows:

  • "flashes of light (photopsia) – very brief in the extreme peripheral (outside of center) part of vision
  • a sudden dramatic increase in the number of floaters
  • a ring of floaters or hairs just to the temporal side of the central vision
  • a slight feeling of heaviness in the eye"
If you encounter those symptoms, don't mess around. Call the eye doctor. The quicker you catch it, the easier detached retinas are to fix.

About a half hour after hitting the post button on my mom's vision post, I had a flash of light in my right eye. It's the same eye that I've been having problems with recently. One of those problems is a large number of floaters. I had tried to schedule an appointment with my eye doctor before Christmas, but his office staff failed to return my calls. I had already decided to find a new doctor, and the flash moved that up to project A1.

My mom is very happy with her guy, so I gave them a call. What a different experience. They promptly returned my call and managed to fit me in for an exam yesterday. The office staff rocks, the office itself was great, the parking was free and easy, and best of all the doctor is awesome.

The doctor did a through exam, then he picked up his eye ball model and started to explain what was going on. "As we age..." Groan. I'm not thrilled with this as we age stuff. I know I need to suck it up and deal with it because, well, I'm aging. I can't stop the process, so what good is whinging about it? Oh, I know, because I can! So here goes, WAH!

Anyway, what's happening is a posterior vitreous detachment. You can read about it at the link, or in brief the goo in your eye starts to shrink and pulls away from the retina. It's a fairly normal part of aging for most people, and not a big concern. It does have a slight possibility of leading to retina detachment, and based on my family history the doctor want to continue to monitor my eye until the process is complete.

So, in a nut shell, I'm fine. I'm just getting old. Compared to a torn retina, I'll take a little aging.


Andy said...

I prefer aging to the alternative. Plus your doing it very gracefully ;)

Beth said...

Crap. Now I'm seeing flashes and floaty things around my eyes. Thanks a lot! LOL (And glad it's not too serious!)

JenFen said...

It's kind of funny to hear you talk about all these terms like retinal detachments and posterior vitreous detachments because I have been assigned to a retinal specialist for the last 3 years and I type those terms (along with their exams, diagnosis, and treatment options) on a daily basis.

So I really glad to hear that it is not a retinal detachment and only a PVD.

I love the "as we age" crap. Like really? That is NOT what we want to hear.

You hubby is so sweet.

Karen said...

Glad to hear that you don't have the beginnings of a detached retina. I would hate for you to have to keep your face down for 5 days!
Todd's doctor told him that the jelly (or vitreous fluid) is only there for development in utero and we don't need it once we are born. I thought that was interesting.

Stacey said...

Thank you for putting a condition on my radar that wasn't there before. I give myself a few hours until I'm totally and completely convinced I'm seeing flashes and floaties. My psychosomatic disorder abilities are profound.

Aging is lame.

Karla said...

I agree with Stacey. Aging IS lame.