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Pauline/eye problem

Posted by John h on 1/31/02 at 22:08 (072152)

Concerning your eye problem. My problem was a PVD (posterior viterous detachment). Symptoms were flashing lights and floaters. Same sort of symptoms as with a retinal detachment which can quickly cause loss of sight permently. Most people as the age between the ages of 40 and 70 will have the viterous detach from the retina. In most cases it will gradually detach and no viterous material will leak out. If the viterous tears when detaching one can experience a retinal detachment or major leakage. Really frightened me as the floater were really big and it looked like spotlights flashing around in my eye. I had the doctor monitor it and had a normal detachment. All the floaters disappeared after a few months and the flashing lights departed. That was a scary proposition. So many of you might expect a viterous detachment somewhere between 40-70. Mine is over baby. I do not know what your diagnosis was Pauline but would be interested to know.

Re: To John

Pauline on 2/01/02 at 17:31 (072231)

John thanks for your concern but to be honest I don't like to think about it because it's a frightening picture let alone post details here. Your description of a PVD is almost correct the main concern is that the vitreous while in the process of detaching from the Retina does not pull so hard as to cause a tear or detachment nor when detaching from the Macular does not cause a Macular hole. If any of this occurs medical treatment is usually necessary to save eye sight. The part of the vitreous that has turned liquid in the posterior chamber of the eye would leak out through the retina tear causing pressure behind the retina and thus a retina detachment would occur. Any time the retina detaches you loose a portion of your eye sight as they attempt to repair the detachment and from the retina cells being deprived of blood supply. The same thing would happen if you developed a Macular hole, however this is usually detected faster because the patient looses central vision immediately. The repair for either if they open the back of the eye carries risk. Repair of a macular hole means the patient lives face down with a gas bubble inside the posterior chamber for two weeks to seal the hole. The gas bubble is slowly absorbed and replaced by body fluid. Now you know just how lucky you were.

As you say PVD's usually happen between the ages of 40 - 70, but other factors contribute to their happening at earlier ages such as high myopia, diabetes and now they are finding some patients who had Lasik also developing them early on. Most people go through the experience rather well developing a few small floaters or Vitreous Opacities, others don't have it as good for various reasons one being their Weiss Ring the location of the thickest and most dense vitreous attachment also comes off and forms a permanent large black blob that never disappears and appears to them to be attached on a rubber band jumping in and out of their vision with every eye movement, others are blessed with hundreds of white or black snowflakes that are in constant movement like a snow globe and still others see the entire back of their vitreous sac as clouds fogging their vision with other fibrous strings, knots and blobs. Some people can develop a skin covering the Macula that results in surgery to remove that skin to provide them with better vision.

Probably the most interesting thing about the eye is the fact that our lens reverses the image. When you had your floaters, what you thought was hanging down from the top was really coming up from the bottom.

This is certainly a field where much more research is needed yet for every Federal $100 dollars spent, HIV research receives $1000. If they ever develop a vaccine for HIV maybe then the money for research in other areas will be more evenly distributed.

Re: To John

John h on 2/01/02 at 19:30 (072254)

Has your viterous detached completely as of yet Pauline? The other problem with the deatchment is that it can cause a detached retina. I am just happy my detached with no problem and I have passed through that phase of my life. Sure was a scarry thing.

Re: To John

Beverly on 2/01/02 at 22:47 (072277)

I have floaters. They started last summer. Saw spots that looked like small bugs. Thought I had a knat (sp?) to swat. Kept swatting the knat.
Soon figured out there was no bug. It was my vision. This scared me, but when I went to eye doctor, he said it was a common part of aging. However, he also said that any new floaters, flashes, ect. should always be checked out by eye doctor because you never know when it might be a detachment. So far, my floaters have stayed the same. I notice them more when I am tired and straining my eyes from reading... like reading a good book into the wee hours of the night.

For my own peace of mind, I go to the eye doctor every three months. I've had several other eye problems in past (Iritis and Herpes in eye... both cleared up completely.) It has taught me that immediate eye care with doctor is vital.

My eye doctor said I saved my vision when I beeped him on a weekend and he saw me for the herpes. It was in its infancy stages, and he caught it before any damage was done.

Eye doctors have my hands down vote as the most conscensious doctors on the planet. Mine will see me at the drop of a hat even if it is a weekend. I try not to ever take advantage of this.

I used to be terrified of vision loss as I age. Now that I see the high powered gizmos for low sighted people, I am less afraid of this happening.

If there were ever a medical condition that calls for prompt attention, it's the eyes.

I was ever so happy to discover that I had normal floaters. I sometimes wonder if they came as the result of the eye medications I have taken or if it was just inevitable aging.

Beverly

Re: To John and Beverly

Julie on 2/02/02 at 03:10 (072282)

Beverly, my husband has had floaters for many years. Although he needs drops for glaucoma now, the floaters began to appear long before he had to use any eye medication. Like you, he describes them as being like insects flying around, and intensely irritating.

Our eye doctor says that they are common, and for some people are a natural consequence of aging.

Re: To John and Beverly

John h on 2/02/02 at 09:53 (072288)

All my floaters disappeared about 10 year or more ago and never reappeared. A very very important thing if you develop floaters or flashes see the doctor immmediately even if it is on Saturday because you could have a detached retinal which could lead to very rapid blindness. My cousin in his 30's had a detached retina but waited several days to see the doctor and it was to late. He lost sight in that eye.

Re: To John and Beverly

Carole C in NOLA on 2/02/02 at 11:34 (072294)

John, my family has many detached retinas; apparently it is a hereditary weakness in the men on my father's side of the family. My grandfather was completely blind, with white cane and so on, since 1949 due to detached retinas. The Lion's club found him a job working at the candy stand at City Hall, and for that we are all so grateful. He has been dead for many years by now. My uncles and father also had detached retinas but none of them were blinded, fortunately; by then there were better treatments such as laser reattachment of the retina, and luck also plays a part in this. Also they were on the lookout for it.

They described the onset of a detaching retina as being similar to a black curtain descending over the eyes as the retina peels off. My father, who was a top notch surgeon before he died (and who kept up with the literature concerning retinal detachments in the hopes of some day bringing sight back to his father), was unconcerned with small transient floaters that I reported to him when I was a pre-teen (they have since become less noticeable). Of course that was back around 1960. Maybe the floaters you are talking about are bigger than mine were, too. None of my relatives ever mentioned floaters to me in describing their retinal detachments; it was always the black curtain sensation.

Carole C

Re: To John and Beverly

Julie on 2/02/02 at 11:42 (072295)

John, thanks. Klaus regularly sees our ophthalmologist, and goes whenever necessary as well as for his 2x yearly glaucoma checks. All is under control, so don't worry, and thanks for your concern.

Re: To John

Pauline on 2/01/02 at 17:31 (072231)

John thanks for your concern but to be honest I don't like to think about it because it's a frightening picture let alone post details here. Your description of a PVD is almost correct the main concern is that the vitreous while in the process of detaching from the Retina does not pull so hard as to cause a tear or detachment nor when detaching from the Macular does not cause a Macular hole. If any of this occurs medical treatment is usually necessary to save eye sight. The part of the vitreous that has turned liquid in the posterior chamber of the eye would leak out through the retina tear causing pressure behind the retina and thus a retina detachment would occur. Any time the retina detaches you loose a portion of your eye sight as they attempt to repair the detachment and from the retina cells being deprived of blood supply. The same thing would happen if you developed a Macular hole, however this is usually detected faster because the patient looses central vision immediately. The repair for either if they open the back of the eye carries risk. Repair of a macular hole means the patient lives face down with a gas bubble inside the posterior chamber for two weeks to seal the hole. The gas bubble is slowly absorbed and replaced by body fluid. Now you know just how lucky you were.

As you say PVD's usually happen between the ages of 40 - 70, but other factors contribute to their happening at earlier ages such as high myopia, diabetes and now they are finding some patients who had Lasik also developing them early on. Most people go through the experience rather well developing a few small floaters or Vitreous Opacities, others don't have it as good for various reasons one being their Weiss Ring the location of the thickest and most dense vitreous attachment also comes off and forms a permanent large black blob that never disappears and appears to them to be attached on a rubber band jumping in and out of their vision with every eye movement, others are blessed with hundreds of white or black snowflakes that are in constant movement like a snow globe and still others see the entire back of their vitreous sac as clouds fogging their vision with other fibrous strings, knots and blobs. Some people can develop a skin covering the Macula that results in surgery to remove that skin to provide them with better vision.

Probably the most interesting thing about the eye is the fact that our lens reverses the image. When you had your floaters, what you thought was hanging down from the top was really coming up from the bottom.

This is certainly a field where much more research is needed yet for every Federal $100 dollars spent, HIV research receives $1000. If they ever develop a vaccine for HIV maybe then the money for research in other areas will be more evenly distributed.

Re: To John

John h on 2/01/02 at 19:30 (072254)

Has your viterous detached completely as of yet Pauline? The other problem with the deatchment is that it can cause a detached retina. I am just happy my detached with no problem and I have passed through that phase of my life. Sure was a scarry thing.

Re: To John

Beverly on 2/01/02 at 22:47 (072277)

I have floaters. They started last summer. Saw spots that looked like small bugs. Thought I had a knat (sp?) to swat. Kept swatting the knat.
Soon figured out there was no bug. It was my vision. This scared me, but when I went to eye doctor, he said it was a common part of aging. However, he also said that any new floaters, flashes, ect. should always be checked out by eye doctor because you never know when it might be a detachment. So far, my floaters have stayed the same. I notice them more when I am tired and straining my eyes from reading... like reading a good book into the wee hours of the night.

For my own peace of mind, I go to the eye doctor every three months. I've had several other eye problems in past (Iritis and Herpes in eye... both cleared up completely.) It has taught me that immediate eye care with doctor is vital.

My eye doctor said I saved my vision when I beeped him on a weekend and he saw me for the herpes. It was in its infancy stages, and he caught it before any damage was done.

Eye doctors have my hands down vote as the most conscensious doctors on the planet. Mine will see me at the drop of a hat even if it is a weekend. I try not to ever take advantage of this.

I used to be terrified of vision loss as I age. Now that I see the high powered gizmos for low sighted people, I am less afraid of this happening.

If there were ever a medical condition that calls for prompt attention, it's the eyes.

I was ever so happy to discover that I had normal floaters. I sometimes wonder if they came as the result of the eye medications I have taken or if it was just inevitable aging.

Beverly

Re: To John and Beverly

Julie on 2/02/02 at 03:10 (072282)

Beverly, my husband has had floaters for many years. Although he needs drops for glaucoma now, the floaters began to appear long before he had to use any eye medication. Like you, he describes them as being like insects flying around, and intensely irritating.

Our eye doctor says that they are common, and for some people are a natural consequence of aging.

Re: To John and Beverly

John h on 2/02/02 at 09:53 (072288)

All my floaters disappeared about 10 year or more ago and never reappeared. A very very important thing if you develop floaters or flashes see the doctor immmediately even if it is on Saturday because you could have a detached retinal which could lead to very rapid blindness. My cousin in his 30's had a detached retina but waited several days to see the doctor and it was to late. He lost sight in that eye.

Re: To John and Beverly

Carole C in NOLA on 2/02/02 at 11:34 (072294)

John, my family has many detached retinas; apparently it is a hereditary weakness in the men on my father's side of the family. My grandfather was completely blind, with white cane and so on, since 1949 due to detached retinas. The Lion's club found him a job working at the candy stand at City Hall, and for that we are all so grateful. He has been dead for many years by now. My uncles and father also had detached retinas but none of them were blinded, fortunately; by then there were better treatments such as laser reattachment of the retina, and luck also plays a part in this. Also they were on the lookout for it.

They described the onset of a detaching retina as being similar to a black curtain descending over the eyes as the retina peels off. My father, who was a top notch surgeon before he died (and who kept up with the literature concerning retinal detachments in the hopes of some day bringing sight back to his father), was unconcerned with small transient floaters that I reported to him when I was a pre-teen (they have since become less noticeable). Of course that was back around 1960. Maybe the floaters you are talking about are bigger than mine were, too. None of my relatives ever mentioned floaters to me in describing their retinal detachments; it was always the black curtain sensation.

Carole C

Re: To John and Beverly

Julie on 2/02/02 at 11:42 (072295)

John, thanks. Klaus regularly sees our ophthalmologist, and goes whenever necessary as well as for his 2x yearly glaucoma checks. All is under control, so don't worry, and thanks for your concern.