Patient Comments: Retinal Detachment - Experience

Please describe your experience with retinal detachment.

Comment from: Sightless, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

Over Easter, while driving to my dad's, I noticed that I could only see out of part of my right eye. I let my eye go for one week until I went to the ER on a Friday night. On Saturday morning, I was scheduled for surgery. The specialist put in a gas bubble (nightmare!). The gas bubble did not work, and I still had fluid behind my eye. Two months later, I had the buckle surgery. It has now been six months after that surgery, and I still cannot see out of my eye. I have floaters and can only make out some shapes. I go back in December to my doctor to schedule another surgery. He also told me that my left eye will need surgery to prevent retinal detachment. My advice is to get two to three specialists' opinions, and don't wait!

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Comment from: Susi, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I have severe myopia and worn eyeglasses since age 8. My optometrist noted lattice degeneration in both eyes about 10 years ago. About seven weeks ago, I noticed flashing lights in my peripheral vision while driving at night. I mistakenly thought it was a vehicle moving into my lane! Later that evening what appeared to be wisps of dark smoke or cobwebs began floating across my right eye. I went to the ophthalmologist the next morning and was diagnosed with seven retinal tears and two detached areas in my right eye. They immediately referred me to a "retinal specialist" who said these were spontaneous tears and detachments. He performed laser therapy to "tac weld" the damaged areas in the right eye. One week later, he used a laser on my left eye as a preventive measure. My vision remains a bit blurry, but I'm hopeful it will continue to improve.

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Comment from: dmd65, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

One week after running into a glass window, thinking it was an open sliding door, I noticed a small, dark spot in the inside corner of my right eye. The spot grew to the point that it covered my pupil. I had retinal surgery the fourth week after the trauma. Unfortunately, my doctor said it was a floater ... I went to another doctor, and he said it was a detached retina. By the fourth week, the retina was 40% detached. Had I gone sooner for surgery, the detachment would have been less. The recovery period is critical to a successful surgery. Keep your head down, with the use of a massage chair, so that the gas bubble can put pressure on the retina. Looking back on my experience, I would have gone to the doctor that first week that the dark spot was noticeable.

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Comment from: ballantray, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

I am 58-year-old male in good health who has worn prescription lens for nearsightedness since I was about 12. I suffered a retinal tear about six months ago. I was treated on an out-patient basis with laser surgery. The retinal specialist who performed the laser repair was vague as to whether I had actually suffered a retinal detachment or merely a tear. In follow-up visits, I complained of discomfort to the eye, cloudiness, a slight droop in my eyelid and a slight loss of peripheral vision. At first he maintained these symptoms could not be caused by the laser or the tear. He finally admitted after six months that I "might be experiencing the symptoms" I described. Now he says the only remedy is actual surgery, which he does not recommend. He says that I am virtually certain to develop a cataract down the road that will require further surgery and contacts, which I did not tolerate well 20 years ago when I last tried them. Further, he thinks it likely I will develop other retinal tears, stating that nearsightedness is a strong risk factor for retinal tears and detachments. I felt like he did not even believe me at first and then was too narrowly focused on the retina and not on my eye's overall health or function. I don't know whether I should now seek out an ophthalmologist for my general eye care and questions about its overall condition and continue to see him on a follow-up basis or whether an optician will do, as before. All he would say was that I was probably entitled to a new pair of glasses under my insurance since the affected eye had definitely lost some acuity.

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Comment from: Ed, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 22

I have been near-sighted since adolescence and am now 54. My retinal detachment was apparently caused by my recently rubbing my left eye too hard after removing my contact lens. I soon noticed about eight floaters and a dark gray curtain which blocked my vision on the lower third of my left eye. After a checkup at the hospital ER I was sent to an ophthalmologist. Cryo-surgery was performed in his office and a bubble inserted into my eye. My vision was restored to normal except for the bubble. My ophthalmologist told me to hold my head at an angle with my chin to my right. I tried to remember to do this when watching TV. I was told I could continue to wear contact lenses and returned to work in 3 days. My detachment reoccurred 2 weeks later.

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Comment from: lostsite, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

Retinal detachment recovery is a nightmare, period! Be prepared to stop driving to work, and make sure you have a supplemental disability insurance policy, because you will not be able to work for months as a result of vision loss during the period of recovery 6-16 months.

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Retinal Detachment - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your retinal detachment?
Retinal Detachment - Treatment Question: What was your treatment for retinal detachment? Are you satisfied with the results?
Retinal Detachment - Surgery Question: Discuss your retinal detachment surgery and its results.
Retinal Detachment - Predisposing Eye Diseases Question: Did you have another eye disease that predisposed you to develop a detached retina? Please share your story.

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