Patient Comments: Retinal Detachment - Experience

Please describe your experience with retinal detachment.

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: TJB, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

It is now eight months after detached retina surgery. My vision out of the affected eye is about 20/90 and about 40 to 50 percent smaller than what the other eye sees, thus very blurry.

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Comment from: bhpa, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I am 5 weeks out from my scleral buckle surgery for retinal detachment and I still have severe limited vision. I have been told that existing cataracts could be the problem with recovery of vision along with a change in the physical shape of my eye due to the buckle.

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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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Comment from: steward, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

I've had two retinal tears and one detachment this year. The first tear was preceded by flashing crescents in my peripheral vision. When it finally tore, a cloud swirled through my vision and I was in the ophthalmologist's chair within hours having the tear stitched with a laser. Six months later, I noticed a small blind spot creeping into my vision and headed to the ophthalmologist who diagnosed retinal detachment. The next day, as I headed to vitrectomy surgery, the blind spot covered half my vision. It's now 10 days after surgery and I still have a small gas bubble, but I'm seeing another shadow growing into my vision. I'm getting it checked tomorrow and dreading the diagnosis.

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Patient Comments

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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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