Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eye Problems and Getting Older

I'm begining to think this getting old stuff sucks. There just ain't no grace in getting old. The other afternoon I suddenly experienced a large amount of eye floaters that looked like black spider webs in my right eye. Oh, oh. Having had diabetes for so many years makes me concerned about any changes in vision. A quick call to the Opthamologist and I was set for an appointment the next day.

Turns out I have what they call "Posterior Vitreous Detachment". As people reach middle age, the vitreous gel that fills the eyeball may start to thicken or shrink, forming clumps or strands inside the eye. It can pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment. The doctor explained that normally the vitreous gel is smooth like saran wrap, but when it pulls away, it scrunches up and that's what the floaters are that I'm seeing. This is more common for nearsighted people as they age, and I am definitely very nearsighted. Great. When this condition becomes a serious problem is if the vitreous gel pulls on the retina causing it to become torn or detached. This can cause permanent vision loss if it's not treated quickly. So, I've been cautioned to watch for flashing light and any loss of vision in my right eye. Great. Something else to be concerned about, as if I don't have enough already.

Now, I don't want to alarm anyone because you've had floaters, floaters in the eye are very common, especially as we age, and are generally are nothing to worry about. Everyone pretty much experiences them and you see them mostly when looking at white or light surfaces in brighter light. But, if you notice a sudden increase in them, as I did, it may be a sign of a more serious problem and a visit to a good opthamologist may be in order.

My eye doctor also told me that the floaters I'm experiencing now may or may not get better with time. I hope they do. When you depend on your vision as much as I do, having this black thing floating around in my eye, in and out of my field of vision, is very distracting. I hate it.

So, that's my exciting life. I was hoping to grow old gracefully, but so far, there's been no grace for me in getting old.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep just went through this diagnosis recently at age 70. The good news it was not at 50. Two views here, one grateful to get to this age, second, my doctor said you better give the new floater a name and get use to it. I am still working on that one. Best solution for me is coontinuing to work for maybe two more years. Staying busy puts the problem in the annoyance category due to other priorities most of the time. This among other issues age related I suppose is a component of our passge that we will have to carry along with us. So our challange seems to be get friendly with these and other issues we will be carrying along and hope frequently we can find a humorous slant, maybe that will ease the perception a little for us. Best wishes.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Karina Chiodo said...

Cataract surgery might be the answer to your prayer. The eyes deteriorate as people grow older. However, cataract surgery can prevent eye problems caused by aging. And that's good news!

2:42 PM  

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