Questions About Retinal Tears

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Dave, May 10, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I had noticed some new floaters, prompting the visit to the eye
    doctor. He diagnosed me with one possibly chronic, "small" but not
    "tiny" horseshoe retinal tear in my right eye (lower-right) and two
    suspicous (possibly tiny retinal tears) one in the left eye and one in
    the right eye. In both eyes, there was some retinal sciesis but on
    the very periphery, which I understand affects 3% of the general
    population and is usually not serious.

    Immediately after, I had laser treatment on the tears, at the time the
    Doctor seemed very pleased with the way the laser and retina were
    responding. I will get a checkup tommorow, to see if scars are
    forming as expected.

    I have been a little worried though about the long term implications
    of all this, I am only 31, I am a Myopic -5 in both eyes.

    Here are some questions that I am hoping will help put things into
    1) How likely am I to have many more retinal tears as I get older?
    2) Will this likely settle down for long periods of time, or will this
    be a downward spiral of more and more tears/possible detatchments as I
    get older?
    3) How likely is it that I will eventually go blind? (Assume I will
    always be dilligent in looking for detatchment symptoms and have
    regular (every six months eye exams)).
    4) Are there things I should no longer do, like go on roller coasters,
    (i.e. things that shake the head)?
    5) How common are retinal tears, i.e. what percentage of the
    6) Could excercise, nutrition, better rest, stress reduction, or other
    activities generally decrease my chances of further retinal tears?
    7) If I had a number of retinal tears in the years to come and
    therefore looked even higher risk for detatchment, do you think it is
    likely that I would have a general laser treatment for the entire
    periphery of the retina, essentially to weld the whole thing down?

    Any help would be appreciated, I want to know what I am up against?

    Dave, May 10, 2004
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  2. Dave

    Justin Guest

    1) How likely am I to have many more retinal tears as I get older?
    I don't think anyone can really answer that question just
    depends. I had a couple of RDs, which resulted from tears, four years
    ago. I've had no problems since then. I had extensive laser
    photocoagulation in one eye, but I question the effectiveness of this
    procedure on areas of the retina where tears have not yet formed.
    From what I've read, the ability of this procedure to prevent retinal
    detachments is not clear. Personally, the procedure did not prevent
    my second RD. Then again, as I've said, I've really had no further
    problems. Perhaps that is due to the laser, perhaps due to the
    buckles ...or maybe I've just been really lucky. I don't know.
    Well I spoke to my ophthalmologist specifically about roller coasters,
    and she really didn't have a concrete answer for me (I believe the
    effect of roller coasters in not clear). Anyway, I did end up going
    to a theme park (and riding most of the roller coaster in it =) about
    a year after my last RD. There were no ill effects. Looking back,
    however, I believe that I made a foolish decision. I don't think I
    would do it again.
    I have a feeling that the effects of the factors that you list have
    not been studied thoroughly, or at all. However, doing all of the
    above would definitely increase your quality of life ...why not do
    them for your general health?
    See above.

    The only other advice I can give you is, don't let this consume your
    life. Be aware of changes in your vision and the symptoms of retinal
    detachment. Act *quickly* if you suspect something is awry. Go for
    regular eye checkups. If you do all of that, I believe you will be
    ahead of the game. Just my take on it.

    Justin, May 12, 2004
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