Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The other eye

After three surgeries on my left eye to repair numerous retinal detachments, I am left with a pupil that is paralysed and doesn't constrict, and am awaiting a fourth surgery to replace the lens removed in November. In order to have some vision in the left eye I have been using daily contact lenses. These give me good peripheral vision, but the central distortion remains, and is unlikely to improve much further. So I am increasingly reliant on good vision in my right eye.

When I first had surgery back in August last year, the eye registrar, Hong, had looked in my "good" eye and told me that there was a lot of thinning of the retina, known as "latticing", which suggested that the right eye was also at risk of retinal detachment. There had been some suggestion of performing some laser treatment on that eye once my left eye had been dealt with, and so discussion of this was on my list for my upcoming appointment with Harry.

Whilst walking on the AAWT, and also one day on my recent tramps, I had had some fleeting episodes of seeing floaters in the right eye. Neither episode lasted longer than a few minutes, were small, and didn't persist like the huge floater I had in the left eye back in August. But I mentioned them to Harry and he immediately insisted on checking the eye out.

The outcome was the discovery of a small retinal tear in the right eye! We caught this one early, but it needs immediate attention.

This time the tear is small, and the detachment not extensive, so again I must travel to Dunedin for treatment. Monday I drive down to Dunedin and Harry meets me in the eye clinic in the evening for a good half an hour worth of zapping on my poor eye with a laser. He found a second tear, and did a pretty extensive job of containing the whole area with the laser. So hopefully that's sorted.

There's more latticing in the eye, and I think Harry might be keen to zap that too. Although lasering the latticing doesn't prevent detachment, it certainly contains a detachment should it occur and prevents it extending rapidly. Given my history I'm not surprised he feels that way, and has suggested doing it when I have a general anaesthetic for the lens replacement. Needing a GA surprised me, but with the frequency of surgery I've had on my left eye, further surgery is likely to be more painful than usual.

The laser treatment doesn't affect my vision, and aside from the discomfort of Harry pressing against my eyelid whilst doing the procedure, it also wasn't painful. No eyedrops required, I can continue to wear my usual contact lenses, and I can still drive. So on Tuesday I returned to Wanaka, and am resting up whilst a cold front deposits quite a lot of snow on the Alps. I'm hoping the weather warms up by the weekend, as I'm planning to go tramping again.

That's next….

1 comment:

  1. How very very challenging for you Naomi. All the best !!!