Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eyeball Menopause


Admittedly, I tend to stay up way too late, and use the computer, or watch television, way too much. But, that's just the reality of things. Anyways, last weekend it was about 2am and I was watching Moneyball. Out of the corner of my right eye I something caught my eye. I looked over at the computer monitor, but found the monitor had went to sleep. Went back to the movie and it happened again a few minutes later. I decided I was up way too later (second night in a row) so I planned to go to bed as soon as the movie was over.

The next day I woke up about 9am and was immediately greeted with another odd flash in the corner. This was a little disconcerting. However, not nearly as bad as a few minutes later when I noticed a couple of "light halos" when I moved my head quickly to the right or left, with my eyes closed. Thought to myself, "OK, so perhaps this isn't a lack of sleep situation."

Like most Americans typically do, the next step was the Internet, to play Armchair Optometrist. My search was light flashes corner eyes. Lots of things came up. I honestly cannot remember which link I followed, but suffice it to say, I was not happy with what I read. Link after link suggested I might have a detached retina. At this point I had visions (pun intended) of those odd things that hold your eyes open for surgeons and then lasers. Then several month recuperation while laying face down on a donut-shaped pillow.

Over the next couple of days the lights started to diminish. However, when I move my eyes quickly to the left or right there's an odd "super floater" that seems to move its way across my field of vision, like one of the man-o-war jellyfishes swimming across the camera's view.

Luckily, I know someone that's recently opened a practice, and so I asked them what they thought might be the issue? Obviously, it's kind of hard to just guess based on descriptions. That's sort of like knowing what's wrong with your car by making some odd noise, like in that Mr. Goodwrench car commercial. I went ahead and made an appointment so they could do a thorough examination. It had been nearly two years since my last vision check anyways.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. Since they were going to dilate my eyes, I decided I'd better take the bus. After looking over several routes, I decided on a route, only to miss the bus by about 30 seconds!! Seemed like it was forever for the next one to arrive. I got to the appointment wish about 2 minutes to spare.

First order of business was the normal refraction stuff that people do when getting a prescription written up. The doctor was able to get my right eye dialed down to 20/15!! Alas, my left eye was 20/40, which was about the same as the last time I went to the eye doctor.

Next came the stuff I came in for, namely what was up with the lights and super floaters? We must've spent a good 20 minutes doing tests I'd had before, along with a few I hadn't. The verdict???

Apparently there's something that everyone goes through at a particular stage in life called a Vitreous Detachment, or as I like to call it, Eyeball Menopause. Basically, the jelly inside your eyeball starts to peel away from the back of the eye. This happens for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The void that's created is filled with a fluid. If all goes well, the flashing and vision issues settle down after that period is over. The bad news is that it's during this time that there's a possibility of a detached retina.

Adding to the whole situation is that I have something called Lattice Degeneration, better know as thinning of the retina where it attaches to the eye ball. This is something that's prevalent in people with Near Sightedness and Astigmatism, both of which I have plenty!

Feeling better about the situation I left the appointment to catch the bus back home, only to miss it by a couple of minutes. Pray you will never have to wait on the east side of Shattuck Avenue in the afternoon waiting for over 30 minutes for a bus. It was bright out as it was, and with my eyes fully dilated it was a new experience. Not only a bright one, but basically a foggy/blurry one as well. I had to send my sister a text message and "Battery is dying. Will call from home" somehow became "nzttety ging emoll csll fr jr." Perfectly understandable, eh?

Anyways, that must've been the longest bus ride I'd ever been on. Soooo crowded, and then one time the dark glass shield they give you fell on the floor, and I was instantaneously bathed in bright light. Not wanting to walk the final two blocks to my house without protection, I picked it up. Once I got home I flipped the TV to some channel that I could get away just listening to, and lay down on the couch. I fell asleep and woke up around 8pm. My eyes still felt wiped from the dilation drop abuse, but at least it was dark out now.

Over the past week I haven't seen any flashing lights, and that super floater seems to be going away slowly. Without any further complications I can breath easier in about three more weeks.