What's this page about?
Having suffered a retinal detachment back in spring 2006, and having got surgical treatment for it, I'd like to share links to resourceful webpages that I found extremely useful in dealing with my RD.
I hope you find this useful, if you'd like to drop me a line, my contact info is here. If you'd like to read in particular about my experience with RD, then go to my Retinal Detachment - My Experience page.
Table of Contents
Do me a favor, will ya?
If you are highly myopic (a.k.a.
short-sighted -- do you wear glasses with high negative prescription?) or
highly astigmatic, or both, then please, please, please go get your eyes
checked today, and at least once a year. You could save your vision, for
all you know! You could also do simple tests at home, I've outlined
some of them in a section below.
I personally found links I've added on this page useful; Similarly, I found the things I did, when I suffered a detached retina and following my surgery, useful. Your mileage may vary. Contact your doctor if you suspect something is not right!
Retinal Detachment: Things to watch out for
Floaters and Flashes (in one's vision)
Eye Floaters and Spots:
Very nice explanation of symptoms
with an image of what floaters may appear like (or feel like); and what
Retinal Holes / Lattice (diagnosis by eye specialist)
Lattice Degeneration: Thinning and weakening of the retina that can lead to retinal tears.
Retinal Detachment: The whole nine yards
Retinal Detachment (MayoClinic)
Introduction, Signs & Symptoms, Causes, Screening, Treating, Coping, etc.
Excellent read for comprehensive RD information. If you'd like print
all sections on paper, before reading it .. then click on this
(Highly recommended read by a friend who has a degree in Optometry and is
soon going get a doctoral degree on physiological optics!)
Who can get RD? When?
This is text my friend SR -- who has a degree in Optometry and is soon going get a doctoral degree on physiological optics -- sent me, I've reproduced her bullet list verbatim (a comment or two in parenthesis from myself).
The National Eye Institute's RD webpage also has some info on this.
Treating Retinal Detachments
Retinal Detachment: Treatment (MayoClinic again)
: Same page as the one you would have landed if you click
on "Treatment" on the above MayoClinic link in the Floaters section.
A Story of Retinal Detachment: Excellent site by Jim
Lawton about his RD and treatment experience -- with images and animations
illustrating shadows, floaters, what a gas bubble does to your vision
temporarily, so forth. Highly Recommended: Go read it NOW!
Simple Home Tests to catch symptoms of RD early
From what I've read, 5% of the general population are at high risk for a retinal detachment. That's a simplistic statistic, of course ... not factoring age group, etc. Among that 5%, a much smaller group of unlucky ones (about 5% of that group) is supposed to actually suffer from RD in their lifetime. If you're in the high risk group -- most obvious characteristic: American football shaped eyes, due to high myopia and/or astigmatism -- then you might benefit greatly by doing some simple tests on your vision -- both central macular vision and peripheral vision. I've attempted to list a few of the tests I've found useful.
Amsler Grid Test
At the very least, I personally recommend, you print an Amsler grid from the web, and test your vision every day (say, when you wake up every morning). It's simple, takes less than half a minute, and could save your vision -- especially if you're in the high risk group (for RDs) of people.
All you've gotta do is, stand about a foot from the print out (of the Amsler grid), and stare at the center dot with one eye (while the other is closed); do the lines surrounding the dot look straight? Does the outside border look like a square? Any skews? Any bends? Any part of the grid not visible at all? If it appears just like a bunch of concentric squares in your peripheral vision, then your vision is probably ok.
Computer Screen Peripheral vision test
This is what saved my vision, or rather this is how I first noticed my retina starting to detach.
Preferably with a bright color filling the entire screen (At the least, an empty browser window or a terminal window would suffice; or you could set your desktop color to white :-)), sit about a foot from the screen, and stare at the center of the screen: can you see the entire screen on the periphery of your vision? All 4 sides? Does it look perfectly rectangular, or do you notice any skews, or any shadows in the peripheral vision?
Peripheral vision testing on a large mirror
Another form of test of vision, I've personally found very useful is, using a bathroom mirror, assuming it's a fairly large one.
Michael Grobe's Pencil method (requires Herculean concentration!)
This is a method my friend Michael uses to keep track of how good his peripheral vision is. His method reproduced verbatim, don't blame me if it's too complex :-)
I should mention that I put an X in the (landscape) bottom-middle of a piece of paper, hold the paper on a wall so that I can put my nose on the X, put another X right in front of my right eye, and then stare at it while using a pencil to trace out the extent of my peripheral vision. this requires Herculean concentration, but, what can I say....
Drugs, Medication To Avoid
I have been asked to avoid any medication that is a steroid or contains steroids. If you are in a hospital for medical treatment, ensure you inform the nurses/doctors about it.
Watch out! Because common cold relief medicines like DayQuil/NyQuil, and most of the cough suppresants have an ingredient called Dextromethorphan which is, I've learnt, a steroid. If you are in doubt, google!
Other Eye Related stuff
The Blind Spot!
Blind Spots: If you're like me, and check your vision
ever so often (using an Amsler grid, etc.) then you need to be aware of
blind spots in the human eye. This website (among others) proved to be
useful for me in understanding them, with excellent images and explanations.
Macular Degeneration - Information from the Mayoclinic:
Extensive information about MD -- types, risk factors, treatment, etc.