Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Had a bit of a stressful day yesterday. On Monday I started to see flashes of light, shadows and "spiders" out of the corner of my right eye. I'd keep turning my head to the right to follow the movement of the spiders.  Two years ago my brother had surgery for a detached retina so I was aware of the symptoms. Also, my daughter had a partially detached retina a few years ago after a fellow concert goer threw a glow stick which struck her eye. Due to the "partial" aspect and her age her retina repaired itself over time. She advised me to contact my eye doctor in the morning.

So I called and was able to get in within an hour. And what a crap day of weather we had! Lots of snow followed by snow pellets followed by freezing rain followed by rain. Oh joy! I found my eyes were more light sensitive than normal so being out in a totally white world added to my stress.

But I made it without incident (thank you Dougie the Dodge and your awesome 4-wheel drive!) After pupil enlarging eye drops and a scan and exploring my eye with a variety of intense light gadgets my eye doctor announced my right eye was going through PVD - Posterior Vitreous Detachment.  This condition can lead to retinal detachment and/or macular degeneration but so far my retina and macula are in tip top condition.

There is no treatment for PVD and it is caused by aging and being nearsighted. It will also happen to my left eye but that could happen tomorrow or in 10 years; or it could have already happened. Many people put up with the annoying symptoms without seeing a doctor. There is no pain, just lots of activity in the peripheral vision of my right eye.  Now that I know it is very common and the likelihood of my retina detaching is low it feels more like a "senior moment" than an alarming condition.

Within days or weeks, in some cases months, my brain will no longer recognize the flashes, shadows and squiggly moving lines. My vision hasn't changed and for that I am most grateful. When it happens to my left eye I will know what is happening. It is ok to read and watch TV etc but I was advised to limit my physical activity as I don't want to do anything to cause my retina to detach while my right eye goes through this transition.

What is happening is this:
Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a very common eye condition. It's caused by natural changes to the vitreous gel which takes up the space inside the eye.
Although PVD causes some frustrating symptoms it doesn’t cause pain, harm the eye or cause permanent loss of vision.
Have you or a family member experienced PVD? I'd love to hear about your experience.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Yes - I have it in both eyes although it happened at different times.

You are correct - one does get used to it. I don't notice it anymore. I am also nearsighted, have astigmatism and glaucoma. Wonder I can see at all!