Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Posterior Vitreous Detachment"

     No, a posterior vitreous detachment is not the group of military personnel you send to stop someone photocopying their backside.  It's when the big glob of gelatinous stuff (the "vitreous humour." I'm not laughing) that fills up your eyeball pulls away from the retina.  It causes flashes and a big increase in "floaters," and there's an increased risk of retinal detachment for several weeks afterward, but the condition is not all that serious in and of itself.

     Things that increase your risk?  Being female, nearsighted and over 50 all appear to be at the top of the list.  I fit the profile only too well.

     My own eye doctor did some high-detail imaging as well as the traditional methods of looking into the eyeball and explained that in my left eye, the detachment was right at the point of best vision, which would be why the floaters are there, too.  They will likely settle a bit and I'll get better used to them,* and that's it -- another of Aging's thefts.  I'm right-eye-dominant, so for now my shooting should be unaffected.

     On the home front, I did manage to fill up five bags of leaves yesterday.  It started to rain while I was at the opthamologist's, so that will be that until the rest have some time to dry out.

     After the exam, I was sleepy but hungry.  My "Monday" began at 11:00 p.m. Sunday and I left his office after 3:00 p.m., well after what would have been my suppertime.  My pupils were vast and so light-sensitive that I had to wear sunglasses in the dim, gray rainy light.  Most any place else, a tall woman with a Betty Page hairdo and wearing big, dark, old-fashioned-looking sunglasses might stand out, but this is Broad Ripple; I repaired to Public Greens and enjoyed a tasty pork ragout -- shredded pork, pasta shells, some kind of flavorful dark green leafy vegetable and a crumbly white cheese in a wonderful sauce -- and a big cup of cappuchino.  It hit the spot.

     Came home and stayed awake only long enough to feed the cats before going to bed.  Woke ten hours later and could have slept longer.  This has been an "interesting" weekend.  I'd like some dull ones, please.
* Or is it, "I had better get used to them?"  There is something they can do for floaters, but it is drastic and, like a lot of medical treatment, only adequate if doing nothing is far worse: they drain your eye, (possibly) filter the gel, and then fill it back up, adding sterile saline as needed.  This then becomes a regular maintenance thing.  It is to be avoided if possible.


Blackwing1 said...

Well, PVD's are usually fairly benign as you noted, so hopefully all will be well, and the only sequelae to deal with will be the floaters. It's amazing how fast you get used to them; I usually only notice mine when I'm looking up at a clear sky for birds, and notice all of the blobs floating around.

They DO settle towards the bottom of the eye after a while, and I believe that they sometimes even get absorbed into the fluid. I've found you can even sort of shake them out of the way, if a particularly big one is blocking the center of your field of view.

So even if this is a little worrying, it's still a pretty non-threatening event. Stay well, and enjoy the remainder of fall before winter sets in.

Stuart ( from UK) said...

I had this a few years ago. I don't see the floater for ages then all at once, especially if I'm looking at something white it comes into view. You do seem to get used to it, though I suppose that depends on how bad it is.

D.W. Drang said...

I can't help thinking that "Posterior Vitreous Detachment" makes it sound like you had to have glass removed from your, um, er...

RandyGC said...

Hope it all settles out soon.

The first time I had my eyes dilated was for my flight physical in ROTC. Wearing dark mirrored shades in the dorm that night made the recreational pharmaceutical contingent wonder if I was joining up with them instead of the AF.

Ritchie said...

I scored two out of the three. Since I had never heard of this before, there was a concern. Driving home from the eye doc after sunset, the Christmas lights were uncomfortably bright. The basic takeaway-it's just old guy stuff, go home.