Eye Exams

sweetslover
By sweetslover Latest Reply 2015-03-21 15:21:01 -0500
Started 2015-03-13 21:39:05 -0500

I had my appointment with the retina specialist this week. The bad news is that I have diabetic maculopathy in both eyes instead of just one. The good news is they have started treatment and said I would "most likely" regain my vision. They will do injections in both eyes and if the swelling goes down as they expect, they will then treat the bleeds with a laser. They injected the right eye last Thursday and plan on injecting the left eye next Thursday.

My point in posting this is to encourage all of you to have regular eye exams. Not just vision, but also have your retinas checked regularly. If you start to notice blurred vision, do not wait for your next regular appointment. Call and immediately get it checked out.

These problems can happen quickly. My last exam was Dec. 23 and everything was fine. I waited a few weeks after I started having some blurred vision before I got it checked, thinking it was probably just a change in my vision. During those 3 weeks my vision deteriorated significantly. The only way I can describe myself during the week while I waited to see the retinal specialist is to say I was an emotional wreck. Losing my sight has always been my biggest fear.

Although I still have some concern that the outcome of my treatment will be less than desired, at least I am doing something about it and I feel more confident that all will be OK. I am not looking forward to more injections in my eyes, but it sure beats the alternative.

If you feel you are having any problems with your eyes, don't wait to get them checked. Run—don't walk—to your eye care professional.


24 replies

NewSong53
NewSong53 2015-03-21 15:21:01 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's good to hear first-hand what can happen if we leave these things untreated. Take care.

RebDee
RebDee 2015-03-14 17:55:58 -0500 Report

Once a year in January, I have an eye exam. I prefer having the Ophthalmologist rather than the Optometrist. Some of the eye tests are even done in the Endocrinology office. Very confusing. But as long as I get a clean bill of health for my eyes (what is left of them), I am happy. I had cataract surgery some years back on right eye and the doctor slipped and cut my eye rendering it almost completely blind. I waited several years until almost total blindness in my left eye set in before I could bring myself to have cateract surgery on that eye which was completely successful. I still need glasses but at least I can see very well out of my left eye, My right eye can see colors but no details.

sweetslover
sweetslover 2015-03-14 20:27:00 -0500 Report

I had successful cataract surgery on both eyes last December. I was nervous about that, but everything went fine. I'm sorry to hear that yours did not. It can be so frightening. When you lose the sight in one eye, you only have the remaining eye—no more back-up.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-03-14 08:54:00 -0500 Report

I have a photo taken of my eyes inside and that allows for early detection. I have photos in my photo section if you want to see what they look like. So far, I am good, but it's an easy thing to do to so you can keep an eye on things. (Pun intended)

YankeeLady
YankeeLady 2015-03-14 03:02:26 -0500 Report

Sorry u r having such problems but you are right get to the eye doc pronto — I have controlled Glaucoma now and am very pleased to say it barely bothers me at all — but stil it has to be treated — it sounds scary but neglecting your eyesight is worse than that !! HOPE all goes well for you — please continue to do so !! '_"

handmashed
handmashed 2015-03-14 02:14:33 -0500 Report

Sweetslover, For many of us who are unfamiliar with your secondary condition, please share any info you have about it. What were the symptoms, how long does the treatment take, what the general success rate is… I have to agree that my one greatest fear is blindness. I have had that fear since childhood. I am going to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, as well as take some good advice from you and go to the eye doctor.

sweetslover
sweetslover 2015-03-14 06:33:44 -0500 Report

The retina specialist said vision improvement could take as little as a few days or as long as several months. He also said a rapid drop in your A1C has been known to increase the likeliness of having this complication. I dropped from around 10 to 5.3 in 5 months. See what happens when you try to get healthy? :)

sweetslover
sweetslover 2015-03-14 06:29:00 -0500 Report

Diabetic maculopathy is a thickening of the macula part of the retina caused by leaking blood capillaries in the eye. The macula is responsible for your central vision and sharpness or clarity of vision. Symptoms can include blurry vision, wavy lines, not being able to distinguish letters when reading, blank spots in your vision, inability to distinguish facial features, especially in shadows, etc.
I do not know the general success rate of treatment, but my doctor informed me that the prognosis is generally good, especially if caught early. He also said that sometimes you will not even notice the problem early on if the swelling is not in the center of the macula, as mine is. (All the more reason for regular eye check-ups—every 6 months is advised). The eye injections are painless because they numb your eye. I have experienced some discomfort for about 1 1/2 days after, but it is not terrible. The laser treatment is supposed to be painless. I hope this information helps. If your eye care specialist tells you that you have retinopathy, then you need to keep a close watch so you can catch any changes if it develops further.

camerashy
camerashy 2015-03-13 22:20:08 -0500 Report

I had to find a new Ophthalmologist now that I've move significantly farther away from my first one, and I don't know when I'll get an appointment. I only worry now that I could be developing glaucoma. The last test was almost 5 years ago, and the pressure was 12 in my right and 14 in my left. I've never had good vision, but my right eye seems to have a problem. I emailed for an appointment with the local dr. but I haven't heard back. I'm glad they caught the problem while it's still fixable.

sweetslover
sweetslover 2015-03-13 23:49:26 -0500 Report

If you don't have a reply from a Dr.'s office by e-mail in 24-48 hours, I have been told you should call by phone. If you are worried, please don't wait. Peace of mind is just as necessary as discovering a problem.

sunfun47
sunfun47 2015-03-13 21:51:59 -0500 Report

I have been really lucky as my eye doctor at the VA Hospital in Salem, Va. put me on eye vitamins 3 years ago and my eye sight has come back to 20/20. at my last exam in July 1014.

suecsdy
suecsdy 2015-03-14 07:40:25 -0500 Report

What kind of vitamins did he give you for your eyes?