Wondering if anyone has had an FOV, Floaters Only Vitrectomy

Posted by susan2018 @susan2018, Mar 6, 2019

I am wondering if anyone has had an FOV, Floaters Only Vitrectomy, and would be willing to share their experiences. For at least two years I was plagued with the constant irritating presence of gauzy, wispy, moving clumps that would obscure my vision and make reading and driving a tiring challenge. Prior to this I had had cataract surgery and a lens exchange surgery. Many, many follow up appointments and a second opinion did not pinpoint a reason for my continuing complaints. Although I did not complain of dry eyes, I was led to believe that was my issue and was treated with Xiidra and then Restasis and then even both at the same time, with no improvement in my symptoms. Finally a follow up appointment with a new ophthalmologist in the practice and my description of what I was seeing led to a diagnosis of a degenerating vitreous and a referral to a vitreal surgeon. Last week I had a vitrectomy to remove the vitreous. Despite the after effects of the surgery, the next day when the eye patch and bandages came off, I could immediately tell that my vision in that eye had cleared. It has been such a relief! I am hoping my recovery is uneventful and am now anticipating following up with the surgeon to schedule the procedure on my other eye. Has anyone experienced a situation similar to mine? Why would my problem not be recognized and diagnosed sooner? I have wondered if I simply was not able to describe my symptoms well enough or if ophthalmologists tend not to recognize or acknowledge how debilitating the condition can be. I understand that over time and with age the vitreous does degenerate for all people. Do only a few people experience what I did during that process or are there many people experiencing it’s deleterious effects on their vision and are just living with it, or as in my case, are not able to get a diagnosis from their eye care providers? I should add that I am in my early 70s and was extremely nearsighted my entire life. Anyone out there experience what I did?

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@macularpucker22

Would you recommend having a vitrectomy for a macular pucker with mild distortion that's been stable for 9 years and also had a mild/moderate cataract. Any regrets from the vitrectomy surgery?

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@macularpucker22,
I had a vitrectomy after a vitriol hemorrhage. At the same time the Dr. did some laser surgery for retinopathy. The problems were corrected but several months later I ended up needing cataract surgery. I was told this can be a common result. I doubt I would have a surgery if things are currently stable. For sure take it up with your ophthalmologist!

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Thanks. Very confused about what to do and very concerned about the risks of a vitrectomy given that my macular pucker isn't new. I understand one get better result if the pucker is new and I don't want worse vision. Also told that even with a good outcome, some blurry vision and distortion will remain. My distortion is mild.

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@macularpucker22

Would you recommend having a vitrectomy for a macular pucker with mild distortion that's been stable for 9 years and also had a mild/moderate cataract. Any regrets from the vitrectomy surgery?

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I am 5 days in from a vitrectomy. Still keeping my head down and still have no vision in the eye.
It is a tough recovery!

I have a macular hole and am hoping that this will be successful.

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Good luck. Hope things improve.

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I'm 38 years old and have experienced floaters since age 15. I always mention it when I have my annual eye exams and am always told that my eyes are fine and that I just have to deal with it. For over 20 years, that's what I've done. However, over the past several months, I've experienced a rapid worsening of my floaters (bigger, darker, more widespread) to the point where it quickly became far more than I could simply ignore. My optometrist ruled out retinal detachment and then sent me on my way. After another few weeks of hoping that it would improve, it's instead become even worse, almost unbearable. I've been unable to focus at work where staring at the computer screen increases my awareness of floaters significantly. When in the sun or even indoors with the lights on, my vision is like a snowglobe of floaters with blotches, squiggly lines, cobwebs, etc. Some larger floaters pass directly over the center of my field of vision causing very distracting blurring. It's created so much anxiety that I do everything I can to avoid any situation that increases my awareness of the symptoms from keeping my lights off, window curtains closed, and just staring at the ground when walking around in brightly lit environments. I fear this anxiety will eventually become worse and eventually lead to depression.
I read through this entire thread and became hopeful after learning of a well-respected retinal specialist in my area, Dr. Pollack in Hinsdale, IL. I just had my appointment with him today and was very nervous going in because I felt he may be my last hope. After a thorough examination, he explained to me again that there's no retinal detachment or PVD and that he can only see very little of what appears to be floaters. I felt I had just lost the last hope that I had that when he told me, what I feared he would, that it's best to just leave it alone and try to get used to it or hope that it gets better on it's own. I appreciated his honest opinion and understand there's only so much he or anyone else can ethically recommend. He acknowledged that just because he can't see something in someone's eyes doesn't always correlate to what the patient is experiencing. Having managed the symptoms of floaters for most of my life, I can say for certain that what I'm experiencing seems to be far worse than what shows up in an examination. I've researched the available treatment options, mainly YAG Laser which is questionably effective and risky, and vitrectomy which carries its own significant risks. I'm not desperate to try a risky surgical procedure, and he warned me that while I could likely find a surgeon that would agree to do it, I should avoid going that route. However, it has left me once again being told that my eyes are healthy and that the best and possibly only way to deal with these symptoms which are now increasingly negatively affecting my quality of life, is to simply try to ignore them, which has now become impossible.
I've read about a new technique using light-induced vapor nano-bubbles possibly becoming a safe and effective treatment, but that it will possibly be up to 10 years, if ever, before that becomes available. I've also read that low-dose atropine drops can help dilate the eyes just enough to reduce the perception of floaters without causing light sensitivity. I asked the doctor about that but he said he was not experienced with that option.
I hope that awareness spreads of this condition and its potentially debilitating symptoms and that some day soon we have a better option to treat it.

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@natesp

I'm 38 years old and have experienced floaters since age 15. I always mention it when I have my annual eye exams and am always told that my eyes are fine and that I just have to deal with it. For over 20 years, that's what I've done. However, over the past several months, I've experienced a rapid worsening of my floaters (bigger, darker, more widespread) to the point where it quickly became far more than I could simply ignore. My optometrist ruled out retinal detachment and then sent me on my way. After another few weeks of hoping that it would improve, it's instead become even worse, almost unbearable. I've been unable to focus at work where staring at the computer screen increases my awareness of floaters significantly. When in the sun or even indoors with the lights on, my vision is like a snowglobe of floaters with blotches, squiggly lines, cobwebs, etc. Some larger floaters pass directly over the center of my field of vision causing very distracting blurring. It's created so much anxiety that I do everything I can to avoid any situation that increases my awareness of the symptoms from keeping my lights off, window curtains closed, and just staring at the ground when walking around in brightly lit environments. I fear this anxiety will eventually become worse and eventually lead to depression.
I read through this entire thread and became hopeful after learning of a well-respected retinal specialist in my area, Dr. Pollack in Hinsdale, IL. I just had my appointment with him today and was very nervous going in because I felt he may be my last hope. After a thorough examination, he explained to me again that there's no retinal detachment or PVD and that he can only see very little of what appears to be floaters. I felt I had just lost the last hope that I had that when he told me, what I feared he would, that it's best to just leave it alone and try to get used to it or hope that it gets better on it's own. I appreciated his honest opinion and understand there's only so much he or anyone else can ethically recommend. He acknowledged that just because he can't see something in someone's eyes doesn't always correlate to what the patient is experiencing. Having managed the symptoms of floaters for most of my life, I can say for certain that what I'm experiencing seems to be far worse than what shows up in an examination. I've researched the available treatment options, mainly YAG Laser which is questionably effective and risky, and vitrectomy which carries its own significant risks. I'm not desperate to try a risky surgical procedure, and he warned me that while I could likely find a surgeon that would agree to do it, I should avoid going that route. However, it has left me once again being told that my eyes are healthy and that the best and possibly only way to deal with these symptoms which are now increasingly negatively affecting my quality of life, is to simply try to ignore them, which has now become impossible.
I've read about a new technique using light-induced vapor nano-bubbles possibly becoming a safe and effective treatment, but that it will possibly be up to 10 years, if ever, before that becomes available. I've also read that low-dose atropine drops can help dilate the eyes just enough to reduce the perception of floaters without causing light sensitivity. I asked the doctor about that but he said he was not experienced with that option.
I hope that awareness spreads of this condition and its potentially debilitating symptoms and that some day soon we have a better option to treat it.

Jump to this post

@natesp

Hello,

While I have not had FOV, I did have YAG laser about a month ago for corneal scars on my right bad eye. It was successful with no side effects and took about a minute. I have floaters but not nearly as debilitating as yours. I understand why you are wary of Vitrectomy or Vitreolysis …which is also a laser treatment but longer in time and may require a couple of treatments. . In the past I have had a detached retina and two cataract surgeries so I am wary of any further surgical treatments.

I can only suggest that you wear sunglasses most of the time, even indoors. You can get different tints for indoors and outdoors. That may help some. I will also suggest that taking an eye vitamin may help and also to really increase your intake of leafy green vegetables, like kale and spinach which are so beneficial to eye health. I ignore my floaters as you have done but have never experienced them so bad that they interfere with everyday activities.

Yours is not an easy decision and I hope you come across more people on this forum who have had experience with FOV.

FL Mary

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