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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@markymark215 I am experiencing some of the same but at age 65. Please keep us posted.

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Just an update for everyone —

Visited a highly regarded retina specialist for my floater issue and even thought they are effecting my life in a highly negative way (anxiety/depression) I was advised to “learn to live” with the floaters and he doesn’t recommend surgery at my age because of the risks involved. Appreciate his honesty, but feeling really down about the outcome. Hopefully my brain will adapt with time 🙁

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At the very least I suggest you get a second opinion

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🤔 Are you willing to say your age? I’m wondering how that enters in. A risk/benefit analysis always needs to be done before embarking on any treatment, but can you imagine an ophthalmologist telling you to just live with a severe cataract? The only difference is that the surgeon can see the cataract but he can’t see what you are experiencing with the deteriorating vitreous. Objective vs subjective evidence. As our population ages, there will be more people experiencing this and I think the patient has a right to understand the risks (retinal detachment) and then balance that against the effect the condition is having on their vision and life. I am ever so grateful to the retinal surgeon who listened to my description of what I was experiencing and said he could help me….having a Vitrectomy was like a miracle. I have since gone back to my ophthalmologist and told her how life changing it was and how frustrating it had been trying to get someone to understand my situation. I wish you luck as you further explore your situation.

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@markymark215

Thanks for the reply!

I have a feeling that I will probably have the surgery at some point! I just don’t want to rush into anything!

I must say it is very exhausting trying to get through my day with them. I only have 3-4 just they are huge spanning my entire vision. Meeting with another retina specialist tomorrow!

Also, I’m only 29 years old.

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It is challenging to try to describe all the different types of floaters each person experiences: specs, little circles, squiggly lines, bugs, flies, butterflies, flags, veils etc. Some are dark/black and some are lighter. Some are big and some small.

My worst floaters were a bunch of very small floaters (75 or so tiny circles) that covered a considerable area both vertically and laterally and, consistently, passed through my vision field. Driving became maddening and scary so I had my FOV done December 3. I’ve updated results in this group periodically.

As Susan said, it makes sense to allow time for your recent onset of a few floaters to settle and/or for you to neuroadapt to them. Essentially, your mind may be able to “blow them off”, so to speak, after a while. I’m 62, so you, being 29, have plenty of different considerations in how to best treat this condition. Good luck with your retinal specialist!

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@markymark215 A couple more thoughts to add to my previous comments…I think I was 72 when I had my surgeries. Also, a vision test doesn’t prove much when analyzing the severity of this condition. I would sit in the chair looking at that chart, blinking and moving my eyes and head, taking a moment, trying to clear away the “floaters” so I could see to read the chart. And then they’d tell me my vision was good. Just remembering those days raises my level of frustration! Take care.

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@susan2018

🤔 Are you willing to say your age? I’m wondering how that enters in. A risk/benefit analysis always needs to be done before embarking on any treatment, but can you imagine an ophthalmologist telling you to just live with a severe cataract? The only difference is that the surgeon can see the cataract but he can’t see what you are experiencing with the deteriorating vitreous. Objective vs subjective evidence. As our population ages, there will be more people experiencing this and I think the patient has a right to understand the risks (retinal detachment) and then balance that against the effect the condition is having on their vision and life. I am ever so grateful to the retinal surgeon who listened to my description of what I was experiencing and said he could help me….having a Vitrectomy was like a miracle. I have since gone back to my ophthalmologist and told her how life changing it was and how frustrating it had been trying to get someone to understand my situation. I wish you luck as you further explore your situation.

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I am currently 29 years old.

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@markymark215

Just an update for everyone —

Visited a highly regarded retina specialist for my floater issue and even thought they are effecting my life in a highly negative way (anxiety/depression) I was advised to “learn to live” with the floaters and he doesn’t recommend surgery at my age because of the risks involved. Appreciate his honesty, but feeling really down about the outcome. Hopefully my brain will adapt with time 🙁

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Agreed, 2nd opinion. Removing my floaters gave me a new lease on life. I was irritated everyday b/c I couldn't see well and its frustrating. Please see another specialist that works with replacing the fluid in your eyes. Relatively easy recovery and I am seeing very well.

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@markymark215

Just an update for everyone —

Visited a highly regarded retina specialist for my floater issue and even thought they are effecting my life in a highly negative way (anxiety/depression) I was advised to “learn to live” with the floaters and he doesn’t recommend surgery at my age because of the risks involved. Appreciate his honesty, but feeling really down about the outcome. Hopefully my brain will adapt with time 🙁

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…I just deleted my lengthy reply in case I said the wrong things at this worrisome time…. I have gotten used to my floaters, or grudgingly accepted they are here to stay, but yes my brain has adapted with time…. still horrible and I try and avoid any situation or location that makes them seem even worse… I agree with suggestion about a second or third opinion but not to make any hasty decisions, although it's tempting to proceed when we have been told someone can fix things. My heart goes out to you and maybe in the future, sooner rather than later, they will discover something that will be less risky to help us… take care and best wishes.. J.

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Thank you all for the replies…

I booked a second opinion with a retina specialist in Chicago for the end of this month.

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@susan2018

@markymark215 A couple more thoughts to add to my previous comments…I think I was 72 when I had my surgeries. Also, a vision test doesn’t prove much when analyzing the severity of this condition. I would sit in the chair looking at that chart, blinking and moving my eyes and head, taking a moment, trying to clear away the “floaters” so I could see to read the chart. And then they’d tell me my vision was good. Just remembering those days raises my level of frustration! Take care.

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susan…. I do not say this lightly but it is something that has crossed my mind if I have to make a decision in the future: I am 77. …years ago when, for instances, cataract surgery was performed, they did one eye at a time… I do not know why but I wonder if it was not only so the person could "see" with one eye while other healed or ? Would it make sense to perhaps not have surgery or treatment for both eyes at same time, but to have any procedure done to one eye and waiting to find out how the eye heals etc. ? I am so anxious I have even done this with eye drops as have so many reactions…isnt it horrible to not only live with illness and disease but also with the fear of the unknown and decision-making?

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@bobbyo

It is challenging to try to describe all the different types of floaters each person experiences: specs, little circles, squiggly lines, bugs, flies, butterflies, flags, veils etc. Some are dark/black and some are lighter. Some are big and some small.

My worst floaters were a bunch of very small floaters (75 or so tiny circles) that covered a considerable area both vertically and laterally and, consistently, passed through my vision field. Driving became maddening and scary so I had my FOV done December 3. I’ve updated results in this group periodically.

As Susan said, it makes sense to allow time for your recent onset of a few floaters to settle and/or for you to neuroadapt to them. Essentially, your mind may be able to “blow them off”, so to speak, after a while. I’m 62, so you, being 29, have plenty of different considerations in how to best treat this condition. Good luck with your retinal specialist!

Jump to this post

…after right eye "lasered" (local miserable hateful ophthalmologist .. truly) you could not ask him anything and he hardly spoke or told you what he was doing, I had various shapes and sizes too which, thankfully, are less now but one was like a miniature donut shape black and tiny … and others…. it's really unbelievable and I wondered how can floaters have such unique shapes. I did see a specialist at a teaching hospital in toronto but years ago , before i got glaucoma and now cant travel there, and he said he could perform surgery, do cataracts at same time "and clean things up" but I was too scared to have done. it took me 2 years to get the guts to have an Iridotomy…. and now I find I still cant take many meds with glaucoma… honestly, its bad enough having eye issues but hearing so many different opinions from "those in the know" doesn't help.

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