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Tue, Apr 30 10:13am · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

@michaels777, @colleenyoung In fact, I had my second surgery in Edina MN last Tuesday, April 23. The first eye seems to have recovered nicely since the vitrectomy the end of February. All the blotchy moving gauzy blotches are gone from that eye, my “distance” eye, since I have vision correcting lens implants. I no longer fear that while driving they might float across my field of vision obscuring the road and traffic. Last week’s surgery was on my “near vision” eye, both a vitrectomy, removing the gel in the back of the eye, and an epiretinal membrane stripping from the retina. This membrane can form from seeding cells from a degenerating vitreous and can eventually cause distorted vision. So far so good on this one. I saw the surgeon the day after surgery, will again two weeks after, and then a month. The moving floaters in this eye had been particularly bothersome, causing effort with reading and it was immediately noticeable that they are gone. In place of the gel, a gas bubble is placed in the eye, which will dissipate naturally as my body replaces the space with clear fluid. The bubble is sitting down in my field of vision for reading so I am eagerly awaiting it being gone, about 1-2 weeks, if it goes like the first eye. I am on antibiotic and steroid drops and a weight restriction. The results of the vitrectomy surgery have been nothing short of a miracle, and I don’t use that word loosely. I do not understand why it took so long for my diagnosis. I went for two years plus with multiple ophthalmologist visits until a new opthalmologist referred me to a retinal specialist. After so many doctor visits and trying so many things with no relief, I almost didn’t make the effort to travel 150 miles to the retinal specialist office, not quite believing that there was an answer to my problem. Once I saw him, I proceeded quickly to surgery and now am so grateful for the help I got.

Tue, Mar 26 11:30pm · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

@michaels777 whatever you said today must have convinced her. At the same time that I’m astounded by all that can be done, I’m also acutely aware of all that is not known. There is a lot of educated guessing going on. Like being led to believe my problems were dry eyes, when it was really the degenerating vitreous. It’s been 2 month today since my surgery and my eye feels pretty good, just a bit scratchy particularly when I wake up in the morning. I am still on steroid eye drops but have tapered down to once a day. I go back to surgeon in two weeks and hope to schedule my other eye for a couple weeks after that. I will await your report in June.

Tue, Mar 26 12:36pm · Long-term caregiving: need a place to vent in Caregivers

@rmftucker You have a heavy load. You are so thoughtful thinking of your family and wanting to do as much as you can to downsize. I have been left to deal with a five generation farmstead. It is so hard, I get why previous generations didn’t do it. But I’m going to get this done if it kills me. I worked in a care facility and the situation as you describe it is often the case. That is a long trek for you to make every other day to visit. Please give yourself permission to look after yourself too.

Mon, Mar 25 10:29pm · Long-term caregiving: need a place to vent in Caregivers

@bradmm I just read your post and wanted to give you a word of encouragement. Earlier this year I was so tired from caregiving duties. Day after day there was some new demand on me. Daily disasters became the norm to the extent that I even stopped having a rush of adrenalin and surge of worry when a new crisis announced itself. I wanted you to know my post under “Weary” prompted a number of helpful posts by others, you might wish to check them out. I found it very hard to reach out and admit my distress. I’d read of someone else’s troubles that seemed greater than mine and then would feel guilty that I was complaining. I felt sorry for myself and then felt even worse because I felt that way. You are doing your best I can tell. I wish I had a magic wand to help. Just know this is a place to tell your story—especially on the days you feel like railing about the unfairness of it all and how you’re at the end of your rope. No one will judge. We’ll just nod as we put on our “Been There, Done That” t-shirts and welcome you to the fold.

Fri, Mar 22 10:46am · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

@jenniferhunter Everyone’s experience dealing with the floaters seems subtly different, for example, your holding your head still and letting them settle vs my need to move my head and gaze to clear a path through my central vision. Yet, the shared complaint is that they are an interference that takes effort and energy every moment of the day. It took me a couple frustrating years to get a diagnosis. Part of the problem seemed to be that when my vision would be checked, with effort and my repeated clearing of the floaters during testing, my sight was good. They just didn’t seem to understand, and perhaps I didn’t completely either, and I evidently wasn’t able to explain, that my problem wasn’t my vision, it was that my vision was being obscured. I’ll keep in touch.

Fri, Mar 22 7:16am · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

@jenniferhunter I’m sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner about my experience with vitrectomy for “floaters.”Yes, I too was very near sighted since childhood and yes, the vitreous does deteriorate with age. But it is not true to say there is nothing to be done about it. Opthalmologists we usually see cannot help us, but ophthalmologists who vitreoretinal surgeons can. It has been about two months since I had surgery on one of my eyes. My recovery has been uneventful so far. There was minor discomfort after surgery and for a week or so and my eye sometimes feels dry and scratchy but even if this never got better I would gladly exchange it for being rid of the “floaters.”My vision in that eye right after the surgery was 20/30. Last week it was 20/20. The surgery to remove the vitreous that had detached and degenerated and was obscuring my vision with floaty, blotchy, gauzy spots and clumps was noticeably successful the next day when the patch on the eye was removed. You say you clear your vision by waiting for these floaters to settle. How long have floaters been bothering you? My floaters have been obvious to me for several years, one eye sooner than the other. Mine did not settle, I would have to constantly move my head and blink to get the floaters out of my central field of vision. It was wearing and made driving and reading difficult and tiring. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for for an artist. My surgeon told me that they cannot determine by looking into the eye how big a problem the deteriorating vitreous is for the patient. In some cases it would appear to them that it should be a huge problem but the patient has no complaints. And conversely, it doesn’t appear to them so significant and yet the patient is terribly affected. I think surgeons are reluctant to rely on subjective reports from patients. That and the fact that vitrectomy has a slight risk of a detached retina has led ophthalmologists to discount patient reports and distress. I told an opthalmolist that I think calling this surgery FOV, Floater Only Vitrectomy, is really a misnomer. While technically descriptive it subtly diminishes the seriousness of the experience for the patient because the phenomena experienced by many people with a deteriorating vitreous is unlike any floaters previously experienced in life. One learns to ignore the occasional floater. You can’t learn to ignore obscuring clouds or blotches if they remain in the central field of vision. I am eager to proceed with surgery on my other eye but must wait a few more weeks.

Sun, Mar 10 9:47pm · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

@michaels777 I was excited to read your post on another thread about all the problems you’ve had since cataract surgery. I felt like I was reading a summary of my nearly exact experiences. Cataract surgery, toric lenses for monovision, macular edema, replacement of one of the lenses because it would not stay in position, YAG the same as you, PRK to touch up my correction. THEN two years of multiple visits back to ophthalmologist complaining of similar problems as yours, particularly the floaty, gauzy, grayish white patches and glare obscuring my vision. All this time when they checked my vision it didn’t reflect how hard it was to see because I’d blink a lot and move my head to clear my vision in order to read the eye chart quite well. . So they kept thinking my vision wasn’t really that bad. I got a second opinion about my problems with no insight. I was led to believe my problem was dry eye, and was first put on Xiidra, and Restasis, and both at the same time with no improvement. Perhaps I wasn’t describing my problem well enough or maybe it wasnt being recognized for what it was but months went by trying eye drops with no improvement. The problem was most apparent in one eye at first, but the other eye, my near vision reading eye, seemed ok so for a time I decided to give up on complaining. But when it started happening in that eye I went back to the ophthalmologist, not to the one who had done my surgeries because he was so booked up, but to his new partner. I told her of my symptoms, the moving patches, how much effort it was taking to drive and read and that I was being treated for dry eye but I didn’t think that was the problem—or maybe I was just going crazy! She looked in my eyes, told me I wasn’t going crazy, and said that my vitreous was degenerating. And that she was sorry and that as ophthalmologists they don’t like to have to say it, but that there is nothing she could do. BUT she could refer me to a vitreoretinal surgeon for an opinion if I wanted. She did say that whatever I did, she would not recommend a laser as some practitioners are promoting for the problem with my vitreous. I thought about it for a time, not entirely convinced it would help after my experiences up until this time, but then did ask for a referral. The surgeon looked in my eye, said what was going on, that the deteriorating vitreous was casting shadows on my retina which was obscuring my vision, and volunteered that a vitrectomy was appropriate for what he was seeing (and what I WASN’T seeing!) Like I said, the moment the patch came off the day after surgery, even with the gas bubble they put in the eye in surgery, what I could see above that was clear! It has been amazing. It has been two weeks and my recovery has been uneventful. I see the surgeon this week and will ask about doing my other eye, which bothers me even more now that my other eye is clear. I understand this degeneration happens with age, and especially for persons who are very near sighted. I don’t know if that applies to you. And I don’t know why it is a problem for some people and not for others. It seems to me a misnomer to call the surgery Floaters Only Vitrectomy because what I experienced wasn’t like any floaters I had previously had. You learn to ignore floaters but you can’t ignore these moving patches that obscure you vision. Don’t give up! I almost did because for so long no one seemed to understand what I was experiencing. I would be very interested in hearing any updates you might post about how things go for you.

Wed, Mar 6 9:40am · Floaters Only Vitrectomy in Eye Conditions

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?