Monday, March 10, 2014

Eye Report for 2014 - Chinese and Myopic

Timeline and background notes:
- 2011, Switzerland: Dot, floaters and soot rain in left eye - diagnosed with retinal tear - retinopexy or "laser" treatment
- 2012, Switzerland: Annual check as advised - examined by retina specialist - retina detachment warning
- 2013, USA: Annual check by retina specialist - retina detachment warning - cataracts mentioned
- 2014, Australia: Annual check. The same song but in a slightly different tune from a retina specialist I saw last week.

After looking at my retinas, with a slightly peeved look on his face at the beginning, these are the points the specialist had taken the time to discuss with me:

* It was, and is, pointless of my visiting an ophthalmologist annually as I do not have a condition that needed monitoring and adjusting. There is no preemptive action --  if the detachment happens, it happens.

* I have hundreds of other holes in my eyes. Hundreds! Why was only one hole or tear lasered? Yes, these hundreds of other holes could be new, but I wasn't seeing new flashes, dots and floaters. He admits that other ophthalmologists would laser all the hundreds of holes, but he won't. The grey area of medicine of when or who is right...

* People of East Asian origin make up the majority of patients with such degeneration and myopia. (Chinese myopic represent.)

* Cupping his left hand (for the retina at the back of the eye) over the right fist (for the "balloon of jelly" of the eyeball), he explained: with age, a person's 'balloon of jelly' would start to turn to liquid and could lose its shape and may pull away from the retina. Unfortunately for me, because of the way I am made, my 'balloon of jelly' has already liquefied and is wiggling off from the thin retina, causing the holes and tear. Imagine peeling cellophane tape off of paper...

* The sign of retina detachment and to get myself to the emergency room: crescent or arch-shaped flashes at the periphery, even with my eyes shut. This was something new too, as I was always told of lightning-like flashes.

Before leaving the consult, "Any silly things I shouldn't do?" I had to ask.
"Do whatever you want." Even skydiving?
"Do you skydive?" No... Oh, I was advised against doing inversions in yoga.
"Bullshit," he insisted.
Just no full-on contact sport or cage fighting that would invite my face being hit, he advised.

I am sticking my head out the window of the fast-moving car like the dog of unfortunate genetic make I am, and there's nothing we can do about that.


  1. how interesting to get such a different diagnosis??

    1. Every practitioner seems to have his/her own opinion. I'll just have to take everything everyone has said and to draw my own conclusion, which really is to stay vigilant about my vision and to do whatever is comfortable for me.

  2. I find that so confusing and destabilizing to have conflicting opinions from doctors :/ Not counting the times I came back in tears after a doc appt about my ear problem...It is also a bit odd to me that he would not recommand annual checkup...I mean, most people do get an annual checkup even if they don't have any specific problem.

    1. Yes, the conflicting opinion has messed up my head a little bit, I have to admit.


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