Thursday, 5 January 2017

Two eyes good, one eye bad

When I went for an eye check up about three years ago, the optician showed me the photo they take of the back of your eyes and pointed out an area of the macula on my right eye. Whilst it wasn't causing any problems at that time, we needed to monitor it so annual eye appointments were recommended; the importance of keeping them was stressed.

I assumed it was age related maculata like my mum has and hoped it would be many years before it started to affect my sight.

I also developed a PVD in that eye a while ago which I wrote about here, it manifests itself as an oval transparent, colourless outline which i can see floating about. I only really notice it in very bright light conditions and it doesn't interfere with my sight. They're very common but having a PVD makes me more prone to a retinal tear - a far more serious eye condition, I have a list of symptoms to look out for.

Just before Christmas I noticed I wasn't seeing nearly so well out of my right eye and it seemed quite sudden but I had none of the other alarming symptoms. I rang the optician, at first he wanted me to come in right away but after I told him I thought I just needed another prescription and discussed what I was experiencing, he agreed I could leave it a few days.

Yesterday he put some tropicamide eye drops in. This dilates the pupils so he can see inside my eyes more easily. You're not allowed to drive as it makes everything seem very bright and blurs your vision for a few hours so MTM accompanied me. It takes half an hour for the drops to take effect, we went for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake to pass the time. With the size of my pupils, I joked the staff would think I was on drugs but without any of the pleasanter effects.

The good news: no retinal tear. As a bonus, there's absolutely no age related macular degeneration in either eye. So what were we (pardon the pun) keeping our eye on?

The bad news: an epiretinal membrane which started to grow over my right eye has now stopped growing and was crinkling up as it shrunk. "It looks like a piece of cling film" is how he described it. Apparently it's just bad luck if you get one and can happen at any age.

If I look at straight lines through my right eye, they don't look straight any more, there's a little blurry curved downward jog in each line. So I have been referred to to see a specialist eye consultant at Leicester Royal. As it's slap bang in the middle of my eye and significantly affecting how I see through that eye, the optician thinks the Consultant will recommend an operation to remove it.

Apparently an appointment will arrive through the post. In the meantime, if I need to see anything very clearly, I'm just shutting my right eye .... if you notice me winking at you, it's nothing personal!