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macular hole recovery
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macular hole recovery

Can anyone tell me how their recovery went?  Was the surgery painful?  Did you get your eyesight back?  Are you able to drive after recovery?  How difficult is the face-down recovery process?  Will I need help in daily care during recovery?
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Avatar_n_tn
not too many people here talking about macular hole.  good luck!  hope someone answers...

recovery is interesting b/c of the face-down thing.  whether or not you can drive will depend on your acuity and your state laws.  yes, you will likely need some help in recovery
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Avatar_n_tn
My wife has had the required op
No problem. Walked out withing 1/2 hr.
A standard massage bed was provided with a hole
for the face to look through. I placed a stool under
with a video portable player or could use a lap top computer
and she watched videos through the hole. She found the time required (2 weeks) face down was not easy but made more acceptable by being able to watch films. Her Eye is a lot better now after three months. She was driving after four weeks.
We think her problem was caused by a knock in the eye. Can anybody pass coment on this.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!
I had Macular Hole surgery  in May 2003.No complications. Went home the next day and developed a mild headache which was easily controled with the pain prescription my doctor provided.
Keep your head down all the time for 2 weeks (my doctor did a test in his office and let me raise my head two days early).
It is a long process with the healing.The hole can reopen and living thorugh that is nerve wracking. Over a year later, I had the catarac surgery. (you dont have to wait that long-my first urgeon failed to tell me that).It was stressful because my second surgeon wanted me to do it with no sedatves-just local numbing eye drops. SO I was wide awake.But no pain and healing was much faster.However, the hospital charged $1,000 for anesthesia ,even though I didn't have it (they were there in case I needed it).(Rip off.)
   Also , my first sugery was in the hosptial proper  for the macular hole whereas my next surgery was in a center. Don't go the Center route. I wound up with a lot of inexperienced  technicians helping my surgeon and since I was wide awake ,I became nervous listening to them. Bummer!
   BUT NOW MY VISION is 20-25 in the eye operated on. This is wonderful-thanks to the operating skill of two surgeons.
   Be patient, hang in there and do the 2 weeks head down thng!Little pain involved. You can rent equipment for sleeping and to sit on during the day. You can rent a two way mirror for the chair you sit in during the day  and watch television--what saved me was getting  Centennial and other real good movies .Time passes a lot quickr than you think it will .    Yes , you will need someone to fix your meals .I developed RA shortly after my surgery and although the doctors say they are
relaed ,I have a theory that somehow they were and that the macular hole is the result of an inflamatory process---althought e doctors say it was bad luck.
Keep your head down and dont wait loger than 6 months to have the first surgery. You'll do fine and you WILL SAVE YOUR VISION!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I first had swelling behind the eye which could form a Macular Hole.  3 weeks later it was a Stage I Macular Hole.  1 week later it progressed to a Stage II Macular Hole, which is 20:100 vision.  My Retinal Specialist suggestested doing a Vitrectomy at this time or within 6 months.  I opted for surgery immediately.  It was done using a local anesthesia so I was awake, but could not feel him working on my eye.  The surgery usually takes 1 1/2 hours, mine only took 1 hour.  I went home with a patch on that eye.  Head down positioning for 1 week post op.  I rented equipment from Vitrectomy Solutions (you can find them online).  $140. for the package, the Daytimer a chair for watching TV, reading, laptop, etc.  The night timer for sleeping facedown.  It wasn't that bad and I ended up doing it for 2 weeks to make sure the Gas, C3F8 stayed behind the eye, pushing on the Macular Hole to seal it.  My husband stayed home for 5 days to help me out.  I was able to get up and walk around, head down of course.  I had my meals at the kitchen table.  I was lucky enough to have some wonderful neighbors who brought dinner over for the 1st week.  I saw my Dr. the day after surgery.  They removed the eye patch, but I could not see anything.  I then saw him 1 week post op and the gas bubble was still pushing on the Macular Hole, but still had no vision.  When the gas is in the eye it blocks the vision.  It has now been 3 weeks since surgery.  I saw the Dr. again and the Hole is sealed.  The perfluoropropane gas is now 1/2 reabsorbed.  I can now see out of the top of the eye, blurry from the glare of the gas still in the eye.  But I am doing GREAT.  I can still see where the hole is, light gray opaque.  But the vision is much better than before the repair.  Before surgery my vison was very distorted in that area.  I believe this is a sight saving surgery.  Do not wait, have it done.  It's not that bad.  I am still not driving.  I think that I might be able to next week tho.  I see the Dr. again in 3 weeks.  Good Luck.
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This is interesting. I had  to stay in the hospital overnight and my surgery was 11/2 hours and I was in a twilight sleep but the gas bubble in my eye was gone within the 2 weeks span.It got smaller and smaller day by day and when I looked out right after surgery , it was like looking through water except at the top which provided a small area  with good vision.Each day when I would briefly raise my head for a few seconds, the "water level" was coming down and I could see fine above that.
By two weeks I was driving again with restored vision and back to my job.
I was thrilled with my vision. My problem was a little more complicated. I was diagnosed in August with a stage 1 macular hole and  it went ot a stage 2 and stayed there for a while. My doctor recommended I have the surgery at 4 months but I developed a sinus infection (and later RA) and wound up waitng 10 months to have the surgery(putting it off more than twice because I felt so bad). My surgeon was just about to toss me out the window but after giving me another eye exam instead ,he scheduled me for surgery "one last time".It went well and so did the resulting cataract surgery. But my surgeon told me "never to do that again!!" I think  they get much better results usually when the macular hole is smaller as it tends to heal better.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again--
  forgot to tell you that my results-after ten months with the macular hole-were 20-25 in that eye.My surgeon was really pleased and left me with the thought that he often gets 20-20 when the surgery is done before six months or as soon as is advised.
   However, we were both pleased....and of course ..I get some of the credit for selecting two super surgeons ,myself ,and for keeping my head down 24-7 for 12 days.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's been 4 weeks since my Vitrectomy for a Stage II Macular Hole using C3F8 gas.  I still have 1/3 of the gas still in the eye.  I can see over the top with glaring and lots of little black floaters.  When I have my corrective contact lens I see tons better.  This is my former, pre surgery prescription.  I still do not feel confident enough to drive at this stage. My peripheral vision is still impaired.  I live in Houston where people drive like maniacs.  I don't want to take a chance out there on the roads yet.  I'm not sure why the gas is taking so long to reabsorb. I've read that it can take 3 months to 2 years to reabsorb. I have been using the stationary bike indoors and have even been outdoors on my regular bike since last week.  
I did keep my head down for 2 weeks, using the special equipment.  My Dr. only ordered 1 week, head down.  In his experience, if it doesn't take in 1 week, it is not going to seal the hole.  My first week post-op, I couldn't even open my eye because of the swelling from keeping my head face down.  How was it that you could see right away?  Wow!  When I saw him at 3 weeks he was pleased with the progress.  Also he was pleased that I could see at that time with that eye.  No signs of cataract yet, which is good. I see him again at 6 weeks post op.  I sure hope that I am driving by then.  I am very lucky to have some really nice friends/neighbors/husband that have been taking me to my appointments.
How long ago did you have your surgery for the Macular Hole?  When did you have the cataract surgery?  What lens did they use?
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi --Actually ,I had my surgery in May 2003. Then in December of 2004,I had my cataract surgery lan Acrylic lens was implanted.
My latest eye eam was very good and the Retina specialist discharged me last October. My cataract surgeon told me in April that eery ting looked good and he owuld see me again in a year.
    Do you still see your gas bubble? After 12 days , my gas bubble--which first looked like a planet in the solar system,was gone.  I kept my eye closed too though but it was mostly because i was interested in looking at the gas bubble.It shrunk down to a tiny black dot and then it started moving aorund in my field of vision and it disappeared. I was driving again in two weeks.
    You were fortunate to have a Stage 2 Macular hole . They can progress suddenly from a Stage 2 to a 4.Your hole was smaller.
     I am surprised that you had eye swelling to the degree that you could not open your eye.
      Wonder why it is takeing so long for the gas to be reasorbed? I think as the gas bubble goes ways, the eye is filling back up with fluid. I do remember my surgeon's  telling me that my m.hole was not sealed completely when I returned after 2 weeks. He said it would take  time to heal. At that point I felt dscouraged .But it did heal fine and so far I have not developed a secondary cataract either although I know  that commmonly they do occur and are treated by laiser when they do.
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Yes, I still have the gas bubble after almost 5 weeks post op.  It is getting smaller and less in my field of vision.  It is still at least the size of a contact lens when looking down thru it.  My Dr. said my gas bubble was very large from the beginning.  Which probably means it will take more time to reabsorb.  It might be related to the regeneration of the vitreous gel also. Maybe the gel will displace the gas???  Also, on the day after surgery he said the hole was sealed because the large gas bubble was pushing against it.  1 week post op it was still sealed.  3 weeks also, still sealed, but  the area behind my eye was still swollen.  The Dr. said what I was seeing as the hole(the opaque gray bullseye) would appear smaller once the swelling came down.
   My vision otherwise seems good wearing a contact lens.  I'm sure I'll have to go to a stronger prescription in that eye.  I am still not driving because I feel the peripheral vision is still not as good as it should be to drive.  I might give it a try in a few days.  My 1 cat was just diagnosed with diabetes.  I give him insullin injections twice daily.  He has to have a glucose check every 2 weeks.  The vet is close to home, so I'll try to drive there.
   I am back to riding my bike outdoors for 50-60 minutes a day.  Hope it doesn't interfere with the healing process.
   I am still pleased with my progress so far.  My vision is much better than it was as a Stage II Macular Hole with 20:100 vision.  Like you said your vision improved to 20:25.  I never thought I would be able to have vision in that area again. I know that it was a good decision to have the surgery immediately after it went from a Stage I hole to a Stage II hole.  It had progressed so quickly to Stage II that I didn't want to risk the chance of it going beyond that.
  My next appointment is next week, 6 weeks post op.  I'm sure I'll be hearing good news.  
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Avatar_n_tn
It does take time for the gas bubble to go away and the swelling to subside. My guess is that  our retina surgeons have different  ways of explaining to patients  what is occurring.However, my specialist did not want me wearing contact lens in that eye until all the redness in the white of my eye from the surgery was gone.
I had and still have some tiny broken bloodvessels where he put the incisions in my eye. My opthalmologist told me it was okay for me to use the contact lens even though the redness was still there (tiny visible blood vessels)but that was over a year later!!He added that my retina specialist had not wanted me to wear contact lens in the eye while there was any swelling there.
there is a visual test they can do in the Retina Doctor's office  (seems like the abbreviated name for it is OTC --and it will show the extent of healing of the hole.It is a simple test but very valuable  to the trained eye  in seeing what the hole is doing.)
I am concerned that your doctor has put a gas in your eye which is taking so long to be absorbed. In my opinion, you should have been seeing spendidly after 14 days.There is no need for you to have to go so long with a gas bubble in your eye and I would love to know what advantage this will gain for you?Will it hasten the development of a cataract? the whole purpose of the gas bubble is to press against the back of the eye --not the front of the eye where it is right now. I am thinking you may already have the cataract and that is why you cannot see well.
But I would definitely not wear the contact lens yet--confront your doctor about my questions and let me know what he says. I realize every surgery and patient is different but  I am thinking  you may need to pop into another docotor's office real soon for a second opinion because t he informatin you are sharing is not at all  what  I would have thought would have been
the result of Stage 2 surgery.
In two weeks after surgery ,I was at 20-30. My vision stayed that way until my cataract was fully developed at which time I was legally blind in the eye (again).But within 6 weeks after my cataract surgery I was at 20-25 and that has been holding up now for over a year.
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The gas is behind the eye.  It appears that you are seeing through it and it looks as if it's in front of the eye.  It is definitely the gas because it is one big blob like a contact lens with dark edges, floating at the bottom(which in reality is a the top and behind the eye).  Could it be that you had the SF6 intraocular gas and not the C3F8??  Maybe it reabsorbs more rapidly.  Or just that you heal quicker than I do.  Another article said the gas can remain in the eye up to 2 months.  Also that the eyes own natural fluids eventually replace the gas.
At 3 weeks post op there was no sign of a cataract.  I asked then if I could wear the contact in that eye. The R. Specialist told me that I could as long as it did not irritate my eye.  Also at 3 weeks I could not read the eye chart, but could see other things.  So, my Dr. thought that it was excellent that I was regaining my eyesight already.
I will have another recheck next week at 6 weeks post op.  I know that I still have swelling behind the eye.  When that improves, the size of the reflection of the hole will get smaller too.  Yes, my Dr. uses some instrument with a bright light to examine my eye.  That's how he tells if there is a Macular Hole and the Stage it's in.  Also shows him if it is sealed after the surgery.  I do have very high regards for my Dr.  I just must be slower at recovering.  My vision is much better now than before the surgery in the portion of the eye that I can see out of(which is about 2/3's).  You were just very lucky to regain your vision so rapidly.  I'm hoping it will be at least a year or more till a cataract forms in my eye. I will keep you informed.  Thanks it helps to compare notes.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again.
It is good that you have high regard for your doctor.Yes, everyone heals differently.I am not sure what gas was used but I do  know that I was in an airplane going to NYC 7 months after my surgery and most of the articles on the internet say that you can fly again after 2 months.Most articles I have read say the gas bubble and air are gone by 2 to 3 weeks.
Did your doctor say you had complications of any kind?
Maybe your gas bubble will be gone within the next couple of weeks. When it leaves, it goes fast--mine started shrinking on my drive to work and by the time I got to the office it had left my visual field.It reminedd me of the air going out of a balloon and the balloon gets smaller and smaller.  Also, when it got real tiny,it started moving all around in my visual field --like a floater in a race. Then it was gone.
A year later when I had the cataract surgery, I had alot of floaters and read about it in my eye book and I think I had some sort of vitreal separation but they are harmless and the floaters disappeared in a few days.
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Avatar_n_tn
Good Morning,
I know that my Dr. had to remove part of the Vitreous Gel during surgery.  I'm not sure how much.  It was done to clean up the edges around the hole.  So now it needs to replenish.  I did not have any complications during surgery.  He said I was a "Textbook Case" and everything went very well. Plus it only took 1 hour instead of 1 1/2 hours.
The gas is below the center of my visual field.  But, when I move my head down slightly, it can go right to the center like having a contact lens with the wrong prescription.
You are so fortunate to have the gas go away so quickly.  I still have the bright green bracelet/Medical Alert on my wrist to warn about the Gas Bubble in my eye.
I'm off to take my cat to the vet on my own.  The first time driving in 5 weeks.
What is the name of the book you have on eye diseases?  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone,
My 80 year old father-in-law is trying to decide whether or not to have surgery to correct the macular hole in his eye. His main concern is whether his vision will actually improve after surgery. Any feedback on your recovery or recovery of a loved one would be very appreciated. Any advice on what to do or what not to do when recovering would also be appreciated in case he does decide to have the procedure.
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
If he decides to have the Vitrectomy to repair his Macular Hole, he needs to decide which method.  The Silicone Oil or the Intraocular Gas.  There will be head down recovery for the Gas.  My doctor said 1 week.  You can order the face down rental equipment from Vitrectomy Solutions.  This might not be easy for an 80 year old person to follow through with.  So, the oil might be the solution because there is no face down positioning for recovery.  But, they will have to have another surgery to remove the oil.  Plus, the formation of a cataract after an Oil Vitrectomy is expedited.
I chose the Gas and did face down for 2 weeks.  It has been 5 weeks and the hole is sealed.  I can see better with the eye than I could before surgery.  So, as of now I believe it's worth it.  I will see the Dr. again next week.  I still have the gas bubble in the eye and it distorts the vision somewhat.  I drove for the 1st time today.  I did fine.
You will need to help out during recovery.  At least for the 1st week.  My husband has been taking me to the Dr.appointments and to the grocery store.  So he will need help getting places for the 1st couple of weeks.
If I had to go through it again, I would.  I think that my eye sight will get better yet as the weeks go by.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!
One thing to consider is that the body heals faster ,I think, when one is younger.But if your father does not have the macular hole surgery , he will -either at any time or over the next year have a problem with the hole's getting larger.  I had put my surgery off longer than my surgeon had recommended because I did not feel well (had developed RA snd did not know it).
One day when I was driving , I realized that I could not see a car off in the distance that was really there.I could see it with my good eye but the hole in my affected eye had gotten so large that the car was missing! That is scarery.
As we age,our vision becomes more and more important.The macular hole surgery is a miraculous advancement .If your father's doctor thinks he can withstand anesthesia okay then I think your dad could make it if he is determined to keep his head down--there is equipment he can use to prop his head on so that he can sleep.You can also buy pillows made like wedges to put under his chest to make him more comfortable when sleeping. He might do well with a mild sedative to help him to sleep.
The silicone oil  has to be surgically removed later and any surgery with the eye is risky and requires healing so to get the best results the fewer operatins the better ,in my opinion.
When I was doing my research on vitrectomy ,I came across some doctors that performed the macular hole surery and the cataract surgery in the same surgery day ,one right after the other.--their clinic was in California I think.They reported good results.
That might be an avenue I would want to explore if older because
there would be resolution over  a much faster period of time.
I hope he can work it out to have the surgery. It is not fun to keep your head down for 2 weeks but it is worth it if  and only if he will do it.
My vision is now 20-25 in my eye so I thank God every day that they  had this surgery  for this problem.The key ,besides being clever enough to find ways to watch tv with the two way mirror etc. and  listening to books on tape etc , is to make sure he has a skilled surgeon.
He will need  helpers to help him keep his spirits up and prepare meals , answer the phone and doors. He doesn't need to be alone through this.Someone should be in the house with him at all times.
But he can do it.Tell him to give it the ole college try!

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi--
The wonderful book which explains eye care in terminology I could well understand (while being very thorough )is: Eye Care Revolution  by Robert Abel MD. It is in paperback too. It can be ordered on Amazon.com
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Avatar_n_tn
How did your eye exam turn out and has the gas bubble gotten smaller now?
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Hi,
I had my 6 week appointment yesterday.  They dilated the eye again and did an eye exam.  Since I can see better, they did a more thorough exam.  The gas is now down to 10%.  I still see it in my lower vision.  It will move to the central vision when I tilt my head forward.  The Macular Hole is closed.  The Dr. said the reflection of the hole should start to appear smaller over time.  Thats when all the swelling behind the eye goes down.  The swelling is there because of the surgery.  Still, no sign of a cataract forming, which is great.  My vision has improved to 20:80 from 20:100 pre surgery.  That's with a new   -6.00 diopeter contact lens, from a -5.00 lens.  So, I've gotten more nearsighted.  He thinks in the end he will be able to get my vision down to 20:40 or 20:50.  I still have some redness where the instruments were inserted. That will go away with time.  I also have a high pitched humming noise in my ear.  He said it's from the head down positioning and the inner ear fluids.  It will also go away eventually.  My vision is so much better than before surgery.  I went to a movie and could see everything very clearly.  I have driven a few times and feel pretty good about it.  I haven't been on the highway yet. When the gas is gone I will give it a try.  I will see the Dr. again in 3 weeks.  I did order the book you recommended.  I should be getting it today in the mail.  Thanks.  Hope all is well with you.  I wonder if Nancylee or the father in law decided on having the surgery or not.  Have you heard from them?
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Hi--good news from your end!!!It seems that your healing has taken longer. I think my eye must have been swollen too but my doctor chose not to tell me alot because he knew I was running to the internet and he wanted me to depend on him for all my information. Now that I look back over it, I should have but then I wouldnt know that he did a membranecetomy at the same time he did the vitrectomy. That may be one reason my vision improved so much--I think that peels away some tissue that has formed due to age whcih is clouding the vision somewhat.
I had the redness in my eye too for along time.
BUT --guess what -- I had the humming noise and also my hearing developed a high pitch sound that sounds like a bunch of crickets on the same note. But my retina doc just smiled (no comment). Well I wound up going to an Ear,nose and throat  doc and having an audiologist give me tests and then I learned that the noise  was being caused by a hearing loss in high frequencies levels. But the ENT doc didnt have a clue that my eye surgery( and head down positioning) caused it. Guess what ? We now have another good reason to make these docs get on the ball AND figure out another ,better way to  keep that gas bubble pressing against the back of the eye  than having to keep your head down 24--7for two weeks. While they are fixing the back of our eyes, they are making the front of our eyes sick(eventual cataract) and causing us to have hearing losses and  rining in our ears! ANd guess what --my ringing in my ears is still with me. 4 years after my macular hole surgery!!!
But I am so lucky . I went for 10 months and then my two surgeons repaired my vison to 20-25.And the hole has not reopened.
Personally, I give God some of the credit too. I was praying alot during those day (and do now too)--before my surgeries , I took my vision for granted. But these problems taught me a new  
understanding of the genius of specialists, the complexity of the human eye which is like  solar system in itself, and gave me a renewed appreciation for the signigicance of faith in a supreme being.
I have'nt heard more about Nancy's father -in  law. Hope he can have the surgery though,
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I have always had good hearing.  Had to have an annual hearing test at work.  I hope the ringing will go away.  It doesn't bother me that much tho.  Sorry to hear that your ringing is still there.
I had everyone praying for me and was also praying for myself during the process of the eye degredation.  You are right, about the fact that Jesus is there to help us.  All we need to do is ask for the help.  We are also very fortunate to be living in the 21st century with all the updated medical proceedures.
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When I mentioned the noise in the ear problem to my Dr., he asked if I take a lot of Tylenol?  I said no.  That's when he said it was probably from an inner ear problem due to the head down positioning.  Just thought I would mention that to you.  I forgot that he had asked that question.
Have a good day.  I'm still waiting for the book. I'm sure I'll get it today.
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The author of the book is an EXCEPTIONAL surgeon. Has to be. He takes the time ,for example , to show his patients how to put their won drops into their eyes , with out charging them a separate fee for doing this.My former RA doctor charged me an etra $25.00 to have his nurse (LPN) show me how to give myself an Enbrel shot.
This author believes in being thorough to the extent that he
personally calls his patients after their catarct surgeries to see how they are feeling prior to their coming back  in the following day for a check up. (That is almost unheard of!!)
I think the cost of the surgeries in the book are incorrect and in error on the side of the medical profession at large which is
overcharging for so many of its services.
Yes, the side effects of many artritis medications  is ringing in the ears.
Mine seems to be less noticible when I have background music .Lomg term use of
antibiotics can also cause hearing loss ).
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Hi,
My gas bubble is gone.  As of Monday morning.  It is 2 months today since surgery.  I still have the bullseye in the middle of my vision and always will.  It will hopefully get a little smaller.  I have a little distortion in my peripheral vision.  I think it's from the swelling still, where an instrument was inserted.  I see the Dr. on Friday the 7th of July.  Hopefully they'll do a thorough eye exam and I'll get a good prescription for the time being.
Have a good 4th of July.
Ceal
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wife had macular hole surgery(gasbubble)
last week ! now  coming up on day four
in the face down position! Doctor orders
said a week! then a post op exam and
maybe a couple more days in the down
position! then back in about a month!
shes wondering when she will be able to
see her vision improve? and wondering
why face down time varies from 7 to 14
days or more? she is one of those 1 in
10 rare cases who has a macular hole in
both eyes! and now thinking about the
silicone treatment instead of the gas
bubble to avoid face down time when she
has the other eye done! wonders what the
success rate is for the silicone verses
the gas bubble?
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I had the surgery on May 3rd.  My Dr. ordered face down positioning for 1 week only.  In his experience, if the hole doesn't seal in 1 week, it probably isn't going to seal.  I did the face down for 2 weeks on my own, as extra insurance.  I saw him the day after surgery, then 5 days later.  Hole was sealed, eye was swollen, could not see because of the gas bubble.  I could not really open my eye for the 1st week.  Then kept it shut for the 2nd week since I could not see with it anyhow.  It took a full 2 months for the gas bubble to finally disipate.  I am still seeing the Retinal Specialist on a regular basis.  At first every week, then 2 weeks apart, then 3 and now the next visit is in a month.  I have no signs of a Cataract forming yet, the hole is still sealed.  My near sightedness has gotten worse by -2.25 diopters.  My vision has improved from 20:100 to 20:60.  I am still in the healing process.  I still see a bullseye in the center of the vision, but it is opaqueish, kind of see through.  My vision is definitly not as distorted as it was pre surgery.  The C3F8 gas vitrectomy is more successful for sealing the Macular Hole than the Silicone Oil Vitrectomy.  Also, when having the Silicone method, the cataract forms much quicker.  Then there is also the 2nd surgery to remove the Silicone Oil.  So, there will be 3 surgeries in a short amount of time.  If she can tolerate the face down positioning post gas vitrectomy, it is the way to go.  Tell her to hang in there.  Good luck with everything.
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thanks for response cealcats!
you have been very helpful, made my wife
feel better, she's having quite a time
in the face down recovery!
we go to doctor this monday hope she
hears good news?
thanks again and glad to hear your vision has improved!
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update (gas bubble surgery) day 8
vision still blurry! seeing floaters
does this mean bubble is dissapating?
have cut eye drops in half , holding
head part time now ! but still not
suppossed to sleep on back yet!
last visit to doctor was monday
very pleased with progress go back in
3 weeks! wonder when vision will return?
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My vision was blurry for a long time.  My gas did not totally disipate until 2 months post op.  At 2 weeks it was like looking thru a 3/4 filled glass of water.  Had some peripheral vision and some vision at the top of the eye.  Still felt some pressure.  At 16 days after surgery the gas was 1/2 gone but was still blurry from a reflection of the gas.  18 days after, I had a ton of tiny black floaters. They eventually went away. At 5 weeks after surgery the gas was at 10%. I am still using the pred forte once daily as per the Dr's. orders.  DO NOT lay on your back at any time.  You need to keep the gas behind the eye to delay the formation of a cataract.  Also, I did not drive until 6 weeks after surgery.  I didn't feel my vision was good enough.  I did start riding my bike again after the 2 weeks head down.  You can get up and go to the kitchen table to eat.  I also sat up to read, with my head down though.  I got the Large print books from the library.  I have not driven on the highway yet.  I still have a little blurriness in the peripheral vision.  Also, of course the opaque/gas filled hole still distorts the central vision.  It will get better tho, but not totally.  I was 20:100 pre surgery, I am now 20:60 with correction.  My Dr. is hoping for 20:40, if not 20:20 with correction. Be patient and the healing will continue.
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Hi Belledonna and Cealcats,
I read with interest your comments on your macular hole surgery and post-op progress.  I am trying to decide whether to have vitrectomy.  I don't know how long I have had the macular hole.  I began noticing some vision problems in early spring but thought I just needed new glasses.  Then in April I was diagnosed with diabetes and figured that had affected my eyes.  The doctor told me to wait three months before seeing the optometrist so that we were sure the diabetes was under control and my eyes were no longer changing.  At the end of May, I happened to rub my left eye in church and noticed that the altar looked distorted out of my right eye.  I went to my optometrist who told me I had macular swelling and it would go away in a few months.  My co-worker encouraged me to have a second opinion and I saw a retinal specialist early July.  He diagnosed the macular hole and told me about the vitrectomy surgery.  However, he ended by saying, "Sometimes people our age (I'm only 59) just decide to live with it."  In the meantime I broke my glasses and scheduled an eye appointment with the eye care office where the retinal specialist visits weekly, switching from the optometrist who incorrectly diagnosed my problem.  The doctor there (a well respected eye surgeon in our area) checked my eyes.  My vision in the right eye is currently 20/200.  The retinal specialist didn't discuss stages so maybe mine is a Stage IV.  Anyway, the surgeon said my eyes look healthy.  There is no sign of diabetes in my eyes and he encouraged me to have a vitrectomy.  He felt that that surgery would not give me 20/20 vision but that an improvement could be had.  I have agonized over this decision all weekend, trying to figure out what to do.  I guess my two main areas of concern are that I could develop a macular hold in my "good" eye later on when my diabetes may worsen and I would not be a good candidate for surgery and the post-op face down recovery.  You two have helped me to know that the recovery is not as difficult as it sounds and that has eased my mind in that area.  I guess my next step is a follow up consultation with the retinal specialist to see if he feels my chances are good for some improvement with vitrectomy.  Just wondering what you guys think since you have both beeen through it.
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Hi,
I would definitely recommend getting the Vitrectomy to repair your macular hole.  You should see the Retinal Specialist again to have him explain everything in more detail.  Ask him what stage the Hole is.  Mine was only a Stage II, vision was 20:100.  It started as swelling behind the eye and I had a distortion in my central vision.  That's when I saw the Retinal Specialist.  Best case would be the swelling would go away and leave no permanent damage.  Chances were low that would happen.  He explained the stages of Macular hole at that time.  Ideally he would do surgery when it became a Stage II.  If he did it at a Stage I it could most likely make it into a Stage II anyhow.  I was diagnosed on March 28th and had the Vitrectomy on May 3rd.  As soon as became Stage II, I scheduled the surgery.  I opted for the gas, C3F8 Vitrectomy because he said the chances of success were higher.  Doing face down is not that bad if you rent the right equipment.  I rented the equipment through Vitrectomy Solutions.  They have a web site, but they are also who my Dr. recommended.  After surgery my doctor thought I could be corrected to 20:60 or 20:40.  Now he thinks 20:40 for sure, because I am at 20:60 now.  I see him again in 2 weeks.  If you opt for the Silicone oil Vitrectomy, you will have to have a 2nd surgery to remove the oil.  A cataract will form quicker with that proceedure too.  I am so glad that I had this surgery.  I would do it again if I had to.  Once you get a Macular Hole in one eye, the chances are 30% that you'll also develop an MH in the other eye.  I know that having diabetes probably makes things more complicated.  I wouldn't wait too long if I were you.  Make another appointment with the Retinal Specialist.  Have him coordinate efforts with your diabetes specialist.  Let me know what you've decided to do.
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Hi,
Did you ever have the Vitrectomy to repair your Macular Hole?
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Thanks so much for your reply.  I scheduled an appointment today with the retinal specialist.  He is in my area on Thursday.  I felt much better about things after reading the comments on this page and I worked up enough courage for the consultation.  I must admit, I am terrified!!!  I never even tried contacts because I couldn't even think about putting anything in my eye.  I'm glad your surgery went so well.  I hope he thinks that I am a candidate and that the diabetes is not a complication.  I'll keep you posted.
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Hi,
How was your appointment?
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thought I would update on my macular
hole surgery (performed july 12th 06
had my three week post op last wed.
doctor had good news hole is sealed!
and vision is now 20/6o which is quite
an improvement from legally blind!
gas bubble still there hopefully will
be fully gone in a couple weeks?
hope to be driving soon?
no sign of cataract yet go back in oct.
for another check hope to read even
more lines on chart!
in my opinion the operation was a breeze
and of course the head down time quite
an ordeal (but used no equipment)
just determination ! now I can say it
all was well worth it!
thanks for all your responses and
advice and information! god bless you
all!
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I have been diagnosed with a macular hole.  The Dr. waited two months because it was small, and he thought it might heal.  I am scheduled for surgery Sept. 19.  I have vertigo, so the head down thing is worrying me.  Also, I was told you could have catarac surgery at the same time.  My vision is 20/200 right now in the bad eye.  Your comments are all encouraging.  Any advice??
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Hi,
You've probably read some of my comments on this site already.  I am very pleased with the progress after my Vitrectomy to repair my Stage II macular hole.  It has been 3 months since surgery and my sight has improved from 20:100 to 20:60.  It will probably get better.  The Dr. thinks it should get to 20:40 with correction.  
My question for you is, how frequently does the Vertigo affect you?  My husband has been diagnosed with vertigo also, but he has only had 2 episodes in 5 years.  They are pretty bad when they occur.  He feels very dizzy and nauseated.
If you have the gas injected to seal the macular hole, you will need to do the head down position for 1 week.  If you feel you cannot tolerate that, you could op for the silicone oil vitrectomy.  It does not require head down.  But, you would need to have a second surgery to remove the oil.  Also, you'd need the cataract surgery sooner.  Maybe they would do the cataract surgery when they removed the oil?  I would talk to your retinal specialist and of course your regular doctor about the vertigo.
Let me know what surgery you plan on having.  Good luck. If you have any other questions just post a comment.
Cealcats
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Good news from you.  You're doing great.

My gas did not reabsorb until 2 months after surgery.  Just give it time.

It's been 3 months since my surgery and I still have 20:60 from 20:100.  I think it will get better.  I am seeing the retinal specialist again a month after the last appointment.  He will give me a thorough exam for correction this time.  I really need an updated prescription in my glasses.  I wear contacts tho and that's more important.

I don't have any signs of a cataract yet either which is great.  I guess I don't want to invest too much in corrective lenses until I have to have the cataract surgery.  Who knows when that will be tho?  I will ask my doctor what's best.

Hang in there.
Cealcats
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Thanks so much for the comment.  Yes, I have read everything on here about macular hole.  I was wondering if there is an archive, or does it start with 5/02/06.  

You asked about my vertigo.  Well, I have it all the time, some.  The good news is the Dr. gave me something that really helps and I went back to him to get something, just in case, for nausea, yesterday.  I have tried the head down thing, and as long as I don't read (bummer) I can lie with my head down, forehead resting on pillow.  It is going to be hard, but I WILL do it.  My Dr. never suggested the oil, although I was aware of it.  I have done extensive research on the subject and know about cataracts too.  He did mention that surgery could be done at the same time to remove the lens, what do you think of that? I am wondering, why, if cataracts are inevitable, they don't do the surgey at the same time.

I am wondering about the equipment you rented.  Wasn't there huge postage on it, exactly how does that work (shipping, etc.)? I doubt I could use the chair, but the pillow thing looks like that would be nice.
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Hi,

I rented my face down equipment from Vitrectomy Solutions.  They have a web site.  I rented a package which included the daytimer chair, the nightimer face down bed insert, a mirror to be able to see whomever you are talking to, which I did not use.  I would just sit up with my head down to talk to someone.  I bought a small tv and placed it below the chair(propped up).  I really watched the TV most of the time because it wasn't easy to read with one eye.  Although I did go to the library ahead of time and checked out some LARGE print books.  I was able to read some.  When reading, it was easier to sit up and have head down also.  Too difficult to read through the opening in the daytimer chair.  I am not a big TV person, but in this case, it was about all I could do.  HGTV and the Food network were my entertainment.

Also, I did the face down for 2 weeks even tho my Dr's. orders were for only one week.  I got used to sleeping with the face down device, putting my arms straight out to the sides on the matress.  I would sometimes put a pillow under my abdomen for comfort and less backaches.  I put one of my folded pillow cases over the headrest/forehead part of the sleeping device to cover the seam in it's fabric cover.  Before I did that, my forehead was very sore from resting on the seam.  With the daytimer chair, it was hard to see the TV with the fabric cover on the headrest.  So, I removed it and used kleenex tissues under my chin and forehead.  You will figure out what's best for you.

When I ordered the face down equip through Vitrectomy Solutions, I called them and left them my phone number.  I also registered on their web site.  They are not open on weekends, but you can leave a message.  I saw the Dr. on a Friday and found out the surgery was to be done the next Wednesday.  So, I was frantically trying to prepare for it.  VS contacted my 1st thing Monday morning and we set up the order.  The equipment is delivered NEXT Day or overnight.  The price includes the shipping.  I believe it was UPS.  It was delivered Tuesday around 4:00pm.  My husband and I assembled it all.  A little trickiness to the chair, but it comes with an instructional video.  Keep all the boxes.  There are return shipping labels in the box top already.  Call VS when you are finished using the equipment.  You are charged on a per week basis.  Then call UPS or they might do that.  Package up the equipment and put it on the front porch on the day they will be picking it up.  You will pay directly to VS.  They send you the receipt and Dr's orders for durable medical equipment.  You then submit it to your medical insurance provider to get a reimbursement.  That took a while.  The 1st response from them was OUT of NETWORK and all from the deductable.  I called them and explained how much I needed the equipment for recovery and that VS is who my Dr. recommended.  The filed a dispute and I received a $192. out of $250. reimbursement check.

As far as having the cataract surgery immediately, I am holding off as long as I can.  I have no signs of a cataract 3 months post op.  I'm hoping maybe it will be a miracle and I won't get one till I'm older, haaaa!  But, again that's your choice.  I have been reading the comments on this website about the different lenses and IOL's for Cataract surgery.  There seems to be a lot of unhappy patients out there, particularly with certain lens replacement types.  Not sure I'm ready to go through that at this time.

Hope this helps you.  Take care.

Cealcats
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Sorry, I forgot the question about the starting date of this thread.  It was the 5/02 date, no archives.  Also, my husband uses NasaCort nasal spray for his vertigo, it is a prescription.

Cealcats
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A related discussion, macular hole surgery was started.
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A related discussion, macular hole repair post op was started.
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A related discussion, Vitrectomy surgery was started.
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A related discussion, Anyone with any ideas was started.
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