I am a 57 year old with a very active job as an Occupational Therapist in an elementary school. My job requires lots of lifting and bending forward. I also do a lot of heavy work gardening. I had cataract surgery one year ago with an uneventful recovery.
Four weeks ago I developed fuzzy vision and many floaters and went to the ophthamologist that day. He saw moderate blood but felt that the retina was intact and told me to come back in 1 month. I resumed my work and two weeks later the 1/2 of the vision suddenly turned to black in that eye (central vision was spared). I called the MD the next morning. It was the weekend and the covering MD told me to come in on Monday. When I went in he said it was a retinal tear and I had surgery that same day (which was the 4th day after the event). I had a cryopexy with a gas bubble and specific head positioning and one week later laser reinforcement. I have additional lasering tomorrow.
My vitreous layer did not dislodge completely and although some blood was removed some remains. I feel like a time bomb. I am struggling to figure out if I should return to work. My retinal specialist says everything has some degree of risk but he is non-committal in reference to precautions.
How do I make this decision? Am I at greater risk because the vitreous has only partially separated and therefore is putting extra strain on the retina? Can anyone give me some feedback or thoughts on this? Thank you so much. Peggy
Retinal detachments are not due to heavy lifting, bending, stooping, etc. It's due to aging changes of the vitreous and the increase risk that comes with cataract surgery (after cataract/IOL surgery the risk of RD is 10 times the normal risk that is it goes from about one in 8500 to about one in 850).
You will need to rely on your retina surgeon. All treatment involves risk, doing no treatment also involves risk.
Thank you for your fast response. I have every confidence in my surgeon and his treatment protocol, I am just not clear on the possible increased risk if the vitreous is still partially attached and the added weight of blood, or am I being too nervous. Thank you - Peggy
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