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Very Concerned About Blurry/Cloudy Vision After Vitrectomy

I had a vitrectomy and scleral buckle inserted exactly one week ago, and an air bubble was pumped into my eye to hold retina in place after the surgery repaired a small tear in the lower-left part of the left eye.  The day after surgery all I could see was the gas bubble, everything was distorted, blurry, and unfocused.  However, I saw no cloudiness.

A week after surgery the gas bubble has dissolved more than 50% such that it is just below mid-eye vision level.  I had expected the vision above the dissolving gas bubble to be 'normal' as the bubble dissolved.  However, vision above the bubble is extremely, extremely blurry, and what is a bit more worrisome is that it's relatively cloudy (faded colors, dimmer light, etc).  All I can see are blobs representing objects, however, if I hold my finger about 4 inches from my eye, it is extremely clear (i.e. not blurry) but still a bit cloudy.  Interestingly, things are less cloudy if I focus on them at 4 inches away when I view through the gas bubble, and they are more cloudy if I view the object from above the glass bubble.

I'm hoping someone can please tell me what I should expect in terms of vision in the field of view that is above the gas bubble as it dissolves.  I thought/was-hoping the vision would be clear and back to normal (because my retinal tear was on lower/left edge), however, as previously mentioned, my vision is terrible, blurry, cloudy.  Furthermore there are a dozen or so small black specs floating around my vision.  These are different from "standard floaters" -- they are distinct, clear, small solid black specs (not gel-like floaters, as would be usual).  Worse yet, if I lay flat on my back and stare into a light, I see a HUGE SEA of black spec and tiny, clear, perfectly round floaters.  It's almost as if the image of my retina is relfecting back into my eye off the gas bubble.  It appears as if I'm looking at a sponge.  Literally, with all of the crevices and dimples that a fine sponge usually has.  It's a very unnerving image to see, but again I can only see it if I'm lying flat on my back staring into a bright light.

I'm really hoping people who've had vitrectomy surgery, or doctors who perform it, can let me know exactly what I should expect to see over the next 'X' number of days and weeks (it's been 7 days since surgery).  My doctor tells me my retina is now firmly attached, healing, and that he sees no other problems.  However, he doesn't really give me a specific answer when I ask him why my vision above the floater is so cloudy/blurry and why I'm seeing black-spec like floaters.  The spec like floaters seem to 'jiggle' along with the air bubble even though they are above the air bubble.  That gives me hope that they're floating in a 'film' that exists above the gas bubble that will dissolve away in the next couple of days/weeks??  If my vision gets no better than this, I'll be very disappointed and upset.  My vision was very good in the left eye before the retinal tear occurred and I assumed it would return to nearly that prescription and clearness after the vitrectomy was healed.

Any advice/info would be truly appreciated.

- Eric
31 Responses
Avatar universal
And can I kindly ask that nobody respond to my post with 'check with your doctor'?  :)  That is OBVIOUS!  However, I can't get a freaking damn straight answer from my doctor.  He's probably afraid of lawsuits, and I can't say that I'd blame him, but this is my damn eye for God's sake.
711220 tn?1251894727
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
This is normal.  I have had your surgery and I also did vitreous surgery until a few years ago.

Dr. O.
Avatar universal
Did your vision improve after the bubble completely went away? As your symptoms sound very much like mine I'm 5 weeks post surgery
Avatar universal
I had a vitrectomy 3 weeks ago and my gas bubble is gone, but my vision is still cloudy and like looking through a sponge.  I understand where you are coming from because I can't believe it is taking so long for my vision to become normal again.  I had a macular hemorrhage, blood clot along with infection.  I was being treated with injections for the hemorrhaging and after my 2nd shot I got infection in my eye that would clear up so that is the reason for vitrectomy.  I'm getting down because it is taking so long and the doctor said it could take up to 2 months......I hope he is wrong about that for sure.
Avatar universal
Did your cloudy vision clear up once the bubble went away? My bubble is less than 50% and the vision above it is cloudy or as if there were a film over it.
Avatar universal
Sorry, doc. How can this be normal? My symptoms are very similar to those described by Eric except that mine occurred after oil was inserted as the tamponade. The oil and cataract have been removed but the vision is terrible. Just like Eric, my vision looks like someone has poured white paint over it. Also I can see hundreds of small black specks and half a dozen larger round and hollow floaters.

I have seen three surgeons and they all say the retina looks fine. Based on the fundus and oct it looks fine to me too. But the vision is terrible.

Previously I had a vitrectomy on the other eye and then my vision was fine. So I know that this is abnormal.

I would really like to hear an update from Eric about his vision. Did it improve over time?
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