Eye Floaters Stories

 

1. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

Imagine being at the bottom of the North Sea, looking up through an oil slick during a heavy windstorm and you will have a picture of what it is like looking through my eyes.

I am a realtor and experience delayed reactions to street signs, house numbers, and faces of people I know. I have been told that I roll my eyes frequently (trying to clear the fog) and this has made some potential clients think I have a nervous tick. I don’t know whether to tell them the truth and thus terrify them or let them believe I have a “condition.”

And it is embarrassing and disconcerting to have to pause in the middle of writing a contract to “wait ‘til the fog breaks!”

Iris M.

1994

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

We have now completed having removed the floaters from my left eye and I am now finished, (I believe), with the post-surgical care and drops for both eyes.

After surgery on my second eye, I stayed at my daughter’s home for a few days and then decided to drive home. It was like being in a widescreen, 3D movie! I could read (and did) every stupid billboard and road sign and did NOT have to slow down, (or stop) to do it! It was wonderful!

A month later, we spent a week in the hills and woods of Tennessee. I found a small rock with a face on it. It was lying on the ground in dried leaves, and I saw it! It hangs on my wall as a reminder.

There are now no negatives! I simply can see and rarely use glasses. Previously, I had to use sun-sensor darkening lens – very heavy – very expensive! I went to Walmart and bought seven pairs of sunglasses ranging from $1.89 to $2.98 – cheap, cheap, cheap! They’re wild, even garish colors and I love it! Thank you!

The first time I saw all the stars in our polluted” sky, I wept with joy! Thank you! Before you began to help me, I had been considering disability retirement because of my inability to focus and see. Like too many people with my problem, I would have spent the remainder of my life growing increasingly dependent on others to drive for me,

to shop for me, to see my way home for me. I would have been unable to continue my profession as a realtor, as I was already unable to read street signs, addresses and directions.

The number of people who suffer from floaters” are amazing and they believe that there isnt much hope or relief, or they have heard discouraging stories and often have been led to believe (from other doctors) that surgery is not very successful and not worth the risk. This is tragic! I was told that myself a year earlier. I have since become one of these people who tell others about “my operations” and the name of my doctor. I have observed that, rather than being bored, they are keenly interested and genuinely excited about my results because they either have these problems or know someone who does.

Clear vision has opened a new life for me. I have a productive future. I am able to give and to do instead of a future of being given to and being “done for.” I now see better than I did as a young girl. It is incredible! I pray I never take the joy and wonder of sight for granted or neglect to tell others of this help. Thank you!

Iris M.

1995

2. Preoperative statement (right eye).

For some time now, my vision has become gradually impaired. What I see is hard to explain, but it is like looking through white tissue paper. The image is almost there, but foggy or like looking through a cloud. This causes me to blink excessively to try and clear my vision. When I blink it is a strain because I must blink hard or forcefully to clear my vision. This constant strain from blinking my eyes causes me to be more fatigued than I would normally be and sometimes causes me to be nervous.

The problem has escalated to the point that I am concerned with the safety factor of driving. I drive automobiles, trucks, etc. a good portion of the day because I own and

operate an automobile repair shop. I have difficulty in distinguishing the color of traffic lights. I can read signs most of the time, but I don’t feel comfortable driving at night because of the condition of my eyes.

This problem has slowed my productivity at my job. I use my eyes in every phase of my business, from paperwork in the office, to diagnosing a hands-on problem with an engine, or just reading a parts manual. Even small jobs that take meticulous care are difficult for me, when some years back they were just normal and mundane. This is of great concern to me as it inhibits my ability to continue to progress and grow in my field.

The most serious hinderance caused by my eyes not working properly is not being able to read small print. I am faced with small print all day; every day and it is becoming harder and harder to read electronic equipment with digital print outs. I have a terrible time trying to read the newspaper, with or without my glasses.

There are short periods of time on occasion when I can see as clearly as I could twenty years ago; however, these periods are becoming less frequent.

Clayton P. 1995

Preoperative statement (left eye, years later)

The surgery you performed on my right eye about six years ago was a success. My sight improved immediately. My life has been easier because I could see so much better. The left eye has since become progressively worse. I have huge floaters in this eye, and it is making me extremely nervous and tired. I squint all day long to move the floaters so that I can see. I have major problems trying to read, drive and do my job. I was driving my truck last week and nearly hit a pedestrian, who was coming across the street to my left. I did not see him and nearly ran him over. That nearly scared me to death. I need your help. It is time to fix my left eye.

Clayton P. 2002

3. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

I have been quite myopic for most of my life, having worn glasses since the age of 10 and eventually requiring a correction of five to six diopters in each eye. In addition to the refractive error, I have always had a moderate amount of vitreous debris. I first remember it presenting a significant visual problem in medical school, though even then the debris was more of an annoyance than an impairment.

The problem became decidedly more noticeable after I had cataract surgery on July 12, 2001, on the right eye and March 5, 2002, on the left eye. The surgical result in both cases was excellent with acuity corrected to 20/20 in each eye. I have a small residual correction in each eye and requested IOL selection to give functional monovision. The system has worked quite well for most activities.

My problem with the vitreous opacities became more pronounced after the cataract surgery, not so much due to the size of the opacities as to the fact that after three to five seconds, the opacities settled into the visual axis in each eye. This situation caused substantial difficulty with my most useful and enjoyable activities which are reading and playing a musical instrument. The opaque material was not of sufficient size or density to cause significant difficulty driving other than in dark, unfamiliar places.

After allowing what I considered to be sufficient time for the surgical results to stabilize, I decided to seek your opinion regarding the feasibility of improving my visual situation and was greatly relieved when you felt I might experience a substantial benefit from vitrectomy.

Emil W., MD

Retired Ophthalmologist 2002

Visual acuity 20/25 each eye

Postoperative statement (left eye)

As you may remember, you asked me to summarize my personal observations since I underwent vitrectomy in my left eye in December 2002.

The short answer is that my functional acuity has enormously improved. Prior to the surgery, although my acuity was quite good when the mid-vitreous floaters were out of the way, the good vision was exceedingly transient. Typically, I had to do a purposeful saccade to jerk the trash out of my visual axis every few seconds. This obviously impaired my reading speed and especially the reading of music.

I am pleased to report that the left eye is markedly improved. Comparing the acuity of the left eye with that in the right (which was less involved with vitreous opacities), the left is enormously the better. In fact, I would like to have the right eye fixed as well at some future time.

I might add that I have much improved peace of mind regarding the possibility of future retinal problems since I was a moderately high myope prior to my cataract surgery. The encircling retinopexy gives me great reassurance.
In short, the resulting improvement in my lifestyle has been nothing short of spectacular.

Emil W., MD 2003

Preoperative statement (right eye)

My left eye, the one previously operated on, is marvelous! The colors are vivid, and the acuity is excellent, even without correction.

The right eye vision has gotten somewhat worse since my last visit. Although I can still clear it by a voluntary movement, a cloudy material obstructs the visual axis most of the time. There is a larger floater in the temporal field that is dense enough and central enough that I perceive it as a moving object in my surroundings. I frequently have a fleeting impression that a car is approaching from the right, or a lizard is on my desk, or a roach is on the kitchen counter, or some other absurdity. The misperception occurs often enough to be worrisome.

Emil W., MD 2003

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

I am delighted with my vision. It is better than ever in both eyes. As an ophthalmologist, I thought that vitrectomy was only to be performed if absolutely necessary. Now, I realize that it can be safely used at an earlier stage of impaired vision, such as mine.
 
Emil W., MD 2003

4. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

Up until about five or six years ago, I had good vision as long as I updated my correction on a timely basis. Then the floaters started to appear. The left eye first, then two or three years later, the right eye.

I travel a lot and find it more difficult finding my way through airports. I miss a lot of directional signs and going through security, I find that I am constantly needing more help. To see any object clearly, I must first focus on it and wait for the floaters to move.

On the interstate, by the time I focus on an exit sign and the floaters move, I am already past it. It keeps my wife on her toes keeping me on the right road. Driving in traffic and the movement of cars is alright. I just can’t read signs.

Reading a newspaper is quite a chore. The floaters always move into my line of sight. I like to work crossword puzzles but moving my eyes back and forth from the squares to the clues is a blur.

I have blamed my floaters being so bad on flash bulbs. Last week, I posed for over 1,000 polaroid pictures. Each one a flash. I know that they are gradually getting worse.

Grocery shopping is becoming more difficult as it is taking longer to read the labels.

John B.

Official Look Alike for Colonel Sanders 2004

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

I guess the only excuse I have for not writing this letter sooner is that I just dont think about my vision much anymore.

I can read the road signs without my wife’s help.

I can read the labels in the grocery store, even the fine print and the crawl across the bottom of the T.V.

One of the miracles that Jesus did during His ministry on Earth was to “cause the blind to see.” I feel that is what He did for me, working through you and your team.

My vision is better now than it was in my 30s and I will be 75 next month! Six months ago, I never thought I would ever let someone operate on my eyes. Now, the floaters are gone, and the cataracts are gone, and I can see clearly again!

John B.

The Colonel Look Alike 2005

5. Preoperative statement (right eye)

My right eye is the problem eye. It is also, and has always been, my near-sighted eye. The problem started last May (2006). At that time over a period of a few hours my eye began feeling uncomfortable, seemed “blurry”. By nightfall I was seeing lights starting on the right side (sort of “filament” or “lightning” like), flashing from right to left. The next day my eye was blurry. The next evening there were again flashing lights but greatly decreased. By the third night the flashing lights were minimal, and it has not since reoccurred.

I have been examined by three physicians and all report my retina is fine. Apparently, I have FLOATERS!! Although all three physicians note that I have a lot of “debris” in my eye, they have been negative about the surgery that would be required to eliminate it. The last physician, a retina-vitreous specialist, although kind, so emphasized the negative possibilities of the surgery that I became frightened of the procedure. He also stated that he would feel like he was practicing “bad medicine” if he performed the surgery prior to my having lived with the problem for over a year.

He expressed acknowledgement that it would be difficult to live for the rest of my life with this type of eye problem.

I am, and have been since last May, experiencing the following:

    1. Within one minute of getting up in the morning I see a large worm-like” (black semi-circle) object floating around my eye, somewhat towards the left side (usually) of the center of my right eye. There is a smaller black dot that seems to follow the larger “worm” around. There are also varying numbers of larger blurry areas that float around – and some shadowy areas that move around. These objects can move back and forth over the entire range of vision – though “worm-like and dot” seem to hang a little left of center much of the time. This disrupts my vision from morning until I go to sleep in the evening.
    2.  

    3. If I move my head or eye, sometimes the objects will move towards center But
      also, more dark areas can appear. Sometimes, but very rarely, all the objects will stay on the left side of vision. This is unpredictable.
    4.  

    5. Bright light (outside) makes the condition much worse – or harder to tolerate – more difficult to But in my office (under fluorescent light) it is still very difficult for me to focus and work. It is extremely difficult to read anywhere and at any time. My profession requires reading and profound focus and concentration. And I have always read extensively for personal gratification. Also, I enjoy outdoor activities – a bright sunny day does not hold the joy that it once did.
    6.  

    7. I have had headaches at least once a week that started since this occurred last May; prior to that I had maybe two headaches during the last 20 years. Quite a change! The headaches are not severe and can be treated with Aleve, which bothers my stomach.
    8.  

    9. I became frightened after consulting with the first physician because of the apparent (as reported to me) lack of treatment options. At that time, I was told that the condition would probably “resolve” in 1-3 months. (I could barely read!) Several types of corrective lenses (to drive, to read, to work) were prescribed. These lenses help me cope some with the condition. But almost every day-to-day task was and is disrupted by the activity in my eye. Over time I have become irritable and stressed. My sleep has become disrupted. I am both fatigued and agitated. I vacillate between hopelessness and being frightened. I don’t know what to do to help myself and no one seems to offer a treatment option without emphasizing the negative aspect. I am doing activities to help me cope (exercise, etc.) but it feels like I’m barely staying ahead of the game.
    10.  

    11. My boyfriend has noted that I have become more irritable and easily frustrated. He also notes that I have not been able to complete tasks as effectively as I have in the Also, he notes that activities, such as reading, that I so enjoy are very diminished and this affects my mood. He feels that I seem somewhat depressed.

I so appreciate any help you can give me on this matter. I have become very discouraged. Thank you again for any help, time, and attention.

Kalen S. , MSW Psychotherapist 2007

Visual acuity 20/25 right eye

 

Postoperative statement (right eye)

 

I want to give you an update on how I am feeling – physically and emotionally. I had not realized the negative gradual erosion of my temperament and state of mind or the negative impact my eye dysfunction had on my quality of life. Even my physical energy was significantly reduced.

 

It’s almost 2 months after my eye surgery. My vision is clear. I feel lighter, brighter, and more energetic – like I’ve lost 30 pounds. My humor is back, and I feel a resilience that I had gradually lost over the last year. Work and play are both more gratifying. The positive change is profound and is noted by colleagues and friends.

 

I have not had one headache since the surgery. My life has not been without challenges in the last two months – and I am much more able to handle them with appropriate response and temperament. I feel like myself again!

 

Kalen S. , MSW Psychotherapist 2007

6. Preoperative statement (right eye)

The following is a description of my vision in the right eye. The problems are diffuse haze and center vision blur.

      Diffuse Haze: There is a grey, smoky, haze in my vision making lights, especially car lights, appear as if they are coming out of a foggy night. Lights have halos. Rooms look like they are filled with light smoke.
    1. Center Blur: A thick blob of gel containing trash sits in 95% of my vision. It floats some but never clears my It is like looking though screen wire with Lacrilube or Vaseline. Reading is slow and difficult because the center vision has a blur from the top of the eye to the bottom obscuring the letters. Blinking does not clear the visual field. Eye movement will occasionally clear the vision for less than a second. I lose details and definition. An example is peoples’ faces. I lose the detail and definition of the center of their face to the point of recognizing them only by their voice. Any small detail task is difficult at the very best and is usually done by feel.

Roxann B.

2007

Visual Acuity 20/25 right eye

 

Postoperative statement (right eye)

 

The following is a description of my vision in the right eye post op. The results were immediate and remarkable. My vision is crystal clear, absolutely crystal clear. The difference is like going from opening your eyes under murky water to looking through a freshly cleaned window. The great outdoors looks like it has been washed in a clean spring shower. The colors are vivid. I can see details on faces and definition of dark objects. I can see to tie a fishing hook.

The impact on my daily life is dramatic. I can drive again. I no longer struggle at the grocery store to see the products. I can see my face in the mirror, the dust on the furniture, the computer keyboard. One of the most important things is that I can do my job with greater ease and safety.

I saw my regular ophthalmologist at least eight times from February to May with the same complaint of diffuse haze, center vision blur, and trash in my vision. He actually told me that my eye was perfect, that I could read the 20/20 line, that nothing was wrong and sent me on my way. I mention this to emphasize the importance of the diagnosis and the impact that it has on the quality of life.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication and being excellent in your field. Most of all, thank you for recognizing the problem and restoring my vision. I am well pleased with the outcome.

Roxann B.

2007

7. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

Seeing used to be a passive activity, but now seeing is very much an active thing for me and often tiring. To understand this, you would have to understand what I see all day. In my left eye, if you grabbed the center of your lens and pulled it inward you would see what I see. The center of the field is compressed, and it causes me to scan things to see them. While sitting in my car at a stop sign, I typically cannot see the stop sign while looking at it directly with my left eye (right eye closed). I must rotate my eye to see it. It is clear but compressed and for all intents and purposes I do not use the left eye to do much. Vision in my right eye is best compared to looking through a sheet of waxed paper that had been wrinkled and the wrinkles rotate in the field of vision. Every few days, I get a clear view through the right eye, but it only lasts until I blink. I hold the blink as long as I can, as I cherish the seconds of clear vision. 

When I retired from the Air Force, I taught school. I used to be a registered nurse and had always kept my license active, but not practiced. After teaching school for several years, I decided to return to nursing. I had my eye surgeries after leaving my teaching position and before going back to nursing. However, things slowed down for me with the visual complications. I still enrolled in a nursing refresher class for one semester. A gentleman’s course – non-graded. All RNs who had been out of the practice for a while but wanting to re-enter the job field as a nurse. It was not an academic challenge. (I finished first in my class in my B.S.N. program and did not have difficulty with the material.) I dropped the REFRESHER class halfway through. It was obvious to me that this was not going to work. I was having vision difficulties. I had a hard time reading the board as it was too cloudy. I had a hard time reading the handouts as reading is very difficult and tiring for me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to read orders, read labels, chart, or do many of the requirements of a nurse. (I asked myself if I’d want me to be my nurse and the answer was obvious.) Going back to teaching was not an option as I wouldn’t be able to see the board, read the text, grade papers, enter grades, etc.

In activities of daily living, my vision impacts all that I do. I help around the house quite a bit, but when I clean anything, I have my wife go behind me because I often miss something. I can’t see small things. I miss crumbs when cleaning the counter and I miss spots if I clean a pot or a pan. I leave soap spots on things. I’ve always been very clean and meticulous and normally would have been offended if someone went behind me to see if I cleaned something. Now I ask for someone to follow behind me.

When I fold clothes, I can’t tell if they are inside out or not and usually must feel for seams when I’m folding. I sometimes put a shirt on inside out (I’d never done this before) and often have my wife check if I’m wearing my shirt correctly. I am not much of a reader anymore as it is a chore for me to read. I must have a lot of light to read and still must roll my eyes to do any reading. I do better on the computer with a bright background but get tired from rolling my eyes all the time. I feel like seeing is a job for me and must concentrate at everything that I do. I usually focus straight ahead and often miss things in the periphery. I bump things occasionally because I didn’t see them- they were too high or too low or on the side. If I spill something or drop something on my clothes, I cannot see it. (It reminds me of a nursing home when the patients had food on their clothes.) Doing things I would normally do in a flash now takes much more time and often many attempts. I put so much emphasis on seeing that I often miss steps in doing things or forget to take a tool. I recently bought a self- assemble storage cabinet for the garage. I would normally lay things out in order, then read the directions to accomplish the task. I put everything out, but I had to have my wife read directions for me. I would typically assemble this with ease, but it was truly work for me.

We live in a rural area. I drive to the convenience store by myself – about 2 miles. I feel comfortable driving and would not drive if I didn’t. But when I go anywhere other than the convenience store, I always make sure I have someone in the passenger seat. I can read the road signs, but they are cloudy. I feel safe driving but prefer having a back-up set of eyes. I bought a large screen television so I could enjoy television. With the large screen I can read most of the print going across the screen on the news channels.

Ron I., RN 2007

8. Preoperative statement (left eye)

In 2006, Dr. S removed the cataract in my right eye. The surgery went well, and I experienced improved vision in the right eye. He then removed the cataract in my left eye. The vision in the left eye was still blurred even though the surgery went well. After further discussions, he indicated that I would simply have to learn to live with the blurring. He did indicate that there were procedures to correct this condition, but they were very risky.

In the spring of 2008 at my annual physical with my family physician, I talked to him about my concerns about the blurred vision in my left eye and how difficult it was to drive and to read. I was continually squeezing my left eyelids to try to relieve the blurring without any success. Dr. C indicated that he would look to find out where I might go to have my eye checked.

I was referred to Dr. M and saw him on August 9, 2008. Dr. M did a retinal evaluation on my left eye. His diagnosis was “Posterior vitreous detachment with vitreous haze.” He also indicated that I could simply live these opacities or proceed with removing the opacities with vitrectomy surgery.

Because the opacities have caused me great discomfort, especially while driving and reading, I decided that I would pursue having the opacities removed with surgery.

Ferne G.

2009

Visual acuity 20/25 left eye

Postoperative statement (left eye)

It is very difficult to find adequate superlatives to describe my delight in the improvement in vision in my left eye because of the surgery. Since the surgery, I awaken each morning with anticipation and a touch of fear that the improvements were a dream.

The clarity and sharpness of my vision is remarkable! I am able to distinguish details and color without glasses, which was not possible before the surgery. Driving and reading have again become pleasurable and the urge to squeeze my eyelids has completely disappeared. I feel that my prescription glasses will change drastically for the left eye.

I can’t tell you how important your research and findings are to real people in everyday life (like me). I am truly blessed to have been guided to my retina doctor and his team so that I could benefit from their skill and expertise. I feel that the quality of my life has been enhanced for many years to come. I am just sorry that my grandmother who lived to 103 could not have benefitted from such techniques because she was mentally astute but almost blind for the latter years of her life.

I hope that more and more knowledge of your research gets communicated to practicing ophthalmologists. With our aging “Baby Boomers” this is critical for enhanced quality of life.

Ferne G. 2009

9. Preoperative statement (left eye)

In August 2009, my left eye began to have terrible floaters in it. They were really bad to the point where I could hardly see out of my left eye. My optometrist checked my eyes and said that I had detaching vitreous. He said that maybe the floaters might settle down after a while. After 3 months, they hadn’t gotten any better, so I made an appointment with the ophthalmologist who did my cataract surgery. He explained that this is normal and happens as we age.

I have tried to adjust to it, but it has gotten worse and worse. The floaters will disappear for only moments at a time and then reappear. I have enjoyed sewing and needle work for many years, but it has gotten to the point that I can’t do them because I have a hard time focusing. I also have difficulty reading and doing other close-up work. I catch myself blinking all the time to try to clear it up. I have a hard time seeing faces clearly at a distance. I could see so well after my cataract surgery, but now it has gotten bad again.

I see cloudy lines, bubbles, and black spots. most of the time. It seems it is really bad in bright light, so I wear dark glasses when I go outside. I have gotten to where if I want to see something really well, I cover my left eye with my hand. As I write this, the floaters in my left eye are moving back & forth across my vision. It would be wonderful to see clearly out of this eye again.

(From husband, Jim): I am well aware that this eye condition seriously interferes with activities my wife enjoys and has enjoyed for years. She complains about it almost daily as she attempts to sew, read, etc. It would help her tremendously if this condition was corrected.

Jo Ann W. 2010

Visual acuity 20/25 left eye

Postoperative statement (left eye)

I am so happy over the sight in my left eye now. I can see so clearly. I have been able to start sewing again and am even able to thread the needles really well. I can see people so much better than I could before the surgery and the bright light doesn’t bother me anymore. I do not have any floaters at all. My vision is just perfectly clear. In fact, I can see better out of my left eye than I can the right one now. I think it has even helped my attitude. I know my husband is glad to not hear me complaining about my eye anymore. I am just so thankful to have good vision again and I will never forget you for giving it back to me. Thank you! 

Jo Ann W. 2010

10. Preoperative statement (right eye)

It has been a little over two months since I came to see you for a consult on my “floaters.” They have not improved. I watched the diskette you gave me several times, and all I could think is “that’s me.” I first noticed the huge floater in my right eye about 18 months ago… I was told it would eventually float down below my line of vision – so far it has not. Now that I know that it can be corrected, I’ve decided I would like to move forward with the procedure.

This condition can be “lived with” as I’ve been told, but it’s a miserable experience.

Clay S.

2011

Visual acuity 20/30 right eye

11. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

I appreciated your thorough examination of my eyes. I learned a great deal and appreciated you taking the time to explain vitreoretinal surgery to me. You’ve given me hope for my vision for the first time in over two years.

This has been a frustrating situation for me and after speaking with you, I have become aware of the many ways my vision is impairing my life. For the sake of not rambling, I decided to list some of the symptoms I am experiencing every day.

  • I have a very difficult time focusing e., determining the sharpness of any image whether it be big or small.
  • Reading is difficult even with my glasses. This makes work very challenging because most of the time I am reading correspondence, working on the computer, or even trying to check phone numbers as they come up on the caller
  • Putting on make-up is a challenge to say the least.
  • When I go up and down stairs, I always feel the need to hold onto the railing (although this could have something to do with the high heels l love to wear), but really it is because I cannot determine exactly where the next step is. It is like being in a fog or under water. Approximately two years ago, I missed a step and broke my arm because I didn’t see the next
  • When I am driving it is always a challenge to read the road signs, street signs, and speed limit signs, sometimes even red lights. I have a hard time seeing if people are in the road and how close other cars are to me, whether it be in front of me or in the back or on the side of my car. I feel like I am constantly seeing objects which may or may not really be there.
  • It is difficult to focus on another person’s face because I am constantly trying to clear my vision by squinting, blinking, or sometimes even shaking my heard. You asked me if anyone had noticed these types of abnormalities. My family told me that they have been concerned about my vision for a long time because of the squinting and blinking they observed when we are having conversations.
  • Usually by the end of the day, I am exhausted, which I attribute to the stress and strains of my job. However, now I wonder if it is not caused from overcompensating for my vision.

 

Cindy P. 2011

12. Preoperative statement (right eye)

For the last two years I have had the constant unwanted company of a vitreous floater that greatly affects my daily function. Every morning upon waking my first thought is that maybe today it has settled somewhere out of my main field of vision, but that has not happened. It sweeps across my vision with every blink like a creepy spider. Some days it is completely over the middle of my eye, and others it is over the side affecting

my peripheral vision. When that happens, I see shadowy movement that is not there, which is sometimes quite embarrassing when I react to or walk around something that is not there.

Some days my vision seems to be covered with a milky film or there is a low hanging fringe over my eye, and I have developed a habit of brushing my hair back and rubbing above my eye trying to clear my vision.

While my eye exams show good vision there is always a constant effort to blink and clear, blink and clear over and over again. At work I read numbers incorrectly and strain to see my computer screen clearly. My productivity is lessened by the need to constantly proof my work and make corrections. By the end of the day, I am exhausted by the effort to maintain the needed level of exactness my job requires. The thought that I will have to live with this condition is a very depressing thought.

I look forward to achieving a solution and having a better quality of life!

Jane C.

2011

Visual acuity 20/20 right eye

Postoperative statement (right eye)

On May 17, 2011, I had surgery to remove the vitreous from my right eye. When the bandage was removed early the next morning, I had an immediate flood of relief. My vision was crisp and perfect! I caught myself reflexively blinking as had been my habit before the surgery and have since lost that habit entirely. My productivity at work is so much improved, and I am no longer exhausted and depressed by my poor vision.

This surgery has been a life changing experience. Looking at landscapes while traveling is no longer marred by the sweeping black film that used to be over my eye. Reading, viewing TV, and watching movies is enjoyable again. My whole outlook toward being active is renewed due to my improved vision. There is not one aspect of my daily life that has not improved since the surgery.

Jane C. 2011

13. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

About a year and a half ago I developed a visual problem mainly in my left eye. I began to see large blobs of gray mass and black webs and dots in my field of vision. I have floaters in both eyes, but the left eye is significantly worse than the right eye. The floaters are constant and become more active in sunlight and bright surroundings.

The floaters are with me 24/7 and their movement varies. On occasion they are fast moving dots, and, at other times, a large blob hangs in my central field of vision and lingers. There are times that I feel like I am encased in a virtual pin ball machine with these particles surrounding me. It is depressing and I am anxious to find a safe solution.

Last year, I arranged for laser treatment through Dr. K. Regrettably, this treatment provided no relief, as he indicated that my floaters were too close to the retina. This problem has altered my quality of life and made it more difficult for me to function in my occupation as an HR Manager for a large consulting engineering firm. In this role, I spend all day on the computer and this chronic floater problem makes it difficult for me to focus on my work. I also now avoid reading, whenever possible, as my concentration suffers as a result of the floaters.

I am near sighted and have been wearing glasses since age 6. I am in excellent health and my eyes are ok, aside from this issue. Doctor Morris, I am delighted with your research and success in this field and would be very happy to seek your help in resolving this issue. My family and friends are very supportive of my desire to find a successful treatment. I sincerely hope we can move forward.

George S.

2011

Visual acuity 20/20 each eye

Submitted by George’s wife regarding his vision

George has been very unhappy since his visit with Dr. K last year. He had very high hopes of that his problem with floaters would be alleviated if not corrected completely. The series of approximately 60 laser blasts was virtually useless; he experienced no change at all. He was further depressed that the doctor could offer no alternatives.

He only speaks of his problem occasionally, stating that it really bothers him and that it occurs 24/7 unless he’s asleep. He gets no relief during the waking hours.

His eyes are important – all of our eyes are important obviously, but he spends a lot of time driving and a lot of time on the computer, so it’s worse for him.

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

I am elated with the results of the two DVS surgeries on my eyes. The latest DVS surgery on my right eye was equally as successfully as the left eye 2011 DVS surgery you performed.

It is great to get behind the wheel and no longer have to look out, over, and around blobs of matter in my field of vision. You cleaned “my human windshield” and gone are the annoyances of the debris I was seeing for far too long. Everything involved with seeing is now clear and brand new.

It is difficult for me to understand why mainstream ophthalmologists are not more open-minded to the potential benefits of vitrectomy!

I am very grateful to you for publicizing the DVS procedure on the helenkellerfoundaCon.org website and I encourage you to continue these communication efforts. This is where I found you.

George S.

2012

14. Preoperative statement (right eye)

Whether at work or enjoying a hobby, achieving visual clarity has become a conscious effort. Blurred fuzzy lines, false objects to see around, and hazy clouds are proving not only exhausting and frustrating, but intrusive in normal functioning as a productive and active man.

I am a very active and involved 64-year-old business owner, husband, father, and community member with a need for clear vision. My work requires me to read computer screens, written documents, instructions, and use sensitive small-scale instruments. I also speak and teach frequently which requires reading and preparing printed text. In addition, I have developed meaningful hobbies which included studying and reading World War II novels and biographies, fishing and boating, hunting, gardening, activities with my grandchildren, and sight-seeing travel trips.

For the past several months, I have experienced a marked decline in the clarity of my vision in my right eye. Computer screens are blurred, and, at times, are almost unreadable. At work, reading small-scale instruments are difficult due to frequent blurring and mistakes in this area are costly. Reading instructions or for pleasure is laborious, frustrating, and repetitive as I must be sure that I have not missed a small word or words that could be meaningful to proper understanding. When reading material to an audience, I struggle to maintain my self-confidence (even though I have had years of experience and education) as I often stumble over words and appear to be a poor reader when I am attempting to blink and move my head to see the text more clearly as the lines and characters seem blurry or shadowed.

This visual experience is difficult to describe, but I have told others, “It is like attempting to see around something that isn’t there.” Repositioning my head and sometimes blinking will offer temporary clarity, but it quickly blurs again. For example, while driving, I feel a need to readjust mirrors, blink, move my head for a better vantage point, or even rub my eye to gain visual clarity. In addition, lights create a discomfort and sometimes can be disorienting especially when the lights are in front of me or approaching me. The lights can also appear haloed, and all surrounding objects tend to be obscured from vision.

Along these same lines, I have also noticed an increasing lack of depth perception when looking down at steps or walking across/over obstacles. This may be because I am not seeing the whole picture or there is a visual difference between my right and left eyes. However, this is creating a couple of physical concerns. First, this lack of depth perception is throwing off my balance and causing me great hesitation as I ascend or descend stairs especially if I were to carry a small child or valuable objects.

Second, this inability to perceive depth accurately prevents me from pursuing exercise or gardening outdoors as vigorously as I have in the past, and I am falling into a more sedentary lifestyle because I am struggling to keep visual clarity.

Confirmation that I needed medical treatment came on a recent hunting trip when I was unable to clearly focus on the target. A single object would appear shadowed or as two objects. Sometimes, there would even appear to be an obstruction on the gun barrel.

Therefore, I find that it is necessary, given all the above reasons and personal statements, that for my quality of life to go back to what it has been in the past, I need to regain the visual clarity in my right eye by pursuing the most effective medical treatment.

James P. 2012

Visual acuity 20/20 right eye

15. Preoperative statement (left eye) (Childhood injury right eye)

The problem I am experiencing with my left eye has created numerous difficulties for me. The large object that I am seeing in my line of vision is always there and always moved to my point of focus. Because of my very limited vision in my right eye due to a childhood injury, I am almost totally dependent on my left eye to see and function daily. Hence, this problem with my left eye is extremely disabling.

It is affecting my daily life, such as my ability to read, to write, to attend to my personal hygiene, and everything I try to do. I cannot see through it or force this object to move. It is constantly in the view of whatever I am trying to focus upon.

Charles C. 2016

Visual acuity 20/20 left eye.

Postoperative statement (left eye) (Childhood injury right eye)

The results of my surgery are very positive. The object that was affecting my daily life is now gone and I am able to read again and maintain my daily hygiene and even drive.

My depth perception has improved tremendously along with my ability to focus. For the first time since age 12, I can actually read without glasses.

I am so grateful that this procedure was available to me. I would make the same decision again to have this surgery. My independence has been restored.

Charles C. 2016

16. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

During the past year and a half (2014 – 2016), I have noticed floaters in both eyes. In my left eye, the floaters are like little cobwebs and not as visible in the morning. The floaters become more visible as the sun comes up. Thus, wearing sunglasses seems to help, but not completely.

The right-eye floaters are very distinct with black thick floaters. I have been known to try and catch flies only to be catching air, as the floaters in each eye will make me see fruit flies.”

I work on a large screen computer with large font most of the day, and I must continuously move my eyes to see and read. While grocery shopping, I find myself having to look out of the side of my eyes to see the name of a product. Also, when ordering from a fast-food restaurant, I find trying to read the menu extremely frustrating! I must move my eyes back and forth to be able to see it.

While driving at night, I wear yellow-colored sunglasses to help with the bright lights. The floaters are visible during 100% of waking hours causing frustration and anxiety!

Kim D. 2016

Visual acuity 20/25 right eye and 20/20 left eye

17. Preoperative statement (right eye)

The issue with my right eye causes great difficulty in passing the vision test for a driver’s license. I had to take it several times. I can’t read road signs. I can’t always read the computer screen, which is my job. I end up straining my neck to get closer to be able to read. The floaters/blurred area interfere with reading, and I have more headaches from trying to focus through blurred areas/spots trying to read or look at an object. In skeet shooting, I have changed from being able to hit about 98 of 100 targets to hitting 89-91, with these mainly coming from the left side.

When I move my eyes or change focus, there is a “small blob” that floats/appears from the top right to the center of vision in my right eye. I feel like I need to wipe goo off my eye. This began about February 2016 and hasn’t calmed down. Another physician stated that it might be my optic nerve, but as far as my vision is concerned, he couldn’t do anything. Also, I have many black floaters, both spots and lines, with a big, crooked line to the right and center of my right eye. I have a blurry spot on the left eye too, but not anywhere near as bad as in the right eye. I am right eye dominant and have monovision.

Debbie P., RN 2016

Visual acuity 20/25 right eye

Postoperative statement (right eye)

I had floaters the majority of my adult life. Around the age of 50, the overwhelming number of floaters drastically affected my field of vision with my right eye. Besides normal everyday vision that was constantly distracted or blocked by floaters when driving, reading, working as an ICU RN or completing activities of daily living, I also spent a lot of my time in shotgun practice and competition. Several of my floaters were bigger than the clay target at 21 feet. When Dr. Morris assessed my vision situation telling me he could make my vision clear, I carefully made my decision to have the procedure on my right eye. I also had floaters in my left eye, but not anywhere near the number as in my right eye. My right eye was also my dominant eye used in shooting clay targets.

After the procedure, I was amazed with the clarity of vision in my right eye. It was one of the best gifts I ever received. I was and am very thankful Dr. Morris possessed the talent, knowledge, and interest for correcting my vision situation. Would I allow this surgery again? Yes, absolutely!

Note: Postoperatively, Debbie won the state skeet shooting championship, breaking 100 consecutive clay targets traveling 46 mph, and then winning a runoff against the perennial champ who also had scored a perfect 100.

Preoperative statement (left eye)

I have lived with the large opacity in my left eye for over a year, hoping it would either disappear, reduce in size, or move out of the center of my vision. It has not. In bright light, normal eye movement causes it to move around the center of my eye, intermittently blurring as it moves. In dim light the effect is much worse as even the periphery of the opacity causes blurring. This is most noticeable while driving at night, as the opacity causes oncoming headlights to “flare”. With only one eye at full capacity, I have abandoned “monovision,” which worked very naturally for me at my job (computer programmer). Reading glasses are not as effective for me and create more eye strain.

Without treatment, it appears I will have permanently reduced utility in this eye, not useful for distance viewing. And the intermittent motion of the opacity makes it difficult to maintain focus on close-in text. I imagine my risk factors will only increase with age, so if the surgeon agrees, I would prefer to have the opacity removed as soon as it is convenient.

Jeffery S.

2016

Visual acuity 20/15 left eye

Optical coherence tomography image of the floater “shadowing” the left macula of Jeffery S, momentarily causing legal blindness in the left eye many times each day.

19. Preoperative statement (left eye) (Amblyopia right eye)

A couple of years ago I noticed that I had small floaters. Even though they were a little bit of a nuisance, they were not obtrusive at the outset and most affected my peripheral vision. As time has gone by (and particularly in the last year), I have noticed that my floaters have gotten bigger. At first, I thought that my contact lens in my left eye was simply not clean enough because my vision had become cloudy, and I sometimes had to blink several times to see clearly. I began a more strenuous regiment of cleaning my contact lens every couple of days with hydrogen peroxide to see if that would help.

I am a paralegal and work on a computer most of the day drafting documents and correspondence and reading/writing emails. In the past year, I have found myself having to blink repeatedly when my vision is blocked, or my vision is blurred and impaired by the floaters in my left eye. There seems to be one particularly large floater in the left eye (which is my primary source of sight since I have amblyopic in my right eye). When I blink several times, the floater seems to pass” by, and my vision comes back

into focus. This does interfere constantly with my work. I also find that I often have this same problem when I am watching television or using my iPhone or iPad. It has become more and more noticeable with the passage of time.

Linda D.

2017

Visual acuity 20/30 left eye

20. Preoperative statement (right eye)

The floaters in my right eye present a problem for me in performing my work. I am a freelance writer and graphic designer, and the floaters can settle into my line of sight, interfering with my ability to write and edit, and perform photo editing and other fine detail work.

In addition, the larger floaters often settle into my line of sight when I’m driving, impairing my vision until I can move my eye enough to cause them to move out of my central vision.

I hope this information assists you with your treatment decision. If I may provide any additional information or clarify any of the details, please let me know.

Tim L. 2017

Visual acuity 20/20 right eye

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

My quality of life is greatly improved following the vitrectomies in both eyes. I do a substantial amount of writing and graphic design, and before the surgeries, I struggled with work because the largest of the floaters would settle into my line of sight, obscuring words, or design elements on my computer screen. Reading printed material also was quite difficult, and the floaters impacted other activities such as watching TV and driving. I’m thankful I was able to have the procedures.

Tim L. 2021

21. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

It’s hard seeing to write. When driving, I have to get close to the street signs to read them. It’s hard to drive at night. It’s hard to read, especially numbers which sometimes run together.

I often have to move my head or blink my eyes to see things at a distance. And it’s difficult to see in a dimly lit room.

James B.

2018

Visual acuity 20/25 each eye

Postoperative statement (both eyes)

I just want to write to show my appreciation to my retina doctor for what he’s done for me.

About two years ago, I had my last Vitreous Opacity Vitrectomy on my left eye, and it went great just like my right eye did earlier.

Before surgery I had a hard time seeing really well. It was like looking through a dirty windshield. When I would do an eye exam, I would try to move my head around to look around the floaters to see the eye chart or get them to move a little.

Driving at night with oncoming head lights was quite a chore. Dr. M recommended that I have surgery to get rid of the floaters two years before I did. I just was not ready.

I thought it was more complicated that it was. I am very active for my age. I do all my home repairs, yard work, tractor work, and bobcat work on our 45-acre homestead.

James B.

2021

22. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

When asked when does it bother you?” I replied, When does it NOT bother me?”

I have a continual snow globe effect with swirling debris every time the eye (right) moves. Grayish-brown debris resembling horse hairs in dirty water, an opaque donut, solid black dots, and an overall grayish tinting is within my field of vision.

I am constantly trying to clear its presence from my forward vision (without success) with everything moving around all the time. It occludes vision significantly at times at work for a few seconds, until I can reach a clearer view to continue. The floaters induce significant glare, particularly while driving at night, very much like the grainy array from a laser dispersion image I’ve seen before.

It’s like having a greasy smear across my vision most of the time.

When I did experience totally clear vision in both of my eyes for just a moment, seeing how my vision really should be, it was like a burst of cold, autumn air at the end of summer. But that only lasted for four seconds, unfortunately.

The left eye is virtually the same but has an additional layer of occlusion, appearing as a more homogenous array of evenly dispersed, ultra-fine specks in oil, like on a different focal plane in a rifle scope compared to the other debris.

Jim H. 2018

Visual acuity 20/20 each eye

23. Preoperative statement (left eye)

I had cataract surgery on both eyes in May/June 2018. About a month into the healing process, I thought I saw a small animal run across the floor. Turns out it was something like a very large floater had suddenly appeared in my left eye. I did have small floaters but did not have any large floaters in my left eye prior to the cataract surgery.

The retinal surgeon did remove a large floater (via vitrectomy) from my right eye back in 2015, but this one behaves differently. It appears clearer, but very distorted, and quite large. It is always in my line of vision, whether I look up,down, left, right, or straight ahead. If I look to the left, it crosses my vision to the right and vice versa, but it always settles directly in my line of vision. Because I work in front of a computer screen all day, it is an extreme annoyance and is very disrupting. My left eye vision is blurred, waters more and seems to be more irritated. It causes issues when I’m walking or driving as it sometimes appears that a bird is swooping down toward me, or if I am in the house, like something is running across the counter or the floor.

I have experienced great vision after the cataract surgery. I am seeing better than I can ever remember, so crystal clear out of my right eye. I would very much like to experience the same out of the left eye. I am so appreciative of the vitrectomy the doctor performed three years ago that I look forward to it on my left eye, so that I can experience clear and consistent vision out of both eyes. I have not had that experience as far back as I can remember.

Mark Y. 2018

Visual acuity 20/20 left eye

24. Preoperative statement (right eye)

Over the past year, the ability to see out of my right eye has diminished greatly and my quality of life has decreased. Almost constantly, there is a haze-like substance that appears in my eye, and I must blink or look away to help clear my vision. The following is a list of the problems I am having:

  • I have given up reading a book or newspaper because I can only look at the page for about 5 – 10 seconds before my eyes start to go blurry. I must look away from the page and blink several times before my vision is restored. Reading glasses do not help.
  • I have basically given up driving at night unless it is necessary. When I travel for work or pleasure, I must arrive in plenty of time to get to my destination before dark. This has become a problem because I go to functions in other cities after dark and am forced to find alternate transportation. I fear I will have to tell my boss and I will no longer be able to travel because of my issues.
  • I have an office job that requires me to view the computer screen for 4 or more hours a day. The bright light from the computer screen makes the hazy-like substance much worse and I must constantly look away to clear my vision. Recently, I was in a meeting at work and the handouts were on white paper with small print. I struggled to keep up and was embarrassed when I fell behind because of my blurred vision.
  • Just about every moment I am awake, the hazy-like substance in my right eye is noticeable. I am becoming discouraged because I can no longer live a quality life because of my blurred vision.

Thomas M.

2018

Visual acuity 20/20 right eye

25. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

I have the sensation, especially in my right eye, that I am looking through a clear, shadowy jelly blob infused with tiny black dots throughout. This blob moves constantly as my eye moves and casts shadows over whatever I am looking at. There are black string floaters in my visual field. I also have these sensations in my left eye, but to a lesser extent.

This affects my daily life in my visual perception. It is a constant distraction as the floaters move around. I don’t clearly perceive the edges of things. I don’t clearly see the edges in the center turnstile of the washing machine, and frequently injure my hands. I sometimes walk into the edge of the door, a door frame, edges of furniture, or a wall. It affects my ability to do housework because I do not clearly see dirt. It affects my driving, and I must be always vigilant about curbs and edges. The computer screen gets cloudy, then clearer as the jelly moves. I strain to make out words. Cloudy vision affects my ability to see clearly, and therefore my perception of my surroundings. My mental acuity is affected in a negative way. I believe this will affect me in a more negative way as time goes on unless it is corrected. There is much wisdom in the old saying describing mentally addled older adults, “They have lost their senses.” I want to do all that I can to have the best vision I can, so that I can live a more fulfilled life with as much mental acuity as possible.

 

Virginia H. 2018

Visual acuity 20/20 each eye

26. Postoperative statement (both eyes)

It’s now 2020 and for the first time in 30 years I’m seeing 20/20 (pun intended) with crystal clear vision in both eyes.

As you know, I got to the point I was having trouble reading due to huge floaters. That has now been totally cured with your treatment.

I also want to thank you for your excellent bedside manner. It was very comforting to have a doctor that would sit and talk to me about the procedure and the expected results. Many people told me that this procedure was very dangerous, and I could lose my vision. It was your comment that it was similar to the risk of cataract surgery that gave me the most comfort.

For those doctors that are reluctant to perform this procedure, all I can say is they are denying their patients the gift of clear vision. Shame on them!!!!

John W. 2020

Visual acuity 20/15 each eye

27. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

You have asked that I write you a bit on my experience with my floaters. I have been reflecting on my life and how I had to adapt my vision/my brain so that I may function day to day. I really cannot remember a time when I did not have them. I can remember asking about them when I was in first grade. I already had difficulty seeing the blackboard, so I was to sit in the front row of the class. I ended up getting glasses at the beginning of second grade.

Throughout the years, I have noticed them getting worse (multiplying) and getting bigger. I have asked the eye doctors I regularly see about them, but of course they say, “nothing can be done” and to “just ignore them”. Over the past two years they have become cumbersome to my daily life. It now has become nearly impossible to ignore them and look past/around them. My nearsightedness has been corrected with contact lenses. I have been told my vision is 20/20 yet I have issues focusing and seeing detail. I may see clearly for about a second until the floaters rush over and blur out the clarity. If I want to read or focus on any detail I must constantly look, then look away, then look, then look away again, etc. playing a game of cat and mouse with my floaters.

I have been able to adapt to this over the years, but as of late it has become more and more of a chore just to see what I am looking at. I have constant issues trying to read a book (took me 3 days to read 15 pages) or use a computer (bright light amplifies them and gives me a headache). I encounter problems performing my specific job duties as a Forensic Pathology Assistant (advanced detailed human anatomy dissections) with the County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office. This is an important skill I need to have intact as I still have 8.5 years until I can retire. I also have problems driving my car, especially if it is a gray or rainy day, or at night. It is hard to stay focused on the road when I see my mass of floaters, moving cars, rain, wet windshield, halos, etc. My depth perception has also started to skew. It becomes extremely confusing to drive and I have started to lose my confidence under these roadway conditions.

In my spare time I enjoy painting and playing competitive recreational cornhole. It has become increasingly difficult for me to enjoy these leisure activities. Painting is difficult because my floaters “grey” and deplete the vibrancy of colors I am trying to mix. It is also hard to focus on the details of a painting I am actively working on. And finally, playing competitive recreational cornhole has become increasingly difficult as I cannot focus on the hole (27-30 feet away) and the floaters also affect my depth perception.

I have tried hard for many years to just ignore my floaters. It has become almost impossible to do so anymore. I have tried to become more vocal to my friends and family about what I am dealing with daily. The best way to tell someone about what I see is to think about what it looks like to look through a dirty window all the time. To look through a wet window all the time…to look through the water droplet on that window all the time. If you were a photographer, it would be like trying to take a picture through a chain link fence: Camera would have a hard time focusing on the distance because the chain link fence is always in the foreground trying to change the focal point.

I am now excited to learn there are other people out there like me with this same issue, and that there is a solution for this problem! I am happy to hear I would be a good candidate for a bilateral vitrectomy and am super excited about the prospect of possibly having clear vision in the near future.

Julieanna D. 2021

Visual acuity 20/30 right eye and 20/20 left eye

Postoperative statement (right eye)

This letter speaks to the post-op experience I have had since my Right eye vitrectomy on April 20, 2021.

Simply put, I cannot wait till I have my other eye done as well! I cannot believe I have lived this long looking through a web of grayness. The difference between my right eye and left eye are like night and day. It quite literally is gray and hazy on my left and bright and clear on my right. I am amazed.

Since my vitrectomy I have been able to read a book again. Actually, I have read two books since the surgery. Although I held the book more to my right and looked out my right more than the left, it was great to immerse myself into a book once more.

Before I had the surgery it took me about 3 days to read 15 pages in bright light. Glad those days are over. I am also able to focus on my computer screen at work. When before I had to look, look away, look, look away, repeat, repeat, for me to be productive on my computer. Finally, I can see the white board better on the other side of the morgue at work. It is important for me to be able to see names and numbers from across the room without having to pause, squint, and/or ask others what is written.

Since my vitrectomy, I have been able to begin to enjoy my recreational activities again. When I play competitive cornhole I am now able to focus on the hole better so I may toss the bean bag more accurately. I am winning more! When I bird watch I can actually see more definition/contrast in the birds and not just blobs of color. I can now distinguish between two birds sitting on a tree above me (before I may have thought it was only one bird). I can see more colors than I ever have before. This also helps with my painting craft. As an artist it is humbling to be able to see more colors, tones, hues when before I may have only seen a few, all of them having a gray quality. I look forward to having my left eye done so that I may be a complete person when accomplishing these tasks that I enjoy. It’s only going to get better!

Realistically though, at certain times of the day, certain lights, it has amplified the perception of the floaters in my left eye. They can be quite hard to ignore sometimes. Driving is still a bit of a challenge, especially in the rain. Surgical dissections are sometimes hard to see when I am operating in the morgue. I am optimistic though that when my left eye is complete, I will have no issues any longer.

And finally, I am looking forward to getting my eyes rechecked for glasses/contacts/ bifocals when the second surgery is complete. I’m very interested to see what my new prescription will be with all these floaters no longer in the way!

I want to thank you Dr. M, and your staff for my care over the past several months. I have appreciated the numerous phone calls post-op, the in- office attention and care, and the hope that my quality of life can and will improve with this surgical intervention. I am happy you took me on as a patient. I also thank you for telling my family member, when my patch came off the evening after surgery, that I may see some pepper flakes in my vision. I did see the pepper flakes. I had bubbles of them (see the diagram I made the morning after surgery – it should be in my case file). I am glad to have known this so as not to panic and freak out. As you told me the next day, they would disappear in a few days’ time. My surgery was on a Tuesday and by Saturday morning they were all gone, and my vision was crystal clear. It was emotional for me when I realized my vision was finally clear.

Thank you again, and I look forward to doing this all over again with my left eye later this summer.

Julieanna D. 2021

28. Preoperative statement (both eyes)

Eyesight. Good eyesight – vital to how we function and participate in our daily activities and relationships. I was diagnosed as nearsighted in 1966 at 9 years old. That meant eyeglasses – gasp! Of course, I found ways to compensate without wearing those heinous things. For example, I would always sit in the front row at school and act like I did not notice someone that I clearly had not even seen, etc.

Fast forward – contact lenses! I was allowed to be fitted at age 13. I could finally see and not compromise my vanity. Oh, the clarity! Wow, what I had been missing. Years rock on, my friends and acquaintances were lining up to get corrective surgery including eventually Lasik. I felt no interest, no need to get any procedure to correct my vision – I was perfectly happy with my vision aided by contact lenses and, occasionally, my eyeglasses. Even as I aged and had to adjust my vision to compensate for near and far-sightedness – I was content until one day a very large “insect” flew into my field of vision. What was that?! It was my first floater intruding into my life. What is this continuous thing? This is crazy, why isn’t it going away?!

Upon an initial consultation in 2017, I was advised to give it a year or so and they may not go away, but they can be tolerable. Now in 2021, I have floaters of varying sizes in both of my eyes. Actually, the sizes are irrelevant as they simply present as trash in my eyes – dark shadows surrounded by cellophane is the best way I can describe it. And since I use one eye for distance and one for near vision – all depths of fields are impaired. These are some of the examples that affect me on an on-going basis and for which I have compensated and limited my social and professional activities:

  • Driving – very important. My independence has diminished as my confidence and safety have been compromised. Clear, sunny weather is the best for driving conditions, but often this is not enough to ensure the safest outcome – floaters can and will obstruct critical views! Driving after sunset is dangerous, especially on an unfamiliar road. Forget nighttime – too hazardous!
  • All interior lighting – whether in home or out, must be ideal to avoid frustrations and mishaps. Often, I cannot see a person’s features a mere 4 feet away depending upon where the light is and what type of light it is. Most recently I fell down my staircase in my home. The stairs are painted high gloss white (form over function, I know), but the perfect set up for a floater mishap – – dark objects obscuring against a white background. Shopping in certain stores is problematic depending on the type and amount of lighting.
  • Reading – whether newspaper, magazines, books, or computer. The eye strain increased by the extra effort to “clear the debris” also robs any enjoyment out of once pleasurable activities. Even on a professional level, computer use, reading of documents, reports, etc. has been extra stressful. And the use of any electronics – television, e-readers etc., is problematic.

 

Jean M.

2021

Visual acuity 20/20 each eye

All patients were treated at Retina Specialists of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. RSA is pleased to assist the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education in providing this informational website.

Vitreoretinal surgeons treating Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome (DVS or extensive floaters) at RSA include Drs. Robert Morris, Mathew Sapp, Matthew Oltmanns, and Matthew West.

© 2021 Floater Stories