Eye exam has just discovered a retinal haem... - AF Association

AF Association

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Eye exam has just discovered a retinal haemorrhage, do I stop my warfarin?


Just back from the opticians and had a routine photo taken of my retina, which showed a large retinal haemorrhage, which hasn't impaired my vision, and I wouldn't have know about it if the photo hadn't been taken. Managed to see my GP en route for home (great service) and discuss the findings, and she's organising an ophthalmology appointment. I already have an appointment with the cardiologist for next Tuesday. We looked at the pros and cons of stopping the warfarin, and as I haven't had any major AF episodes since early April, more or less reached the decision to stop the warfarin for now, as maintaining my vision is paramount. My INR hasn't been high, in fact last reading was 1.8 so it was too low. I feel stuck as I really don't want to risk a stroke. Help needed please.

7 Replies

Hi Lizzily

Wow do not envy you that decision, but I think given the circumstances, coming off for a few days until you see the Cardio and then the opthamologist is probably the right decision.

I am wondering what your CHA2DS2-VASc score is in the meantime, to really be able to assess the risk, I am also wondering out loud if any of the warfarin alternatives would be any better or protect your eyes better?

I also have to admit I had a bleed in the eye around ten days ago, woke up with a very bloodshot eye, but no vision impairment or pain, saw the doctor same day and she simply said don't worry, and it has cleared up OK but perhaps I should go an see an optician now.

Good luck and do keep us informed


lizzily in reply to Beancounter

Think I should have written my reply here and not as a response, will I ever get used to this new way of working? Did find your info. re the site helpful. Thanks

I saw my Electrophysiiologist last week and as I have been AF free for 15 months and have been struggling with bradycardia and low blood pressure we were discussing further reductions of blood pressure and beta blocker medication. He was however adamant that, with a CHAD of 2, I could not EVER stop or reduce my anti coagulant, Xarellto. He put the fear of God into me by saying that just 30 seconds of AF could form a life threatening blood clot and that no one who has had AF can, even after successful ablation, ever consider stopping their anti coagulant because they could slip into AF for just half a minute and have a stroke!

Afterwards I thought about having to stop it for dental procedures or other medical interventions. I will now be stressed out worrying about a stroke if I need to stop it. You can perhaps appreciate now my feelings of apprehension when I read your reply to the lady who had the retinal bleed as it was definitely stressed to me that risks of stroke were very high without anti - coagulants, even when AF appeared cured.

Just realised these posts are theee years old, so my reply is perhaps of no interest now.

Hi Beancounter, Nice to chat again. You can't see my bleed by looking at my eye as it is on the retina. I have yearly check ups, which I had today because I have a birthmark on my retina. The optician took a retinal photo and I could see the blob, which is the bleed on the computer screen. Worry not about a bloodshot eye 'tis different from this but it doesn't hurt to get your eyes tested. My score is 2 as I have hit 66, but no other risk factors. I think as I have been relatively AF free since early April I will stick to plan A, and in fact haven't taken the warfarin tonight. It's not long to Tuesday. By the way I pass through Waterloo quite a lot so might gate crash your next nosh and natter. All the best Liz

BeancounterVolunteer in reply to lizzily

Hi Liz

Wherever you post doesn't matter I will still read it, and thanks for the reassurance, but haven't had my eyes tested for some years so still think I shall make that appointment.

And we would LOVE to see you at Nosh and Natter, it was so good to meet some of the wonderful people from this site, and also very reassuring how "normal" we all are (except me of course :) )

Still wishing you well


Hi Liz

Your discovery prompted me to hot foot it to my optician this morning to make a much overdue appointment to have my eyes tested. I guess my next step will have to be a check up at the dentist - I am such a scaredy cat about going there and have been putting it off for far too long!


lizzily in reply to Langara

Hi Anthea

Glad to have been of some use It's so easy to procrastinate and I have to admit that my eye test was 4 months late, but never the less timely, as it turned out. Not sure what decision will be reached about my warfarin and it's surprising how unsafe I feel without it. See what the cardio has to say on Tuesday, talking of which, I need to stop procrastinating and get my list of questions written. I need a kick up the derriere!

Wishing you well, Liz

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