Related question about retinal deterioration

I feel a bit silly asking this here, as I have not been diagnosed with macular degeneration but do have a problem with the retina. 6 years ago I had a macular hole, and the surgeon found a tear when he was operating. Because of this I am hyper aware of anything going wrong with my eyes.

This week because I noticed some flickering and some sudden floaters in the other eye which has never had any problems, I got checked out by the emergency eye unit. Thankfully there was no retinal detachment or tear, but he did mention that I had some deterioration on the periphery of the retina. Apparently nothing can be done to protect this area. My question is, as I cannot find info about this anywhere - what does this 'deterioration' mean? Is it like degeneration and therefore is there any link at all with macular degeneration?

16 Replies

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  • I can't answer yours question but after I had a Macular Pucker operation and a slight tear they said that a sudden show of floaters needed quick investigation, but as yours is in your good eye this is a different question I expect. pResumably,you have been to a first class,eye clinic ..I went to Moorefields in London they were fantastic..Macular Pucker is not related to degeneration as I understand it... I supposed you could always ask for a second opinion especially if you are worried and if not go for regular check ups..I am sure that's important.

    Take care

    Hather

  • Thank you Hather. Yes, I was worried as this sudden arrival of a group of floaters was unusual for me, and for this eye, though I know that the odd floater is nothing to worry about, and I often get odd ones in the eye that was operated on.

    I live in the far west of Cornwall, so I am dependent on the eye clinic in Truro but it is a newish unit and the person who examined me did bring in someone more senior to also take a look. They both agreed that I had this area of deterioration, but the 2nd man (who was a laser specialist I think), said that what I had could not be lasered to protect it as it had not been shown to be helpful.

    As you say, I think I will be going to the optician for a check up now earlier than the 2 years (but I only went in late Nov and they did not pick this up!), and I may ask my GP for advice as they did do an eye scan for me and maybe they can see it on there.

    I had not heard of Macular Pucker but I have now looked that up!

  • Hi Hather,

    I hope you don't mind me butting in on your reply to Agapanthus, but I have a macular pucker, too, so I'm curious to check in with someone else.

    I've had mine for about 6 years, but I was told there was no tear and therefore not much need to worry unless I suddenly got floaters and flashes - which would indicate a tear. Were you operated on because of the tear, rather than just the macular pucker?

    I admit to being rather confused, as the optician told me I did not have to tell the travel insurance about the mp - but being a nervous and honest person, I did, and they took it seriously, although I did not have to pay any more for my TI cover. Also, the first optician said that the 'fish-eye' effect I was experiencing in that eye was caused by the mp, but his replacement said the effect was astigmatism ... which has since been corrected by a change of lens. I don't know what to believe, and can't help thinking it's all about getting us to pay for expensive scans - especially as most other nearby opticians did not offer such things ... at least not then. My GP rather pooh-poohed my concern, saying that I'd just landed myself with a possibly unnecessary 'diagnosis'.

    Any help or advice gratefully received, thanks.

  • Hi gritty reads,sorry just found your post..of course it's fine to ask me.My problem started with wavy lines and when I was reading the inside of letter like an o or an e were filled in with grey colour..at first I thought I needed stronger glasses..my optician did a referral to the specialist who had done my cataract previously and I saw him at Watford hospital..he then referred me to Moorfields as I don't think they had the special equipment.. When I got to Moorfields they said I could have the op the following week, but u had to arrange my late hubby to respite so had to wait another few weeks..The op went ok, I think a small tear may have occurred during the but thus can happen..I stayed inMoorfields two nights and was so well looked after.

    When I came home I had to stay in one position for over a week getting up for about ten minutes every hour to put drops in eat or bathroom.

    I did get flashes after and went up there twice to double check nothing had gone wrong, they were very thorough, even tho I had to wait four hours to see specialist. They said everything healing ok..when hubby came home and because I had to lift him etc, the flashes still there..my optician said everything was ok tho,he died in June in care and the flashes are only occasional..I am always able to phone a Nurse in the 24 He emergency at Moorfields which I did once and they said fine we Imwas worried I could go up anytime..so the result now is that I do still get some w y lines but can see very well, a different distance and co,our with each eye, which is normal in the circumstances and occasional floaters..The most Important thing they told me would need urgent attention was if I got a shower of floaters then I must contact them immediately..touch would this has never happens..apologies for bad typing, my IPad rules me..lucky you living in Cornwall we had a wonderful holiday in Newquay once..hope all goes well for you

    😊😊 Hather

  • Sorry I got muddled up about Cornwall..I am 80 lol. Doctors are very busy but its your eye and I didn't have to pay anything, had the optician confirmed there was no problem they I would have had to pay as it was inbetween annual check ups..then it was less than £30 I think.. I think the optician said it was a fairly new operation as I understood it. Hope this helps

    hAther

  • I don't think you are silly at all, Agapanthus, and have taken very sensible action getting the changes you have noticed checked out by the hospital immediately. You cannot be too careful with your eyes and it's absolutely right to seek help and get regular checks. My mum had surgery for a macular hole (twice in fact as it was unsuccessful first time round) and years later developed macular degeneration and, for the past three years, her condition changed to wet AMD. As you may know, the latter can be successfully treated with injections and, while the thought of it is not pleasant, it is a very effective way of maintaining vision in the eye. Your condition might be quite different but I hope it will be reassuring to know that there are already treatments out there for conditions that led to blindness years ago and further research is ongoing so, hopefully, you will find the help you need is available if and when you have any further problems. Take care and good luck!

  • Hi Agapanthus,

    I found a site that might have more retina specific info for you, also has a forum you can post on.

    It's called Action for blind people, is supported by the RNIB, but has info for sighted people too who are researching their various conditions. I found it by typing "retinal deterioration" into Google.

    The Macular Society helpline might also be able to point you in the right direction 0300 3030 111

    Good luck for the future x

    Hope you find the info you need.

  • Thank you Rooky17 for your kind words.

    Also thank you Eyesright for those suggestions, and I am looking at the Action for blind people website right now. When i had the macular hole op I had some very useful support from someone on a similar site, but when they updated it I lost the info so I will try this one and thank you! Also thank you for the Macular Society phone number.

  • Dear Agapanthus,

    You did exactly the right thing in terms of getting your eyes looked at as soon as you saw any sudden changes. As you have been given a very vague diagnosis, it may be wise to start by making an appointment to see your optometrist as soon as possible. I am suggesting as soon as possible to minimise the wait and worry time before you get some clarification. It is far better to get this from an eye professional, as opposed to searching online. Hopefully they will be able to address your questions. If not, you can always request a referral to a retinal specialist via your GP. We never suggest going to the GP for referrals if the situation is deemed urgent by the optometrist, but if it is deemed non urgent and clarification is still felt necessary, then this route would be advisable.

    If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us on our Macular Society helpline on 0300 3030 111.

    Kind regards

  • Thank you so much Rosalyn. I was thinking of contacting my GP because they did do a scan while I was at the emergency appointment so maybe someone can tell me more from that.

    The odd thing is, re the optomotetrist, that I had my 2 year exam only in late November, and nothing untoward was picked up then. Maybe it just wasn't visible at that stage, and I do feel or at least wonder, if the sudden cobwebby floaters are related to the deterioration.

  • Hello,

    In terms of floaters, they can develop for a variety of reasons. They are not linked to macular disease. It is always important to check out either a sudden appearance of them, or an increase or change in them as they can be linked to other eye or medical conditions e.g. diabetes.

    Some eye conditions can develop quite rapidly and it is always important to err on the side of caution and get any sudden eye changes checked out in case rapid action is needed.

    Kind regards,

  • Thank you. I didn't realise that floaters could be linked with diabetes amongst other things. I have been checked for that in the past, and was OK but I will ask for another up to date check.

    You say that they are not linked with macular disease which is useful to know,so not likely to be linked with the deterioration that has been noted on the periphery of the macular - is that considered a disease?

    I believe that floaters can also occur when the vitreous shrinks away from the retina which is a natural process of ageing, but not so good when it sticks and pulls the retina away causing a hole or detachment. I hope that is all that it is, but I feel I should be extra cautious due to the retinal hole I had previously (there's a 10% chance of getting another apparently).

  • Hello,

    Yes, floaters can also be linked to the ageing process, which is why I have them!

    I think that its important not to speculate too much and see a medical professional who will explain the believed cause and also clarify the other issues of concern.

    Yes, it is always important to err on the side of caution where eyes are concerned.

    Kind regards.

  • Hi just stumbled upon this post. Look up lattice degeneration. I am very nearsighted and the retinal specialist checks for this type of problem. It is a thinning of the retina along the periphery of back of eye that can look like lattice. Currently there is no treatment but it ask your doctor if this is what he means. Hope this helps and wish you well. Try not to worry and keep yourself positive. That is the only way I get through this.

  • Kerryboo - thank you, that's very kind of you to reply, and you turn out to be correct! I contacted the GP who had received a letter by then regarding my retinal deterioration and indeed it is lattice deterioration. I spoke to the nurse at the eye clinic and she was rather dismissive of it, and didn't seem to think it was that important.

    However as I understand it, it can predispose you to more likelihood of retinal detachment as the thinning of course adds to the risk. As you say though, there is no treatment, and perhaps I only have thinning in one area from the sound of things so maybe that means it's not so bad. I read on the net that being very short sighted predisposes you to it, but curiously I am not (very short sighted).

  • Glad it helped you and glad your not short sighted. I cant see 2 inches in front of me. Lattice degeneration can be stable for years with no problems. So best to you and forward we go. Best of luck.

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