Could it be GCA? I really hope not!: I had my hip... - PMRGCAuk

PMRGCAuk
11,265 members20,514 posts

Could it be GCA? I really hope not!

suzy1959
suzy1959

I had my hip replacement nearly 3 weeks ago and am making a good recovery. This morning, about an hour ago, I started having some visual disturbances in my left eye. Like lightning flashes on the side, then like black ink outlines of blobs, then a larger black ink outline across my vision. This has lessened now to just a few dots of black. When I closed my eye, I could still see it. I have no other symptoms or pains and my PMR has ben behaving itself too.

I e-mailed Rod Hughes but he is on holiday. I need some reassurance please if possible!

17 Replies
oldestnewest
Celtic
CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer

Susie, if it were me, I would get an urgent appointment with an ophthalmologist, not just to rule out GCA but there are other eye problems that can produce the symptoms you describe. For instance, my friend described her sudden eye problem as feeling like a curtain coming half way across the eye and that turned out to be a detached retina. I recently experienced what you describe as "lightning flashes" in the corner of one eye and that turned out to be a vitreous detachment. Pity you aren't a bit nearer to me as I have a wonderful ophthalmologist in Sunbury-on-Thames. Hopefully, it will turn out to be nothing to worry about, especially as you are making a good recovery from your hip surgery. Glad that's over for you, Susie. Good luck with the eye.

Celtic
CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer

Suzy, if it's any help and you can get to St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, where you usually see Rod Hughes, there is an ophthalmologist there called Mike Tappin who Rod Hughes once recommended to me.

I would get it checked out for reassurance.

I had very similar to you, I had flashing lights in the right eye and then what I called "spiders" or "flies" in both eyes. It was very distressing. I rang 111 and asked for advice, they told me to go straight to the A & E Eye Hospital.

I was told that it is quite common to have theses flashing lights and spiders as one gets older and that the eyes would eventually compensate and the spiders would diminish but to go back if they got any worse.

I do still get the spiders but mainly in bright sunlight so I wear sunglasses all the time.

Please get it checked out ASAP as occasionally it can be something more serious.

Thank you so much for your input. Looking up PVD, this seems the most likely cause and so, just to be on the safe side I am going to have a check at the local optician’s this afternoon. Very luckily, my husband is working from home today so can drive me there as I am out of action because of the hip replacement! Fingers crossed that’s all it is, but I wouldn’t have known about it without you lovely people!

GerriMc
GerriMc
in reply to suzy1959

Suzy, I had exactly the symptoms you describe some months back and was on here looking for advice. Everyone was great. I took the advice and had it checked out , it was PVD. It settled down in a few days but I have a lot more floaters than before. But that’s OK.

DorsetLady
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Would have given same advice as Celtic. You may find ophthalmologist refers to you A&E if he’s not 100% sure.

Please let us know outcome, and good luck!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

Get thee to an optician if you can or at the very least phone one - there are other things besides GCA that can cause those sort of symptoms, retinal detachment being one and vitreous detachment another.

Please let us know outcome fingers crossed all ok

I have been to the optician and had a thorough check up including a 3D scan. She could see that it was indeed vitreous detachment in my left eye and also a partial detachment in my right eye. The pictures were very interesting! So, that has been confirmed and she told me to go straight to St. Thomas’ if I get a prolonged bout of floaters as our local hospital doesn’t have emergency ophthalmologists. Thank you so much for your input, especially Celtic for your prompt reply- I had never heard of PVD before!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador
in reply to suzy1959

Good that you have an answer! Is there anything to be done or is it a "wait and see"?

suzy1959
suzy1959
in reply to PMRpro

It is a wait and see. There may be no further problems at all.

Celtic
CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer
in reply to suzy1959

Phewee, Suzy! When the lightning flashes stopped in my eye, I thought goody, the vitreous must have re-attached! On relating this to my ophthalmologist at my next appointment, I was told it can’t re-attach but I just wasn’t noticing it any more - the brain learns to disregard the floaters! I thought that was pretty smazing. Hopefully, that will be your experience, too, Suzy. Mine was caused by trauma to my eye - don’t ask.....senior moment!

I've had the lightening flashing that gradually turned to a waterfall effect and took over the whole eye until I couldn't see and lasted overnight - was diagnosed with GCA. The eye did recover once on steroids - I still occasionally get the waterfall effect but it goes within a short time, usually in poor light....I see you've now got the PVD diagnosis, how lucky that Celtic was on the ball - and you acted so quickly. There are so many visual disturbances you can't take any risks. I'd never heard of PVD. Pleased you are making good progress from your hip op.

I am glad tho that your hip replacement went well for you. I was wondering about you. Did you decide to retire or just reduce hours? I retired but am working half day a week till Xmas. Has made a big improvement in my quality of life.

suzy1959
suzy1959
in reply to bunnymom

I am officially retiring next week but haven't been working much at all, partly due to hip op. I don't know how much this will help but I have found that I don't want to be a counsellor anymore; I don't want to be in the helping professions at all anymore. This is quite a change for me as I have been "helping" all my life, without questioning it! I am choosing to interpret my physical issues as a possible manifestation of burnout and they have helped me to get to this hopefully healthier place.

bunnymom
bunnymom
in reply to suzy1959

Wow that is quite a change. Best wishes for a quick recovery for you xoxo.

From replies and your reassurance from optician , pleased everything now going ok for you Suzy after your operation.

You may also like...