My eyes are aging – it happens to us all – but not gracefully. In 2014, while cycling in Germany, something a bit drastic happened inside my left eye. It quite literally, or at least physically, changed the way I see the world. And not for the better.
Here’s what happened, how I felt at the time, and what I now know, and how I feel about that, too.
First – a coincidence. I love coincidences. In the morning of the day – June 20 – I first noticed that my left eye had a problem. There was a huge floater spanning the entire height of my visual field. I have always had floaters, but this was something else! I was pretty worried, but didn’t think I needed to do anything until we were back home. Now for the coincidence. Have a look at this picture:
See that little blob top-centre? That’s actually a bit of crud that got into my camera and settled onto the sensor. It happend with cameras with interchangable lenses. But it looks like a small version of the floater that had appeared that morning. Wierd, eh?
So anyway – back home in Ontario, I went to see my optometrist right away, and they sent me to a local opthalmologist. That doctor took me to the local hospital for some immediate laser surgery to weld tears in my retina. Seems that back in Germany. One of the roots of the vitreous humour – the goo inside the eye – had ripped through the retuna and torn it.
Not done yet…. After that (i.e. same night), I had to go to St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and get a lot more eye-welding done. Like over 100 laser shots, I think.
Since them there have been no straight lines in my left eye’s vision – everything is a bit jagged and crooked. And a bit blurry, and the huge floater is still there, with lots of little friends. Oh – and double vision, too, can’t forget that… The blurriness and double vision come and goes, though. And the right eye is just fine, and I am very right-eye dominant, so that’s good.
So if we’re talking and you see me start to close my left eye a bit, I’m not nodding off (usually) – I just see more clearly that way sometimes, when my left eye is being bad.
Recently I went to see another opthalmologist for a follow-up examination, and learned some interesting things. First, some scans of my right eye’s retina:
You can see the dent that is the central part of the retina – the most sensitive part – and the network of veins around it. That’s how it should look.
So here’s the left eye:
You can see how the central part has no dent – it has a thick layer over it, in white in the images, hence the blurring etc. Seems that was caused by cells leaking through from behind the retina when the root tore through – they colonized the front of the retina and grew there.
Anyway, it turns out that I could have that surgically removed, and that might even take out the big floater! Huh! What do you think?