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My Retina Story

Pretty woman close up retina

I want to share my story with you of a very frightening experience that I had.

This was very preventable and if I could help just one person to avoid going through what I’ve been through, it would all be worth it.

On June 18th, I went to the Del Mar Fair with a friend. I began shooing away what I thought was a fly that kept buzzing around the right side of my face. When we went into the sun I realized that it wasn’t a fly but a brown floating thing in my vision. Then later in the afternoon there were multiple floating things, and by evening my vision was obstructed by brown ribbons, almost “worm-like” constantly swimming around.

When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t see at all, not even the image of my hand in front of my face, yet I could see the brown kaleidoscope images even when I closed my eye.

I called Dr. Lisa Weiss around 6am on her cell phone and she insisted that I get in first thing in the morning of the 19th. Her staff performed multiple tests and took pictures of my eye. I was sent straight to a specialist that confirmed that I tore my retina. I was thankful that it didn’t detach and that my macula was intact, meaning that I probably wouldn’t lose permanent vision. He had to perform laser surgery to repair the tear. Because there was so much blood behind my eye, he had to go in behind my eyeball with a metal canula and perform cryo surgery, freezing the tear from the backside forward to ensure that the repair was complete. For the most part my eyesight has returned. I had to go back in again to perform laser surgery on my left eye as prophylactic treatment to avoid a tear in the future. However, I still have a 7% chance of a tear in my right eye in the future in another area.

The cause was unavoidable. As you get older, the gelatinous material that is behind your eye protecting and holding your retina in place begins to condense, causing tugging on the retina which can lead to a tear or complete detachment. However, this could have been prevented had I followed Dr. Weiss’ recommendation and agreed to the retina exam. I didn’t have glasses at my first visit so they couldn’t perform the retina exam since they have to dilate your eyes. However, once I picked up my new glasses, I was suppose to have it done but never went back. Shame on me!!!

The point that I want to stress to everyone is that this could have been avoided had I followed Dr. Weiss’ recommendations. This has been, and still is, a nightmare for me The threat and fear of losing my eyesight has truly opened my eyes.

Thanks for reading my story! Happy healthy safe summer in awesome San Diego!!!
–Mary