Remarkable eyesight improvement

Cross section of my retina

Cross section of my improved retina

I have had a remarkable eyesight improvement and I’m feeling pretty chuffed about it.

I think I’ve blogged before about my central serous retinopathy which I’ve had for well over ten years.  It has affected only one eye for most of the time and it shows itself in three ways:

  1. Straight lines look wavy.  This is very frustrating when it comes to spreadsheets, almost any text and tool bars on my computer look plain weird
  2. The general definition has degraded
  3. Colour vision has deteriorated and it looks like I’m viewing the world through a grey lens.

I have become used to this over the years and put up with it.  Rest assured I have been referred to various hospitals about this – NHS and private – and there’s never been much of a solution or much I could do about it.

The turning point was my optician (Stephen Hing in Shefford, Central Beds) taking a particular interest in the condition at a routine sight test to see if I need new glasses.  He referred me to Moorfields Eye Hospital and I had the choice of going into London or trying out their outpost in Bedford.  I opted for Bedford and I’m so pleased this happened.

I went along for my appointment and it followed a regular pattern of checking in, having an initial quick eye test, drops to make my eyes dilate, eyes being photographed and then a chat with the consultant.  The quick eye test was a bit troubling as I couldn’t see the second line of letters without the aid of a tiny pinhole to look through.

The consultant looked at the computer screen images and confirmed the diagnosis, asked me a few questions and then stopped in his tracks.  He paused, looked out of the window and then straight back to me saying “I’d like you to try some eye drops”.  He went onto explain some ambivalence as to whether they would make any difference but it was worth a try if I was willing to agree.  Also, I was intrigued at the dose as he explained the usual dose was using the drops three times a day.  Instead of this the consultant said he wanted me to use four drops a day.

It sounded like there was a “but” coming and so I asked if there were any side effects.  He explained the drops would sting for a few minutes (and boy, they did) and if I were to use the drops over an extended period of time I would get a cataract much earlier than normal.  Apart from that, the drops were certainly worth a try and I was keen to see whether they would make a difference.

Rolling forward 6 weeks

My follow up appointment was six weeks later and I knew what the outcome would be – a huge improvement!  I could tell the drops were working after about a week and because of that the stinging didn’t matter at all.  In my affected eye, colours were getting brighter each day and lines were becoming straighter. The overall definition was improving and I was (and continue to be) absolutely delighted.

The actual appointment was very positive and almost enjoyable because it was such good news.  The image above shows my affected eye and how the retina’s bulging leak had settled right down.  The consultant remarked there was quite a bit of wear and tear damage remaining but it was as good as it was going to get.  So while there has been a remarkable improvement in my eyesight, it will never be completely healed but this is good enough.

Next we had a nice relaxed chat about lifestyles, personality types which can cause a condition like mine.  There didn’t seem to be any rush and the conversation was very helpful and thought provoking to the point where I’m ready to make some changes in my life….

Below is an image to illustrate how the condition affects me.  The lines should all be perfectly straight and yet you can see how the distortion makes a considerable impact on what I was seeing.

Image from eyecentres.com

Finally, huge thanks to my optician for referring me to the hospital!  Here’s their website: Stephen Hing Opticians

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