Adventures with Eye Emergencies

It’s not everyday you call your eye doctor up with a question and they ask you to come in right that second. And yet, right before Christmas, that’s exactly what happened to me. I was lying in bed the night before, with the lights all off, and I could see this white light in an arc at the edge of vision in my right eye. Definitely not anything normal, though it only appeared when I moved my eye. I made a note to myself to call in the morning. When I did, they told me to come. Now.

Luckily it was during my break, so I was able to go right away. (A fair bit concerned at that point, as well.) When I arrived, they took a look at my eye and (thankfully) said things were looking okay.

Apparently, when you get old, sometimes the vitreous fluid in your eye separates from the back of your eyeball. (I don’t think I’ve ever used the words “vitreous fluid” on the blog before.) When that happens, more fluid typically comes in to take its place, but some of the time, as it separates, it can take some of the retina with it (or even make your retina detach completely). Since this is what you use to actually see, that’s officially a Bad Thing. If you don’t get it looked at right away, then you can have permanent vision loss.

I’ve just been to my third appointment with the eye doctor around this issue, and thankfully things are still looking fine. But I wanted to pass the information on to all of you people in case any of you end up having a similar issue. Apparently the big things to watch out for are flashes like I had, an increase in the number of floaters in your eye, loss of peripheral vision, having everything look like you’re staring through a curtain, or just completely losing vision. (I think that last one’s kind of a no-brainer.)

The good news is that if they catch it in time, it’s supposedly a fairly easy fix, but time is of the essence.

So there you go. A helpful PSA for you that I hope you never need to put to use.

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