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Old 01-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
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Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

I am writing this on behalf of a friend who encountered this "out of the blue" one day about a month ago. All of a sudden, she encountered a loss of vision in her right eye and became sensitive to changes in light. It was diagnosed as a blood clot in one of the veins to the retina causing her vision loss. She was told to take a baby aspirin daily in hopes of thinning the blood and reducing the clot. Thus far, no help. She is told this condition may never get better or if it does, it may take months or years to do so.

Has anyone out there had this problem and has your vision improved? How long did it take?

Thank you for any replies.

 
Old 01-05-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Hi, my husband is going through the same thing. His vision got blurry about a month ago, and he was told it was optic neuritis. But, he got sent to an optho-neurologist today, who, DX him with the blood clot thing (Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, or AION).
He was told to take baby aspirin. I'm praying he see's improvement over time. How bad is her vision loss in her eye? My husband has a spot of no vision, like when he is watching TV and covers his good eye, a square portion of the TV is grayed out. He also has blurred vision. How old is your friend? My husband is 42 years old. Thanks!

 
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Hi, Huckelberry~ My friend is 48 years old. I feel so bad for her! She can't see when it's dark at all. She can't drive in the early morning or when it's dark. I really haven't asked her for all the specifics of "exactly" what she can and can't see and when because I don't want to make her dwell on it, if you know what I mean. I just wanted to know if anyone ever has recovered from this. It's terrible!

 
Old 01-07-2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

My friend is a Natureopathic doctor (yes, 8 years of school). We talked to her tonight and she recommended some supplements to help heal the eye. I'll list them tomorrow, I'm to tired to type it out. We're crossing our fingers that we can get the odds up for vision recovery. According to the Neuro-Opthamoligist, A person with this condition has a 42.7% chance of vision recovery, but not complete recovery. I'm hoping the supplements up those odds! Till tomorrow.........

Last edited by huckleberryluv; 01-07-2009 at 07:34 PM.

 
Old 01-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

42.7% is not too favorable. Thank you for offering to post the supplements. I'll await the list and let my friend know.

 
Old 01-08-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

I do hope that both of these cases have been properly diagnosed because I went through extensive hospital investigations when I developed unilateral (one-eye) vision loss in November 2007. It was initially thought to be due to lyme disease or cat scratch disease or toxoplasmosis but, after numerous tests, including CT and MRI scans, it was found to be a complication of the age-related process of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). The symptoms are very similar to those you mention and include the blind spot that huckleberryluv described (technically known as a scotoma).
The point I am making is that diagnosis is not simple, partly because many very different conditions cause the same symptoms. At the very least, a fluorescein angiography is required for the positive diagnosis of AION or NAION. A neuro-ophthalmologist would certainly know that so presumably is has been done.
Recovery is entirely dependent on the amount of damage done by the condition, if any. Unfortunately, all of these conditions tend to present suddenly whereas recovery can take many months.

 
Old 01-09-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Hi TopGeek, Thank you for your input. How is your vision? Has your eyesight improved in the affected eye? I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's not fun. My husband is certainly not a happy camper.

To date, here is a list of medical intervention that he has had.

1. 2 brain MRI's (one was done out of town when he first had the eye trouble), the other was done when he returned home. The local Neurologist wanted his own set of tests. Both tests were normal, and clear of lesions and tumors.
2. 2 spinal MRI's (see above for reason that he had 2). Tests were normal
3. Examined by 4 ophomoligists.
4. CT scan by an ENT, who determined he had no sinus issues.
5. Blood work for autoimmune, cancer, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, and a host of other conditions. All clear.

Everyone above said he had optic neuritis. BUT, they wanted him to be seen by an expert in that field since they couldn't find a cause. So, he was sent to a neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Alabama (great docs up there). He was examined by 2 of them. His examination was very long and complete. They also took 15 vials of blood. They determine he had the nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (not the giant cell arteritis one.) They are trying to find a cause.

He is going back for a sleep study to determine if he has sleep apnea. He is also going to be seen by the MS specialists there because he had one funny reaction on his reflex test (ankle). Even though the neuro-ophthalmologist completely believes my husband is clear of MS, he wants to be absolutely positive by having him seen by the specialist.

As I type this, he is at the hosp, getting a spinal tap (lumbar puncture). I'll be going up there as soon as I get the kids on the school bus.

One more thing I forgot to mention is that the neuro-ophthalmologist said that the blood clot had already long passed, but the damage was done. He performed tests that drew him to that conclusion and ruled out optic neuritis, plus a host of other conditions.

My husband is 42, extremely physically fit, normal weight, with very low blood pressure. He has never had any health issues at all in his life. This has all been a shock to him. He is a type A personality,macho man.

One thing that bugs me is that his eye still hurts. I would think that if the clot has left, he wouldn't be still feeling pain. But he is. The pain started one month ago. It's a dull ache. But, it doesn't hurt when he moves his eye. It's just a real dull ache that's always there...............

BusyMommy, I haven't forgotten about the supplements. I'll get back to you. I didn't get the dosage on one of the supplements and need to call the doc.

Last edited by huckleberryluv; 02-19-2009 at 08:29 AM.

 
Old 01-09-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Wow, huckelberry, your husband has been through all tests imaginable! Do you think he will be taking the supplements?

 
Old 01-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

He didn't get the test you decribe. Here's what I found about it,

Fluorescein angiography has been suggested as a possible method of distinguishing arteritic AION from NAION. With arteritic AION, a markedly prolonged choroidal filling time is usually present.
Angiography of the cerebral circulation has been useful in giant cell arteritis, showing segmental stenosis or even occlusion of the extracranial vessels. However, this invasive study has fallen into less frequent use.

My husband has the non-arteritic type.


BusyMommy-Yes, he will do the supplements.

He's home, laying down. The Spinal tap went well. They're taking more blood on Monday. Not sure what test they have NOT ran! He did say one thing "lyme disease."

Last edited by huckleberryluv; 01-09-2009 at 10:49 AM. Reason: correction

 
Old 01-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #10
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Fluorescein angiography is the only and most popular way of getting a clear picture of all the blood vessels in and around the retina whereas optic neuritis causes swelling of the optic nerve and that is very clear on an MRI scan.
The angiography involves slowly injecting a contrast medium into one arm while a series of photos are taken. The results are simultaneously displayed on a computer screen.
The fact that hasn't been done worries me because I can't see how they can draw the conclusion of either AION or NAION without it.
I would agree with your concerns about the pain. Lumbar puncture is primarily used to determine if MS is present whereas Lyme Disease is detected through blood tests.
It is an unfortunate fact that the causes of many of these eye conditions are never satisfactorily diagnosed and are described as ideopathic (unknown), which is the situation that I have.
At least it sounds like they are doing their best so I hope he reaches a satisfactory outcome.

Last edited by TopGeek; 01-10-2009 at 04:10 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 01-09-2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Next time my husband talks to the doc, he is going to ask about this test. The doc (Nuero-opth) couldn't explain how he reached the DX to my husband, and this is really bothering him. He wants a test to show the condition. Thanks for the info on the test, we will pursue it. I am surprised they didn't do this test......they've done almost everything possible......

What he has is swelling of the optic disk and the nerve. The last MRI showed less swelling in the nerve, but the disk is still swollen with undefined edges. He lost vision in his lower half, and the central is blurry. Unilateral loss, right eye.

How is your eyesight?

Last edited by huckleberryluv; 01-09-2009 at 05:52 PM. Reason: more info

 
Old 01-10-2009, 04:41 AM   #12
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

The swelling of the macula/retina is oedema (edema in the US) and that is a reaction to some form of irritation that is still present. That would normally be checked with an OCT scan where the patient looks into a binocular type of device and sees a series of red dots scanning vertically and horizontally. That produces a cross-section photo of the back of the eye and shows the depth and nature of the swelling. In NAION, the optic nerve swelling is very evident on an MRI scan in the early days of the optical disturbance. It is usually present as long as the retinal swelling is present so, if your husband has retinal swelling and little or no optic nerve swelling the problem is unlikely to be classed as NAION.
(Current suspects in the causes of NAION are Viagra, Cialis, etc., so, if your husband has used them, it would be worth a mention.)
This field is very complex and, unless the cause of the problem is really evident, the case would normally be referred to the nearest university hospital, as has happened to both of us.
I do hope he finds the answer soon but he may end up, like so many of us, not knowing what happened.
That is my case and my investigation is still ongoing after 15 months. I now have a post-operative epiretinal membrane obscuring more than half the vision in my left eye.

Last edited by TopGeek; 01-10-2009 at 02:06 PM. Reason: spelling correction

 
Old 01-10-2009, 01:33 PM   #13
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

Ha Ha Ha.....funny, he was telling me that they kept asking him if he had taken any Viagra. He hasn't. but they kept on asking anyway.....LOL

I'm still digesting the rest of what you wrote........

 
Old 01-15-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

New delevopment on my husband. His eye isn't any better, and several tests came back abnormal. He has hypothyroidism, so they started him on Synthroid, and his liver tests came back abnormal. AST-61, ALT-108. His regular doc said it was getting over his head.......trying to figure my husbands condition out. Also, his billirubin was high, and on the spinal tap he had low glucose......I'm ready to cry.........I wish we knew what was going on.......

 
Old 01-15-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
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Re: Blood Clot In Vein To Retina Causing Vision Loss

I am so, so sorry for you, huckelberry and especially for your husband. Just being a support to my friend, I can see how upset she is and she hasn't gone through all the tests your husband has endured. I know it must be totally unrelated but she is taking medication for her thyroid and her liver tests just came back "abnormal." So many tests, so many results, so much confusion. Just keep on being a support for him, that's all you can do, and make those doctors work for you! I will send positive thoughts your way! ~busymommy

 
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