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Old 10-08-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
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anongal12 HB User
silicone oil and double vision

Hi all,

I had a sudden RD in the end of May and was operated on at a Clinic 7 days after my first symptoms (a curtain in the field of vision that started at about 50% and ended up nearly 90% by the time of the 1st surgery). I never had an issue with my eyes before so I didn't know what happened until that curtain appeared in my field of vision at which point I rushed to the emergency offices of the local hospital. But they couldn't operate faster than a few days later (I got in on a Wed and surgery occurred the following Tue morning; first symptoms occurred on Monday the week before).
Anyway. We tried to fix the problem with gas. I had an issue with topical anesthesia and so I had to endure general anesthesia. After gas was used about 95% of the retina was attached but for a "suspicious point". The surgeon's team thought they would do oil to avoid re-detachment.
So I had a silicone oil injection in the end of August. I'm now 6 weeks after that operation and things are stabilized, the retina attached.
The eye is still red at times, and when not red it is still not looking as clear as the other "normal" one. The eyelid is visibly droopy as well. It seems better since the first days after the operation but still not normal.
My vision is very blurry as expected with the oil in the eye. And because the oil moves in the eye, my vision is not stable during the day. I notice that when it's too bright outside, all I see is a blur. Vision is better when slightly darker/dimmer.
The most annoying thing is double vision! I never had double vision in my life so it's not like I had misaligned eyes before. Double vision makes adjustment hard because I can't even walk around safely when I see double! I often have to shut the operated eye just to avoid the double vision from interfering with my good eye. When I close the operated eye, I don't see double. Also, when I close the good eye, I don't see double from the operated eye (even though vision is poor there as expected due to oil).
Poor vision doesn't bother me, but double vision bothers me a lot! It's dangerous to walk while seeing double, for one! I can't read, watch TV or do anything (even staring at a wall) with double vision.
I asked my surgeon and he said the double vision is due to the fact that my natural eye lens was removed. Now, I am not sure if it was replaced with an artificial lens or not - I hope so! I will ask about it but in the meantime, I'm confused because he also said that no glasses can help.
From what I'm reading, though, double vision can be corrected -even temporarily- with glasses w/ prism, etc. So I'm not sure why he thinks I should not bother with new glasses.
I wonder if there is a damage in the alignment of my eyes due to surgery. Or a damage in the muscles of the eye/eyelid also due to surgery. He didn't "measure" any these things, so I don't know how he can be sure there is no problem. All he says is "patience" and that the brain will adapt, but I wonder whether I can help my day to day coping by fixing some new glasses specifically for the double vision.
As I said I can endure blurry vision but I can't endure double vision.
What do you guys think? Any ideas, suggestions, common/similar experiences?
Thank you.

Last edited by anongal12; 10-08-2012 at 01:10 AM.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:31 AM   #2
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Re: silicone oil and double vision

Sorry the above is so long.
I just tried to give the whole picture in summary form (so people don't have to assume things on their own) and, believe me, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Bottom line: has anyone experienced double vision AFTER silicone oil injection (vitrectomy) and if so, how did you correct it?

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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Location: Basingstoke, England
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Laura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB User
Re: silicone oil and double vision

Hi, I'm sorry to hear your troubles. I too have a silicone oil filled eye and it's not without its problems.
I do not suffer with double vision but I have strabismus (squint) so I only ever used one eye at a time before my retinal detachment and still now.

Although I cannot help specifically with the double vision issue, I can tell you that I believe it could be an issue caused by your eyes no longer working together. I think despite what others say, you absolutely should try to achieve a prescription lens in some new glasses. Not only could this help with acuity but possibly get your eyes working nearer together. I strongly reccomend finding a really good optometrist. Where are you based?

My silicone oil eye is approximately 20/200 without glasses. It has a replacement lens (IOL), like yourself. This lens is meant to correct shortsightedness, which is what my eye will be when I return to a water fill after oil removal although oil makes most people long sighted. Its the difference in terms of diopter that makes your brain unable to understand the 2 images coming in. My vision cannot be fully corrected but I can read 20/80 with my glasses lens. Although not 'good' this is an amazing and noticebale difference to me. I am thrilled with my glasses.
But like I said, my eyes have never worked together. My left eye is approx -6.5 and my right +6.5. This is a massive difference.
Hints and tips though ... it appears most people do not bother trying to get glasses to correct oil filled eyes, but i'm glad i did. My prescription has needed to be changed 3 times in the 16 months and has doubled in terms of prescription. From +3 to +6.5.
I think there are other lenses that you can have coated so that you cannot see through them - thus using only 1 eye, so you can drive and switch off the problem when you need to.

My eye lid is also droopy, I put this down to my scleral buckle - did you have a buckle as well?
Like yourself, my vision varies massively depending on light levels. It has to be just right! To bright - its all fuzzy and misty. Too dark and its completely blind.
It takes some adapting, but you will get there, I wish you lots of luck for your continued recovery.
I could talk for hours on the subject, I've had my oil for 16 months and its coming out later this week! Scarey thought! I'd be very happy to help if I can.
(I will be off list for a while during my surgery recovery though!).
Best Wishes
Laura

Last edited by Administrator; 10-08-2012 at 09:36 PM.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: silicone oil and double vision

Laura, thanks so much for your response.
I kept nodding while going through it.
I did not have a scleral buckle (my RD eye was oly -5.30 before the operation!).
But I had too many surgeries - 2 with local anesthesia and 4 with general anesthesia. My eye has been through a lot. I hope no permanent damage is done and that my eyelid will improve. My surgeon isn't saying anything about that.
Looking at videos on how the surgeons perform vitrectomy, it's no wonder the eyelid is droopy. They put an instrument or two to keep the eyelid up and those can damage the elevator muscle of the eye.
I guess you're right that the double vision is due to possibly great difference in the prescription of the two eyes, that the brain tries to consolidate. But that's not what my surgeon said. He said it's due to the removal of my lens. He didn't specify that he replaced the lens and I will specifically ask that next time I see him. But I am not sure how this causes double vision. He isn't great at explaining things, or giving you sufficient information to know what is going on. Perhaps he feels that droopy eyelid and double vision are not his "areas" since he's a retina specialist.
I never had double vision in my life so my eyes didn't have alignment issues but I no longer know what is happening. I hope it's only because the prescription has changed now with the oil, as you say.
Since my surgeon plans to leave the oil in the eye for a while, he ought to have advised me to change my glasses. Instead he said that no glasses will improve my vision (!).
It's very frustrating to have to deal with double vision on top of a droopy eyelid, and an eye that doesn't seem quite as bright as the other one.

I wish you the best of luck on your operation for the removal of the oil.
Thanks again for responding to my question.

Last edited by Administrator; 10-08-2012 at 09:38 PM.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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anongal12 HB User
Re: silicone oil and double vision

Laura,

I wanted to ask you what you did with eye makeup. Is it safe to have eye makeup after silicone oil operation? I haven't put any on since this adventure started and I would like to know if it's safe to use eye pencil, mascara, eye shadow etc. Any ideas?

Last edited by Administrator; 10-08-2012 at 09:38 PM.

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Laura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB User
Re: silicone oil and double vision

Hi again,
Firstly apologies, I did not understand the rules on private messages, I did not mean to cause problems.

I must admit I do not put eye make up on although I never did much before. I think once your eye is fully healed I cannot imagine you could do any harm but I would just confirm with your eye doctor next time you see him.

I'm sorry to hear that you have unanswered questions from your doctor, that sounds like it creates more worry in your already difficult position.
When it comes to glasses, I do think though from my experience that very few doctors expect anyone with oil filled eyes to attempt correction. When I told my doctor I was giong to try he was very interested indeed. Then I showed him the glasses and he was very impressed. He has said on a number of occasions "Thats a very complex prescription" .... "they have done a great job". He couldn't hide his interest and he then went and visited the shop where I got them, I think with a view to recommending them to other patients.
I now wear lenses with a 20% tint as this helps with the photophobia I've had since my surgeries. I also wear a baseball cap full time which is extremely helpful.
I've also had my pupil stitched closed to 4mm to try and help too. This also helped on a cosmetic level.

I hope too that your eyelid improves and that you can feel comfortable with the change in your vision and appearance. My eye is very small compared to my better eye, it looks pink all the time and feels very gritty. I've lost a lot of my peripheral vision on that side due to extensive cryotherapy but after all I've been challenged with, I just feel a profound sense of gratitude for the vision I have left. Its taken me over a year to feel this way but I've had to sacrifice some vision to save the central area and very soon I'll find out if the oil 'worked'.
My thoughts are with you, I genuinely know how hard it is.

Thanks for you good wishes on my surgery, I just wish it was over now!
Best wishes
Laura

 
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