Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An eye stroke, retinal artery occlusion

"Eye strokes occur when blockages (occlusions) occur in arteries or veins in the retina, causing vision loss. The severity of vision loss depends on the extent and location of the occlusion(s) and loss of blood flow.
Just as strokes occur in other parts of the body because blood flow is blocked, your eye also may suffer damage when vital structures such as the retina and optic nerve are cut off from nutrients and oxygen flowing through your blood.

Besides having an eye exam to detect signs of an eye occlusion, you'll also need your family doctor or internal medicine physician to evaluate you for high blood pressure, artery disease or heart problems that may be responsible for the blockage."

Our son is now in the process of more testing.  The eye stroke was around noon on Saturday.  It was painless, but profound with no vision in the center of his right eye and small streaks or slits (his words) around the edges. Studies have shown that the retina suffers irreversible injury after only 90 minutes of blood flow loss. He went immediately to the ER, had numerous tests which showed nothing, and was seen by a retina specialist on Sunday.  Despite all attempts to preserve vision, even if seen immediately, most patients suffer severe and permanent visual loss according to the All about Vision web site. We are praying that his case might be that small percentage that doesn't have permanent damage.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Norma - I'm so sorry to read about your son's eye occlusion. People don't realize how devastating it is to have something interfere with your vision until it happens to them. In the last year I've developed a macular pucker in one eye and a macular hole in the other. My work (at a computer) driving, and depth perception have all been compromised. Night driving is out of the question. I'm especially sorry to read that with your son's issue, the likelihood of a reversal is small. My issues are operable and carry a good percentage of vision regained--the compounding problem is that the operation carries a 90% certainty of a cataract within a year--which would mean another surgery and recovery & adjustment period. I told my dentist yesterday that I'd rather have weekly root canals done than to deal with my vision issues.

I can certainly empathize with your son's description of his vision. You feel so "old" to have to carefully watch where you walk because curbs and steps can't be judged. You can't just scan down the shelves in a grocery store to find something--you feel like you have to look very carefully at each item or you'll miss the one you're looking for. You flinch because a black object will suddenly seem to be hurling at your head and then realize it's just one of the streaks in your peripheral vision. Pictures on the walls are all crooked and all of the straight or flat surfaces appear to be wavy.

Fortunately the brain learns to process the differences in your vision and it gets a little easier. Also, fortunately, eye surgeries and treatments are getting more advanced all the time. Who would have dreamed that my near-sighted son could have a 10-minute laser surgery that gave him better-than-perfect vision after wearing glasses for 20 years?

Your son has my prayers and best wishes for a good outcome.