Right Eye Saga, Chapter 2

There is good news to be had. To quote Ahnuld Shwannenbrunner, ITS NOT A TUMOR. The retinal specialist, Dr. Pearlman, determined that I have what is known as Coats’ Disease. Basically, it’s a leakage of fluids and protein underneath the retina by dilated or malformed capillaries in the retina. This is normally something that affects younger children, and the doc said that I’ve probably had this condition for quite some time (many years) judging by the stuff he sees. I didn’t notice it until recently because of the location of the funkyness – out on the very edge of my peripheral vision. I’m seeing it now because the fluid and other junk leaking out underneath the retina is actually finding its way out into the main part of my eye, which is what’s causing the floaters and general blurriness that I see. Had this happened in my central vision, I probably would have noticed it long ago, and it could have been treated then.

As far as treatment goes, it’s still up in the air. He outlined two possible courses of action, “LASER” target practice or the deep freeze. Well, not those exactly. The “LASER” surgery sounds like it would be the easier and more desireable option. Basically they just zap the faulty blood vessels with the “LASER” and it seals them off, effectively plugging the leak. The freeze therapy sounds like it has the same result, but it’s a bit more invasive and leaves more of a mess behind in the eye. There’s more of a chance that remnants from the surgery will remain after the cryo surgery than the “LASER”, so my vision might be getting worse before it gets better if that route is chosen.

The main thing that will make things difficult is the location of the defects. It’s way out on the periphery, which makes the “LASER” shot a bit difficult. I go in again on tuesday for an angiogram (cool X-Ray pictures of my blood vessels) and another consultation, so there will be more details then. Maybe they’ll give me a copy of the picture too!

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