Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Optomap (your e-mail)

I wrote last week about the Optomap, a device that takes a high-resolution image of your eye. The next day, I received this e-mail from Chris Price:
I’m all for the Octomap. My wife is Type 1 diabetic and needs to get one of these every year. I typically didn’t bother ($30 is $30), but she encouraged me to get it done a couple of years ago.

Note, this is after the exam, and like your experience, I was told I didn’t need to be dilated with it. I remember my Doctor looking a the image, and repeating all the questions about floaters and flashes that she’d asked 20 mins earlier during the exam. 

Intrigued, I asked what she’d seen and she showed me a picture that clearly had a large blister in the lower left. The poor Doctor was a little freaked out and sent me immediately off to a Retina specialist. They took one look, take a bunch of their own pictures and shoot a laser into the back of my eye - thanks…

Turns out it was a retina schesis (one of the things on the poster)--textbook case and unusual size. Over the next year, I end up being dilated every quarter and after a weekend of being pulled behind a boat on a lake, the schesis grows and needs another bout of Star Wars “pew pew”. 

The next conversation with the retina Doctor is a “When your retina detaches”, not an “If” and we decide to fix it once and for all. Do a search for Vitrectomy for the details - but it’s where they suck the gel from your eye and place a gas bubble in for a while. It took 3 months for the gas to dissipate--for a while it's like looking through a fish bowl. Part of the recovery was to keep the eye dilated 4 times a day for a month--now that was a pain in the arse.

Anyway, all is good now - vision returned to 20/25 as my pupil doesn’t contract as well as it should. I’m told it’s because they’re blue and it takes a little longer.

Long message to simply say that the Octomap is well worth the money. The regular exam completely missed the problem and I’d be at risk of a sudden detachment without it. I’d recommend any of your readers to get it done.

So this is definitely a thing, and it may catch problems that otherwise might be missed.

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