Our Eyes Are the Windows to the Soul, If They Work

So I went to the doctor’s on Monday. A retina specialist, to check up on my eye condition after I had a vein occlusion. (Yes, I realize 30s is super young for vein occlusion when I don’t have underlying conditions, but you know, them’s the breaks?) For the past year or so I’ve been seeing flashes of light every time I move my left eye to the right. It’s most likely something is tugging on the retina and causing weird effects, which is why I had to go make sure my retina’s not detaching. Because of the pandemic I put it off until now. It’s gradually getting bigger – the area of flash of light, I mean – but more of a nuisance than something debilitating. Anyway, I finally scheduled an appointment on Monday, and went.

Well, the good news is that my retina is structurally fine, so far. No tears, no sign of detachment, etc. The bad news is that the doctor doesn’t know why I’m seeing this flash of light. His theory is that my vitreous liquid in the eye is shrinking, something that happens to near-sighted people as we age, and that is causing the problem. It doesn’t mean that the retina is going to detach, but it might, so the only thing we can do is just keep an eye on it (ha!) with routine check-ups. Not great, not terrible? At least I’m assured that so far, I can continue to see, which is a plus in my book!

A fun fact! So apparently the length of dilation of your eye is affected by how dark your eye color is. I have medium brown eyes, so when I get my eyes dilated it takes like 4-6 hours to get better. My husband has super black eyes and he gets over it in like three. And apparently people with super light colored eyes will stay dilated until the next day. I learned this from the nurse when she was dilating my eye for the checkup, and I was like, wow, no wonder some people don’t fear going to the eye doctors because they’ll be fine in a couple of hours. I can’t imagine how someone feels when it takes like the whole day and then some though. You can’t do anything then! Although I myself didn’t end up doing anything on Monday either. It wasn’t the dilation, it was the fact that the doctor was doing a really thorough job of checking my retina, which apparently involved using a metal stick to push back the sides of my eye and shining a ridiculous bright light for a long time. He actually put some lidocaine gel in my eye so I don’t feel pain during. So of course after I got home and the lidocaine wore off my eyes were bloodshot, puffy, teary, and all around miserable because someone just literally poked at it with a stick and blinded me for like, ten minutes straight. Brilliant. but hey, it confirmed that my retina’s fine, so there’s that, at least.

The doctor also suggested I go see my regular eye doctor (ophthalmologist instead of retina specialist) to see if I have glaucoma, and reschedule a checkup in three month. Well, all that will have to wait until I get vaccinated, I think. Maybe I can get my hand on something in May, but who knows. As of now I’m done with hospitals until I’m ready to try IVF again, which is, at the earliest, middle of March. I’m staying in my self-imposed quarantine for now. And on that note, I hope you guys also stay safe and have a good day.

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