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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7838
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hello, This is a similar question to one someone asked Dec

Resolved Question:

Hello,

This is a similar question to one someone asked Dec 6, I woke up last Monday morning with what looked like a round area of darkness in my left eye that looked like I had stared at a lightbulb for too long. There appears to be a small hole in the right middle of the mass that I can see through and the 'spot' (area of darkness) appears to be dark green. I measure it by looking at a wall 3 ft away and by stretching out my arm all the way and measuring the distance between my thumb and index finger it measures about 3 inches in circumference.
It seems to be worse when I blink. I see the 'negative' of it when I close my eyes, but goes away when I lay down to sleep. There is no pain.
In the last couple of days the spot hasn't changed, but that eye isn't sensing light perception the same as the right eye, i.e. seeing darker. There doesn't appear to be any extra blurriness at this time.

I am a contact lens wearer and left my contacts in overnight the morning that I first sensed this. Have done that before, but never had eyes affected. Also use 'monovision' contacts (nearsighted) and the eye that is affected is my dominant eye (long distance).

I have been mostly wearing my glasses since then, only a couple of evenings have I worn the contacts and for no more that a few hours, thinking I might have 'starved' the eye of oxygen and hoping it heals itself. Hasn't yet.

Thanks in advance for your advice and council.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. First of all, let me assure you that wearing your contacts has not starved your eye of oxygen, causing this visual thing

Dr. Rick :

So. Let me make sure I understand what you are saying. In one eye only, you woke up with this round area of darkness in the center of your vision, that is kinda green colored. It is always there, does not change if wearing glasses or contacts and is about 3 inches in diameter on a target 3 feet away.

Dr. Rick :

Can you read with this eye? Do lines look distorted in this green area? Do you have any medical problems or take any medicine?

Customer :

yes, left eye only. Seems to get worse when I blink hard.

Dr. Rick :

can you read with that eye? Meds/medical problems?

Customer :

re: reading, is a bit blurred in the dark area, but hard to tell

Customer :

no medication - haven't seen a dr for a couple of years, had cancer 10 years ago

Customer :

also, as I open and close my eyelid, I can make the 'clear' area in the middle of the spot change where it is

Dr. Rick :

The most likely cause of this visual effect is some type of macular disease. In your (and my) age group the #1 of a central visual field defect is macular degeneration; with your findings, most likely the wet type. Another possibility is optic nerve disease causing a central scotoma and the least "bad" would be the sudden realization of a cataract that is affecting the center of your vision and has slowly been getting worse and just now has come to the fore front of your attention.

Dr. Rick :

In any event you really need a complete dilated examination by an ophthalmologist, tomorrow if possible. The sooner the correct diagnosis can be made and treatment started the better. You could, quite possibly, be dealing with a serious vision threatening condition....you could also be lucky and it is nothing terrible -- there is no way to know for sure without having a look at your eye and, in particular, your retina.

Dr. Rick :

does this make sense to you?

Customer :

If it is this, what kind of treatments are available? Reversable?

Dr. Rick :

It depends on the cause. Wet ARMD? Lucentis/avastin injections and laser. Optic nerve disease: There are too many possible causes to list here. Cataract? No big deal, easy to fix when it becomes a real handicap. And there are others.... Like I said, the only way to be sure what is causing this is to have a look at you. Don't waste your time seeing an optometrist....

Dr. Rick :

Also, don't panic. This started a week ago. 24 hrs really won't make any difference in the final outcome

Dr. Rick :

That being said, don't put this off.

Customer :

Thanks. Don't have health insurance. What kind of costs are we potentially looking at? I realize this is hard to answer, just curious

Dr. Rick :

A full eye exam is about $150ish. Once a diagnosis is found the costs will go up but I'm sure any ophthalmologist will work with you on that -- I do it all the time. That is why we are doctors and not lawyers :o)

Customer :

Thanks so much. You've been very helpful! I'll call my optometrist right away.

Dr. Rick :

skip the optometrist. You need an MD. Have a great holiday season

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7838
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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