How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7955
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
48069651
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. Rick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother has scarring of her retina that has been attributed

Customer Question

My mother has scarring of her retina that has been attributed to looking at the sun when she was a young girl. My told me she's going to have a series of 3 shots. Then possibly surgery. I'm very worried - her sight in her other eye is gone. Please advise if she's going about this the right way?
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 :

It sounds like you mother is currently suffering from abnormal blood vessels that are leaking and are located in a very important part of her retina called the macula.

Dr. Rick :

Is she being treated by a retina specialist?

Customer:

He is a surgeon at the hospital. She doesn't say anything about bleeding - she says it's a cloudy scarring...She doesn't know what the 3 shots are and the surgery is generally done for macular degeneration; not for what she has. He doesn't explain anything to her and she doesn't have any confidence in him...

Dr. Rick :

Ok. It is possible that she has a macular scar from either looking at the sun (this would be very unusual) or some other type of infection she may had got as a child or at some other time in her life (toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, etc). In any event, the use of injections into the eye (using a drug called Avastin or Lucentis) is being used for many other conditions that cause swelling/leakage in the macula (which is a part of the retina). I am a retina specialist and am happy to help you with this issue.

Customer:

she claims, and I have no reason to not believe her, that week by week she can actually tell her vision is getting worse...are the shots worthwhile or just an unnecessary delay?

Dr. Rick :

The shots are the best treatment for leakage in the macula that we have right now. It is possible, however, that her condition is not responding. In this case laser treatment and/or surgery combined with laser treatment is the next treatment choice. It is entirely possible that her vision is going downhill......

Customer:

So the prognosis isn't good, right? She loves to read and can't see close up without a magnifying glass right now and seems to see distance better. She says she can see objects, like people, but not detail, like faces...

Dr. Rick :

Trying the shots first is a good choice but if they are not working then it is time to move on to the next step. The only problem with laser treatment is that is destroys the tissue treated in order to save tissue from future destruction......vision is lost just in the course of treatment in the hopes that, in the future, her final vision will be better then it would have been without laser. The shots, on the other hand, try to treat the problem without hurting the retina, and hence, causing vision loss just from the therapy.

Dr. Rick :

It is hard to tell what the prognosis is without knowing exactly what is going on, but yes, it is not good that things are getting worse even with the injections. I'd not give up hope yet though....

Customer:

The surgery sounds pretty bad. Is the outcome usually worth it? Are there statistics? She actually has not started the shots, yet, the 1st is scheduled for the 22nd...

Dr. Rick :

The visual difficulty your mother is telling you about lets me know that it is her macula that is involved for sure...

Customer:

yes, at 1st the diagnosis was macular degeneration...

Dr. Rick :

I'd try the shots first. If they don't help then, in my opinion, all things being equal, the surgery is worth it as there is nothing else that can be done

Customer:

and without it(the surgery), she definitely will decline...right?

Dr. Rick :

many times a diagnosis of macular degeneration is made by a general ophthalmologist and only when the patient is seen by a retina specialist is the condition found to be another disease that, while it affects the macula, is not the "routine" macular degeneration.

Dr. Rick :

That is very hard for me to say, of course, without examining her, but it sounds that way. I'd follow the advice of her retina doc and if you have any doubts, I 'd be happy to review what he says to you and try to explain it better or you could get a second opinion.....as long as this doesn't cause too long a delay in treatment.

Customer:

Excellent! :-) I understood that I can ask more questions for the next 30 days, I believe. I will talk to her. I personally feel better about this course of treatment than before our "chat". Thanks so much!

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. I'm glad to help. Best of luck to you and your mom.

Dr. Rick :

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


I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
What Happens Now?

Your chat has ended, but you can still work with your Expert to get an answer to your question if you have not yet received one.

Come back to this page at any time to see additional information from your Expert.  You will also receive an email when your question is updated.  If you want to send a message to your Expert, use the box below.

If you have already received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Accept button above.  Experts are credited for each accepted answer they provide.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I just talked to my Mom and it seems everything I told you was what was wrong with the eye that she has no vision from - not the problem eye! I'm so sorry! The eye she's being treated for and that we're concerned about(right eye), she says was strained from carrying the load for the left eye but has no problem with the macular. It has developed a blurriness that becomes a black, fuzzy box as the day goes on and she becomes tired. The progression is that the black box is appearing earlier day by day, week by week...she says it's totally the retina that's the problem with the right eye. Please help me again!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I just talked to my Mom and it seems everything I told you was what was wrong with the eye that she has no vision from - not the problem eye! I'm so sorry! The eye she's being treated for and that we're concerned about(right eye), she says was strained from carrying the load for the left eye but has no problem with the macular. It has developed a blurriness that becomes a black, fuzzy box as the day goes on and she becomes tired. The progression is that the black box is appearing earlier day by day, week by week...she says it's totally the retina that's the problem with the right eye. Please help me again!
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Whoops! Oh well, at least we had a good discussion :)

It could be that she is having a blood flow problem to the retina in the affected eye. This would be evaluated with special tests, one of which is called a floresceine angiogram. She may also have some blood work done, an ultrasound of the arteries in her neck and an evaluation of her heart.

Another thing that can cause blurry vision that gets worse during the day, although it doesn't cause complete blacking out of vision is dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis, usually all working together to cause problems. Here is some information on these issues:


When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.

Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.

The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.

Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.


If you learn more about what the doctors are saying your mother is suffering from I'd be happy to go over it in more detail with you and explain what is going on.

Does this make sense to you?


And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)
I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.

Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7955
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 4 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have passed all the info on to my Mom. Thank you so much for your time! Smile Sue
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
My pleasure. Let me know if I can do anything else.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DoctorDanB/2010-6-7_6228_just_answer_profile_picture_60_pixels.jpg Dr. Dan B.'s Avatar

    Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/anupamadesai/2010-04-13_122313_Dr._A.S.Desai_new_photo.jpg Dr. A.S. Desai's Avatar

    Dr. A.S. Desai

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1903
    MS Ophthalmology with 11 years of surgical expereince
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsokoye/2009-10-28_181751_Dr._Stan.JPG Dr. Stan's Avatar

    Dr. Stan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    895
    Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/eyemd/2009-04-07_180315_pic.jpg Dr. Stevens's Avatar

    Dr. Stevens

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    629
    Board Certified Ophthalmologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CorneaDoc/2012-2-18_0390_photo6.64x64.jpg Dr. Susan's Avatar

    Dr. Susan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    217
    Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neuph94/2009-10-11_164729_gif_pic.GIF Dr. JP's Avatar

    Dr. JP

    Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

    Satisfied Customers:

    28
    Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjcufyksv/2012-3-13_44825_crop3.64x64.jpg Dr-Trace's Avatar

    Dr-Trace

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    26
    Board Certified in General Ophthalmology
 
 
 

Related Eye Questions