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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7851
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Can a retina become unattached from the force of a Nef Gun

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Can a retina become unattached from the force of a Nef Gun dart hitting the eye I previously had 20/20 vision. A ricochet event where a dart bounced off the ceiling and hit me directly in the eye is what I strongly believe caused it as I did not have any other incidents, no risk factors or heavy lifting or straining, the company says that there is not enough force to cause this injury but my 10 year old is a very credible witness, as to the event. I had the surgery to reattach it and now need follow cataract removal which was also caused by the reattachment. I have also read that cataract suregery can also now cause retinal dteachment again??? What are your thoughts on these questions please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Tell me a little bit more about the injury. How far were you from the muzzle of the nerf gun? What type of nerf gun was it? Did you have floaters/flashes after the injury? What is your eyeglass Rx? What type of surgery did you have to reattach your retina?

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


 

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7851
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I look forward to your response so that we can continue to work on your issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had a scleral buckle replacement, cryotherapy and external drainage. When my son shot the dart it was about six feet from the ceiling, it hit it and bounced directly back backoff the ceiling hitting me directly in the eye, I had my eye wide open as I was watching a movie anf had no idea it was coming. I recreated the incident and it leaves a nice plop on the pillow. Would certainly not want it to happen again based on the plop and slight indentation it leaves on the pillow. My doctor did indicate that due to my age of 56 that it does not take a huge amount of pressure to cause this damage. ihope this answers your questions. I had no other risk factors and prior to this had 20/20 vision in both eyes, I did occasionally use store bought glasses to read at length. That is it.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
First of all, with the surgery you had to repair your detachment you do not have to worry about it re-detaching after uncomplicated cataract surgery.....your retina is stuck down very firmly at this point :-)

Now, about the trauma from the nerf gun. Since it bounced off the ceiling before hitting your eye, and nerf dart being a really soft thing to begin with, I just can't imagine it having enough force left when it impacted your eye to deform the globe to the point that the internal structures of your globe (sclera, vitreous, retina, choroid, ciliary body) were stressed to the point of causing a detached retina.

Is it possible? Sure, in medicine anything can, and does, happen. But, from what you have told me I don't think it is likely.

Does this make sense?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It makes sense that it is a low probability, however I had no other incidents at all, that could have caused this, except this one four or so weeks before. The trauma was enough that I kept a wrag with ice and cold water on it the rest of the afternoon and evening and it hurt for 2-3 days and then subsided. I now have thirty thousand in medical bills and still need the cataract removed. Remember there are millions of these guns out there and my own docotor said that she sees older patients like me that have gotten detached retinas from the force of the wind riding motorcycles at high rates of speed detach their retinas so it is earier for me as I am 56 to have this type of injury, any way it seems foreseeable that this can happen, and I can't think of anything else nor could the doctors, as to what else it could be from? It may be a low probability is my point but with so many of them out there and a large part of the population being my age with kids shooting thousands of these around the house every day, it is happening now or certainly can happen, to others, it seems they should warn of this danger, of a ricochet eye injury, as they PROMOTE it as a safe indoor game. It does not seem it was safe for me.....
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Everything I just typed was eaten by the Gremlins who live in the computer :( I'll try to say it all again....

I understand exactly what you are saying. How do we know the nerf gun is safe? As you pointed out it can leave a pretty good dent in a pillow. So. How much force did it impart to your open eyeball when it rebounded into it? With today's technology it would be easy to measure the force this projectile has. Did the toy manufacturer obtain these data? I doubt it. Will they in the future? Not unless forced to. And with the formation of SuperPacs and the the "Right" of corporations to give unlimited funds to our elected officials I dare say they never will. Our voices can't compete with their well funded ones. Oh wait. Elected officials aren't influenced in their official duties by organizations who give them millions of dollars, are they????? That would be wrong....

To get off my soapbox, I can tell you as a retina surgeon that retinas detach for many reasons and, at times, we don't really know why a particular patients retina has detached. So. Can we say that the ("Safe") nerf dart, or the wind from riding a motorcycle, of running on a exercise machine, caused a retinal detachment? Not really. At this is what industry uses against us....

I hope this makes sense to you.

I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the ACCEPT button for this encounter. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.

Best of luck in your upcoming cataract surgery. There is, really, no need to worry about your retina re-detaching.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I was just thinking about you and wondering if you had your cataract removed yet and, if so, how you were doing.

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