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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7373
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have seen two opthamalogists, one of which is a retinal

Resolved Question:

I have seen two opthamalogists, one of which is a retinal specialist. Neither is alarmed over the drusen in my rt and left retinas. I am alarmed. They both want to see me in a year. They both do not see the need for eye vitamin supplements. Is there no aggressive preventative care? We just wait year by year until I am legally blind? We just want until my drusen can be considered macular degeneration? I am upset.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Customer:

okay


 

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and have been practicing for over two decades and I can tell you that just because you have drusen doesn't mean that you have macular degeneration. It also doesn't mean that you going to go blind.

Customer:

so that is why there is no preventative treatment and both doctors I saw do not put much faith into taking supplements?


 

Dr. Rick :

There was a study done a few years ago where laser was applied to areas around drusen, in people who did not have macular degeneration. It was noted that the drusen went away and the hope was that this would prevent them from having any other problems.


 

Customer:

I do have trouble seeing at night which could be age or could be part of the drusen interference? And so this laser treatment is not accepted by many?


 

Dr. Rick :

The study showed that, while the drusen did go away, it did not make any difference in the future of the eye....and the people had laser scars. So, it was concluded that drusen do not need to be treated.

Customer:

okay


 

Customer:

I will try and not think about these drusen but now every change in my vision causes me great stress. I need to work and I need to drive and I need to see!


 

Dr. Rick :

The drusen are most likely not giving you any problems with your night vision. I think you may just be kinda freaked out over this whole issue --which is perfectly understandable -- but, I can assure you, it is not something to worry about. I have hundreds of patients who have drusen and then go along and finally pass away from some other disease with excellent vision up to their last moment.


 

Customer:

And taking the supplements are not contraindicated. THey may not do anything but empty my wallet. But taking something does make me feel like I am doing something to help myself.


 

Customer:

Okay, you kind of made me laugh so that is good. I will look forward to my death from another disease and hope that I can "see" it happen!


 

Dr. Rick :

In that case, I would suggest you take an AREDS formula supplement such as Icaps or Ocuvite. There is no good evidence that it helps, but it won't hurt anything....other then your pocketbook as you so astutely pointed out :-)

Dr. Rick :

But if it makes you feel better it is worth the expense

Dr. Rick :

Exactly!

Customer:

okay thank you. It does make me feel better. I will eat more fish and spinach also.


 

Dr. Rick :

Yup. Good idea.

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else I can help you with this morning?


 

Customer:

no I will try and tone down my freaking out mode. Did enough crying for having two days off work. So in summation..I have not been officially diagnosed with macular degeneration so I do not yet have to put that on my health history?


 

Dr. Rick :

That is correct.

Dr. Rick :

and "yet" is the wrong term.....you may never be diagnosed with anything other then drusen :)


 

Customer:

By the way I mentioned to the dr that I have floaters occasionally and there was no response. It that from drusen? or someting else possibly?


 

Dr. Rick :

Ahhhh....another topic ;)

Customer:

is that allowed? if not it is okay I can look it up on the internet


 

Dr. Rick :

That is from a posterior vitreous detachment...nothing to worry about. I've had one for almost 3 decades in my left eye. No problem there


 

Customer:

okay


 

Dr. Rick :

Of course it is allowed :) I'm just giving you a hard time...

Dr. Rick :

would you like more information on floaters?

Customer:

you know i will look that up anyway. And find the worst prognosis. I am a nurse so I am a very bad patient


 

Dr. Rick :

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may see.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam is precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightning storm), or a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.


 


What can you do about the floaters? Well, floaters don't go away, and they don't really get worse. Over time they tend to "sink" out of your central vision and you brain "filters" them out so you don't notice them so much anymore. They almost never cause significant visual problems except, of course, if they cause a secondary retinal detachment as discussed above. The only way to decrease or remove the floaters is with a major surgery called a vitrectomy. As a retinal specialist for almost 2 decades I've only done this procedure to remove floaters in a handful of cases.


 


Here is a video of the actual surgery to remove floaters:


http://www.retinavitreous.com/video%20files/intro_floaters.html

Customer:

thank you.


 

Dr. Rick :

I'm a surgeon so I'm a worse patient then you I bet!

Customer:

thank you


 

Dr. Rick :

Always a pleasure to help another member of the team


 

Customer:

I do think that is all for now. You did me a great service today. Thank you.


 

Dr. Rick :

Have a great day and let me know if I can do anything else to help in the future.

Dr. Rick :

Please remember the top 3 ratings are positives and Excellent service is my goal. Your positive feedback is how we are compensated. If you aren't 100% satisfied, just click "reply." I will be happy to discuss your issue in more depth and do everything I can to provide you with the information you require.


Otherwise, a high positive rating is very much appreciated, bonuses are great, and find me anytime for follow up.



Let me know if you have further questions.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7373
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
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