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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11100
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Declining vision

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I have noticed declining vision through my 20's and rapid decline in the last 2 years. I am 34 in good health, no diabetes or high blood pressure, a healthy weight and eat well/exercise. The vision changes are specifically, poor night vision and even during the day if it's overcast outside it feels too dark for me to see comfortably. I want to wear sunglasses but they make it too dark to see, even on a bright sunny day. I also can't see details from far away since they are blurry. I am familiar with the vision changes with macular degeneration and I'm not having that (at least I don't think so). My peripheral vision seems fine and I don't have dark spots or tunnel vision. Perhaps just the standard nearsightedness (or is it farsighted when you see things better up close?) plus I need a lot of light to see well.


 


If you look at pictures of me, the color of my eyes have changed from green with brown/amber flecks to a very light blue. People don't believe me until I show them pictures. I am concerned because both my mother, father and all their siblings have a history of macular degeneration. My mother also has glaucoma but she was not diagnosed until her 50's. I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and I know that pregnancy hormones can cause vision changes so I want to wait until after I deliver to schedule an appointment. How soon after delivery can I get an accurate eye exam after pregnancy? 6 weeks? 8 weeks? More/less? Any suggestions for tests the doctor should run or what could possibly be causing my vision changes?

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

What is your vision with your best glasses in place at the eye doctors?

Have you been examined by an ophthalmologist? Or just an optometrist?

Do you have any medical problems or take any medication?

When you say that your vision has shown a rapid decline in the last two year, are you now unable to see at all in dim light (when going into a movie theater for example), read road signs or read a book etc?

How many months pregnant are you at the moment? Have there been any complications associated with the pregnancy at this point?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is your vision with your best glasses in place at the eye doctors?


Not sure, I have never worn glasses or contact before.

Have you been examined by an ophthalmologist? Or just an optometrist?


About 15 years ago I saw an optometrist by my vision was fine then and did not require correction.

Do you have any medical problems or take any medication?


No

When you say that your vision has shown a rapid decline in the last two year, are you now unable to see at all in dim light (when going into a movie theater for example), read road signs or read a book etc?


I make a point to not drive at night, even changing my schedule and going out of my way to avoid it because it does not feel safe. In my home, I cannot walk around without a bright light on. No, I could not see in a movie theater. If I'm in a room and my husband suddenly turns out just one lamp and leaves the other so the room is lit but significantly and suddenly darker I have difficulty adjusting to the dim light - so much that if I'm walking I have to stop for several moments and find myself disoriented. I cannot read road signs day/night until they are very close. I just stay on routes I am familiar with but prefer others drive.




How many months pregnant are you at the moment?


Full term, I am due 4/22


 


Have there been any complications associated with the pregnancy at this point?


No - all is good. Just today is a bright sunny day and my husband reminded me how he thinks its strange that he has to wear sunglasses and I don't.

Anna,

I am glad to hear that everything is good with the baby. I have recently became a Grandfather...twice in 4 months...thanks to the hard work of my first and youngest daughters.

I am a retina specialist and, from what you have posted, you do not have to worry that you are suffering from macular degeneration. Likewise I do not believe you are suffering from some of the more serious, blinding, night vision robbing, diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

So. What is the take home message here? Have your baby. Once things settle down a bit make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a full eye exam. I have a feeling you might need glasses but it never hurts to have an eye MD give you a good going over.

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS


Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family :-)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How soon after delivery should I see an ophthalmologist - if I go too soon everyone blames everything on pregnancy hormones so I want to rule that out. My vision has been like this for a while now, just worse because I'm pregnant.


 


Can you elaborate briefly on what made you rule out the more concerning conditions? Also any guess why my eye pigment/color has changed? Is the color just fading with age - but I'm not that old?


 


 

Anna,

There is no rush. You can go after two or three weeks if you want as by then the large fluid shifts that occur with delivery should not be causing any ocular changes. Or you can wait as long as you want.

I've done retina exams on women at almost every stage of pregnancy (except delivery ;-), without difficulty

I've been a retina surgeon for over two decades and the issues you are having are not what I would expect a third decade RP patient to be experiencing. Is it possible that you have one of the very mild forms? Yes. But should this be the case an ophthalmologist (eye MD) will figure that fairly quickly on exam. And, sadly, if you do have one of these rare, blinding, diseases, we have no treatment......

Not sure about your eye color. It could be from a lot of things including changes in the clarity of your cornea. Without seeing you it is hard to say. But, once again, your Eye MD will be able to easily comment on this issue.

Using internet "chat" as my only diagnostic tool makes me look a lot dumber than I really am :(

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Once again -- Congratulations!
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