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Last August, I had eye surgery in my left eye to reduce

swelling of the Retina. It...
Last August, I had eye surgery in my left eye to reduce swelling of the Retina. It was very successful and my vision was 20/25 since. I recently got a follow up exam in which the DR took a picture of my left eye. He found swelling developing and asked me if I recently had a heart attack or stroke.
I have two related questions on this:
1) How is having a heart attack or stroke related to the eye problem?
2) What is a "silent heart attack or mini stroke and the symptoms ?
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
1/29/2012
Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,286
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
Dr. James :

Hello.

Dr. James :

How is your vision in that eye?

Dr. James :

Have you noticed any recent worsening?

Dr. James :

What additional testing is your doctor ordering for you?

Customer:

My vision is good 20/25. No problems so far. He suggest seeing Cardiologist. Next week, he wants to give me an injection in this eye to reduce the swelling. Last time we tried this, it did not work for long.

Customer:

I should point out, I am a 32 year diabetic.

Dr. James :

I suspect your doctor saw a clock on one of the arteries of your retina. That blockage may be causing some recurrent retinal swelling in your eyes. Often times, this clot or plaque comes from your neck arteries (carotid) or possibly from your heart.

Dr. James :

hmm... 32 years old is very young to have a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. James :

still, with a retinal artery occlusion, it is worthwhile to see if the source if from the neck or heart.

Customer:

No I ment to say I have been a diabetic for 32 years...I am 60 yrs old.

Dr. James :

ok, that makes more sense.

Dr. James :

so i agree with your ophthalmologist that you should get checked out by your primary care doctor or cardiologist.

Customer:

Now, I have experienced some short term (5 minute) pain running down my left arm on 4 different occasions. I also got light headed one while driving which was quite scary but I stopped the car and it went away. Does this suggest anything?

Dr. James :

Do you get that pain with exertion?

Customer:

No. In each case I was sitting.

Dr. James :

Sometimes a heart attack can have chest pain going to the jaw or arm. It's hard to say if it is that or not. With those symptoms, you should let you doctor know. If you get symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath, pain to the jaw/arm), then don't hesitate to call 911.

Customer:

On one occasion, I took a full dose(500 mg)of reg aspirin and the pain went away.

Dr. James :

It could just be muscle strain if that was the case.

Customer:

No shortness of breath experienced.

Dr. James :

Being a 32 year diabetic definitely puts you at risk for heart disease.

Dr. James :

You don't necessarily have to have all the symptoms.

Dr. James :

So, if there is any suspicion, let you doctor know or go to the ER.

Customer:

It has been getting more difficult keep the blood sugar in the normal range, But I have been trying different things. I find that the longer you have this disease, the things that used to work for me don't work now.

Dr. James :

Unfortunately, your metabolism changes which affects your diabetes.

Dr. James :

Do you have any other questions for me?

Customer:

No, You have been extremely helpful. Thank you!

Dr. James :

You're welcome.

Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,286
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,286
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Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon

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