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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Over the past two and a half years the sight in my left eye

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Over the past two and a half years the sight in my left eye has become increasing blurry. Most of this occurred fairly rapidly, over the first 9 months of the first year. When I told my ophthalmologist about it she just agreed with me. I am 61 and have only needed reading glasses with a small correction for nearsightedness, until two and a half years ago. What would cause such a dramatic change over the first year? It is very annoying and watching my eyesight deteriorate so quickly concerns me.
Dr. Dan B. : Hello and thanks for your question. Did your ophthalmologist mention any sign of cataract formation?

No mention of cataracts. Even with my glasses it's still blurry and getting slowly worse.. I forgot to tell you. I wanted contacts instead of glasses. She had me try every size that she had and my eyesight wasn't any better. She wondered if my eyeball was just extra large??!! What ever could it be? Could it be corrected with surgery?

Dr. Dan B. :

Okay, thanks for getting back to me. I'm sorry it's taken me several hours to get back to you. It has been much busier in clinic today than I expected.

Dr. Dan B. :

The top three answers that I give someone as reasons for a progressive near-sightedness are 1) cataracts, 2) cataracts, and 3) cataracts. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but this by far and away the most common reason for a quick progressive nearsightedness. Beyond that, another reason for such a change could be diabetes that is not well-controlled--this can cause swelling in the lenses in the eye, but usually this is a bilateral (both eyes) process, so I wouldn't expect it to just affect one eye. If you're not diabetic, then don't worry about this cause. I'm also assuming that it is nearsightedness that you're developing and not farsightedness (hyperopia)--you weren't precisely clear on that in your question, but I assumed it was more nearsightedness that you've developed. If you have developed far sightedness, then it's possible that it could be due some swelling in the retina that can go unnoticed especially if it is subtle.

Dr. Dan B. :

Outside of all of this, there is of course the grab bag of "we don't know." Unfortunately, despite all we have learned about the human body, it still ends up being a pittance compared to all of these things we don't know. I have seen numerous people, for reasons that we could never pinpoint, whose refractive errors became significantly more nearsighted (myopic) in a relatively shorter period of time, and that progression was asymmetric (only in one eye). In fact, a colleague of mine, an optometrist, is one of those people--he's had approximately 2-3 diopters of nearsightedness develop in his left eye over the past three years while the right eye has stayed relatively the same. And his eyes look normal as well.

Dr. Dan B. :

I would hope that a cause could be found for you, but I also wouldn't be surprised if you were one of the people, like my colleague, who we just don't and won't know why. But I think something that you can do that may be helpful is to get a second opinion. Even if you know well, and trust very well your current ophthalmologist, a second opinion from another ophthalmologist can be a very useful thing. At the very least, it can corroborate what your ophthalmologist is thinking and what he has seen, or at most, a different diagnosis can be found and something can be done about it. You lose little by getting it and it may be very helpful. All doctors are different--we all have our own experiences that are unique and sometimes one doctor has seen something or found a solution to something that others haven't just based on their experiences.

Dr. Dan B. :

Does this make sense? Does this information help address your concerns?

Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?

It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns.

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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!


I appreciate your explanation and I will get a second opinion. However, can this "refractive error" be surgically repaired? What did your colleague do in his situation?


I thank you and appreciate your thoughts and I will seek a second opinion. However, can this "refractive error" be surgically repaired? What did your colleague do about his situation?

Dr. Dan B. : Yes, depending on what is causing this change in the refractive error, it can likely be surgically repaired through one of the several different mechanisms. But it is important to make sure that there are no pathological eye changes that are leading to this before this is repaired surgically. My colleague has considered wearing a contact in one eye to help alleviate the imbalanced feeling he has from the two eyes being so different.

I thank you for your patience. It's good to know that this may be corrected by surgery. I find it curious that the one contact lens concept is the one my doctor already tried. This is when the contacts we tried did nothing to improve the sight in that eye. There was absolutely no change in my vision! She had no clue as to why a contact wouldn't work, except to assume my eye ball was too large.Your description of the "imbalanced" feeling is the perfect word for what it feels like. It is so annoying. Do you have any ideas on why there isn't a contact that will work for me? Could it be that whatever is causing the blurriness is also the reason why there isn't a contact that will work for me? Could my eye have changed shape or enlarged? I know it sounds crazy.....but I really need to find a reason for the worsening blurriness and get it fixed or find a contact that will work. Should I try going to a teaching hospital, where a "special" lens could be made to work me? Again, I thank you ...thank you....thank you for hanging in there with me!

Dr. Dan B. : I appreciate your suggestion of going to a teaching hospital. That was actually what I was going to suggest. If this change in refractive error were only a change in the prescriptionand not representative of some pathology, I would expect that at the very least a contact lens or glasses could correct the vision to be symmetric with the other eyes vision. For this reason I would recommend going to a teaching hospital, where you can be evaluated by subspecialists. I would recommend to start out with a neuro-ophthalmologist. They are trained experts at figuring out the answers that no one else can figure out with respect to these types of vision problems. Does this make sense?

Yes, it makes perfect sense! I can't thank you enough!

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