Bubble, Bubble

Wow!  Yesterday’s events took so much out of me.  I have just been sleeping and sleeping.  I am very glad, after all, that I did not have to go back to work today.  I would have been asleep at my desk!  I guess I didn’t realize how tiring it can be to be out in the world after being home for so long.  Just navigating unfamiliar sidewalks and stairs took a lot of concentration and energy.  Plus, trying to make visual sense out of an auditorium that was a huge blur of movement and color was a huge undertaking for me.  This is a close approximation of the way it looked to me.

Now, imagine me trying to pick out my daughter among that blur and you will see why it was tiring.

Here is an update about my vision since my Vitrectomy.  The bubble in my left eye now takes up about 1/3 of the lower half of my vision.  It looks like a little black circle floating in the lower center of that eye.  Sometimes, a tiny bubble breaks off from it and holds onto the edge for a couple of hours and then disappears.  Here is my (amateurish) drawing of how the bubble usually looks to me as I look out my left eye, and how it looks when a tiny bubble breaks off:

Bubble in my left eye's vision

Bubble with a bubble breaking off

The bubble is not really a problem anymore, except when I am looking down.  When I look down (to walk down the stairs or to look at the food on my plate, for example) it appears to float up into the center of my vision.  This makes it annoyingly difficult to see until I raise my head.  The easiest thing to do is just close my left eye when the bubble gets in my way.  I also close my left eye when I want to focus on something.  So, I am still spending quite a bit of time with that eye closed.  When I look through the left eye without glasses or contact (and the bubble is down at the bottom) it seems like my vision is the same as it was without my contact before the surgery.  However, when I put my glasses on, my vision through that eye is not normal.  The best way I can think of to describe it is that it looks like I am watching TV and someone has poured milk down the front of the screen.  Everything looks streaky and misaligned.  I am sure this is damage from the surgery and I am fairly sure (hoping) it is temporary.  I also have a blind spot just off center that I am afraid will be permanent.  My eye still aches most of the time and I still get headaches every day.  I now take three different eye drops, each twice a day.  These really make my eye ache badly for about an hour after I apply them.

I am feeling stronger every day.  When I first had my surgery, any time I picked up anything it felt like my eye was bulging out of its socket.  Now I can lift most things (not too heavy) without feeling this alarming bulging sensation.  I believe I am going to make great strides in my recuperation this week.  I am hoping to get out and go for longer walks.  I want to just move more, in general.

Emotionally, I am able to keep a positive attitude.  I keep believing that this surgery will have worked and that my vision in my left eye will stabilize.  I am thankful for my family for their understanding and support throughout this process.  I am on the lookout for new insights and wisdom as I travel this path.  I am seeking grace, which is everywhere if I only will train my eyes and heart to see it.


324 thoughts on “Bubble, Bubble

  1. Hi everyone! Just a quick update. Saw another eye surgeon last week with regards to seeing ghost visions. I am now wearing a temporary prism on my left eyeglass lense to see if my brain can be tricked into seeing just one image. I have to do this until the 6th of July when I will see the specialist again. He feels I eye was disturbed during the surgery last year and now my left eye is sitting higher that it should be. So how is it going? It’s a pain in the you know where. So far no change. Things look weird and there is a lot of glare on bright days and inside where there is a lot of bright lights. Also it’s basically a piece of plastic that clings to the outside of the lense and it has lines going across it. Really tired of all the BS that has been going on with my left eye.

  2. Hello again. Well up until today I had no problems with my vitrectomy. Today I went in for a check up and apparently I have a small retina detachment. I would have never noticed this unless the doc had told me. I had no visual characteristics of a detached retina. I have to go in tomorrow for scleral buckle surgery. I am wondering if anyone on this sight has had this before. I don’t think they are going to put any gas in and they are definitely not doing another vitrectomy. Any advice or insight on what I have to look forward to would be much appreciated. Good luck to everyone out there!

    • Hello Charlie

      In answer to your question about scleral buckle, yes l have one on my left eye. I am now just about 2 years post surgery for it and it probably did save my vision as l had started with a macular hole then had a gas bubble. When l was about 7 weeks post the macular hole surgery l had a detached retina. My surgeon in Canada did the scleral buckle first then had my natural lens replaced four day’s later with silicone oil inserted it was put in as a temporary retina stabilizer. It worked and the silicone was removed 4 months later. I thank goodness have been stable with slight distorted vision since. I developed a secondary cataract which was removed July 2014. I test 20/30 in that eye which l am thrilled with. My biggest complaint is dryness but am in Hawaii for 5 weeks my eyes love it! Good luck and please contact me if you have any more questions!

  3. Macular hole distortion … In June of 1995 I had a Macular hole in my left eye repaired. Did 28 days 24/7 face down to keep the bubble in the right position. Cut a face hole in a 4x12x1 wood plank of pine. Covered the opening with soft rubber foam and then stapled soft towels around that. Wove it through an old plastic beach lounge and covered it with comfortable towels to lay on. I attached a Velcro strap on both sides by the face hole for when I slept at night. You don’t know when you might turn in your sleep. I watched TV using 2 mirrors on the floor and read my books a lot. It worked, the hole was closed. I had a big distortion in the beginning from the scar tissue. As time has passed the scar (as most scars do with age) has gotten smaller and the sight has improved, but will never be totally gone. After a while you just get used to it and work around it. About 6 weeks after the that I experienced a retina tear and after that a detachment. Again with the gas bubbles, but I had to stay upright 24/7 both times and only for a week each time. Used Velcro through back of the rocking chair to hold head up straight while I slept. Cataract surgery after that. Now 20 years later I just experienced another tear in the same retina. There were so many laser spots that the doctor had a hard time telling where it was leaking. I’m in my third week week and just got off my drops yesterday. Still have to wear eye patch at night with 1/4 inch of gel in the eye. Still have to sleep on my right side as well. Next appointment 3/3, so we’ll see. So far all I see is light and shaky colors. This is the first time I am experiencing morning and evening headaches though. This might be too much information, but if it helps anyone else, then great. It does get better. Thank God for two eyes and only one mouth. HAH!

    • Went for 3/3/20 appointment. Bubble has split in two. Half in front of the eye and half in the back of the eye. I only see one. Doctor said it was unusual, but that he has seen it before. He said that it was not caused by anything that I did. It just has to do with the make up of my eye. More Prednisolone 4X a day till next visit on 3/19, still sleep on right side, gel in eye at night after last drop and wear protective patch. Morning and evening headaches are pretty much gone. I can see what seems to be above the shrinking bubble being absorbed by my system. That indicates that the bubble is on top (eye mirror vision). What I can see is blurry, but getting more clear each day. Regardless, I am so thankful for all that I have.

  4. Hi. I a, from the Philippines and I am so thankful I found a blog like this.

    I had my Vitrectomy last April 2014 left eye
    Glaucoma july 2014 left eye
    Vitrectomy november 2014 right eye
    Fluid air exchange december 2014 right eye

    The reason for the fluid air ex is because I had a rebeleeding a day after my vitrectomy last november and it is causing my IOP to increase. I wasnt very responsive to the meds so my Optha did the fluid air exchange. My prob is I am seeing a dark bubble in my field of vision cocers 35-45% of vision in my right eye i am in my 5th day post the exchange and my doctor said it should be gone on the first week but it seems like its not going away and its not reducing its size and its becoming darker and darker. I also feel slight pain though my pressure pre echange was 42, yesterday it was down to 8.

    I am worried about a couple of things:
    Elevated IOP
    eetinal detachment
    Slow vision recovery

  5. Having now had three vitrectomy surgeries; one in left eye, which went without a hitch then another in right eye, which was originally for macula hole, was followed, after eight weeks, with retinal detachment….I hope I have now completed my relationships with “gas bubbles”…………..albeit, I still have a very small one in this right eye. I am amazed by people who move through this process without becoming really ornery………..I did fine with the first one, in the left eye………and even quite well with the second one, in the right eye….but when I learned that I must have yet another of these in the right eye, I had a very difficult time with this one; hopefully, over the next several months. AFTER removal of the very dense cataract, I can begin to see life again with some level of sunshine. So grateful to have your blog………….. Hope all of you have good results……….

    • I had surgery for a torn retina back in my left eye at the end of May 2014. It involved removing the vitreous gel and filling the eye with a gas bubble. I healed well from the surgery and was seeming to have few problems other than a slight waviness in my vision at the sight of the repair.
      I have had some crazy dizziness which may be attributed to my changed vision. I also have more difficulty with night driving. I am slowly building a cataract in my left eye which may be adding to the dizziness and night-driving difficulties.
      It is now December, 6 1/2 months after my surgery and I am starting to have daily achiness in my eye socket accompanied by headaches which sometimes leads to nausea.
      Any suggestions? Are these problems likely due to the changes in my vision or should be more concerned? Have others of you dealt with increasing achiness? If so, what were your experiences? I am trying to find out if this is “normal” with this type of surgery.
      Every website about retinal detachment offers little insight into what the experience is like in the coming months (and years). I am hoping those who have been there can shed some light on what I can “look forward” to.
      I am definitely grateful to have saved my sight, but I did not expect it to affect my life most every day in a manner that makes me tired (seems like my brain is tired from having to work differently) and makes working (I am a school teacher who commutes each day) and even things I enjoy for relaxation difficult (reading, computer, piano, crafts, even watching t.v.).

      • I am sorry you are having so many issues. While I did not have torn retina, I did have macular hole and had vitreous gel removed and bubble in this past June, then cataract formed so just had that done a few weeks ago and have done very well. My vision is still distorted and not sure if it will ever be the same. What does your Dr. Say? Seems like you should not have the pain and I hope you can find some answers. I know people say we should be grateful we gave vision but they don’t always know what it feels like. I know I appreciate eyesight much more since all this has happened. I hope you can continue to heal

      • Hi DeAnn: I know you are frustrated in all of this, but, fear not you are not alone. I had a vitrectomy and a epiretinal peel last April. Prior to that I had cataract surgery in the same eye (the left). Having the cataract surgery prior to the vitrectomy and peel was a blessing, as cataracts can form after the other surgery. I too was having headaches every single day. Also my eye does feel like it is aching some days and I still have pain occassionally, why, I do not know. The headaches are not happening as often. I went for some massage therapy (neck & shoulders) and it really helped. You should give it a try, its worth every penny spent. I am still having “ghost visions” in my left eye which also make daily life somewhat difficult at times, especially night driving, using the computer, watching TV and I don’t read much because of it as well. I having been waiting since September of this year to see yet another eye surgeon as now they suspect there is a problem with the muscles in my left eye. My eyes are not working together to see one object, which causes the ghost visions. My appointment is in April 2015. Time is going quickly, thank goodness. So, rest assured my friend, you are not alone with these vision problems. I will say this to you, go with your gut feeling. The doctors are not always right. If in doubt about ANYTHING, go and see your own doctor and discuss your concerns with him or her. Hang in there!

      • had my surgery may 2013 and still haveing slight wavyness on edges of things I look at and have a slight shadow on the side and floresiet lights stiil bother me hopeing these things will eventually go away.

      • 7 months ago my left eye was treated for a Detached Retina,had a gas bubble and 2 Laser surgerys. 4 months ago I had a floaters only Victrectomy. 3 weeks after that I was diagnosed with a Macular Pucker. Had surgery November 12, 3 weeks after the surgery I was released to go back to work with barely 20/40 vision. My problem is that I am a School Bus Driver I have distorted vision and some double vision, I cant judge my distance going to the drive thru at the bank or getting in the garage. I have something that is called Aniseikonia, which is that what your seeing in your one eye is alot smaller than what you see in the other, so that makes my night driving awful. No way would I try to drive a bus that way. My eye aches also. I did have one break through I went to a optometrist told him all of what I told you. He has put me in some contact lenses that has made my double vision hardly noticeable, it has also made the distortion a lot less noticeable. I drove the other night for an hour and a half at night. I felt my confidence coming back. I couldn’t believe it. When I first put the contacts in it was like looking through binoculars it pulled everything in real close, but I had to get some reading glasses to see my watch. After wearing the contacts for a week he is going to do a peripheral vision test before thinking about sending me back to work. I am pretty encouraged with this. There is one weird thing that I have noticed that sometimes I can’t see something that is right in front of me. I’ve had it happen five or six times. I haven’t heard of anyone doing this. I hope this helps someone. It has helped me, I don’t know if I will ever drive a school bus again but my life may be close to normal again.

  6. Haven’t posted for awhile. On 1/25/14, I had Virectomy surgery on my right eye for a giant retina tear and detachment. An exteamly large gas bubble was placed in my eye. It took 14 1/2 weeks for my bubble to fully dissipate. I was lucky and regained my sight. Still have preasure drops every other day and skin around eye is stil red and tender looking.
    Three weeks ago I started noticing lots of debris and floaters in my left eye. Went to retina specialist, as I have sticker syndrome, which means I am more likely to have a tear of detachment. Surgeon said eye looked good; however, the viterous gel was moving and causing the debris. He examed the retina for any detachment or tears, no issues found. On 9/29/14, I returned for a follow up. This exam showed a moderate tear at the bottom of the retina. Surgeon did immediate laser surgery to repair the tear and prevent detachment. Am quite sore today. So now the skin around my right eye is red and the skin around my left is black and blue. Let’s hope this is the end of my eye drama and my retinas both stay attached.

    • Will keep you in my prayers..our eyes are precious and those of us who have experienced this challenges appreciate eyesight more than ever. Hang in there

  7. Hi Everyone! I haven’t posted on here for quite sometime. It has been a very frustrating few months for me. Still recovering from my vitrectomy and membrane peel I had on 2 April of this year (2014). Still having double vision. My eye surgeon referred me to my local hospital for a cat scan as she was suspicious of Graves Disease. So I had the cat scan on 5 July. Just recently went back to her for a follow-up on the 25th of August (her practice was closed for six weeks during the summer). Cat scan was negative for anything abnormal. I am unable to have a MRI due to having a pacemaker. Now she feels that I may have had a blood cot in my brain and it has caused permanently damage to my vision in my left eye and I could have double vision for the rest of my life. So, she is now referring me to another specialist (deals with eye muscle problems). I am ready to give up all hope. It has been a very frustrating recovery for me. I really don’t think it is possible for someone to have a blood clot in their brain and not know it. Some doctors should keep their mouths shut if something is not their field of expertise. I have never been so down in all my life. Stay tuned for the next chapter.

    • Dazzle..I am so sorry for your pain you are feeling. I agree the doctors should keep quiet, if they don’t know the answer they try to blame something or someone else. I will add you to my prayers that you will find peace and hope in this journey. I had surgery in June and even though I have a cataract as a result, I am not too sure my vision will ever be as it was before all this, yet the Dr does not say that. I keep telling my husband that if I had to rely on just the one eye, I could not drive/work/etc.. But I know I need to have faith, maybe the healing is not done, as with you. Just keep looking for all your blessings and it may help you through the tough times

      • Hiya Sue: thanks for your comments. Believe me I am very grateful for the excellent vision in my right eye. Like I said before I am just very frustrated with my opthamologist. Waiting for 4 to 5 hours in her waiting room and then having to hear nothing but negativity from her, and her second guessing the reason for the double vision is hard to handle. I thank god every day for my right eye. It also has a lot of scarring on the retina and I just pray it never pulls on the retina like the left eye did which caused the pucker. Hopefully I will hear in the next couple of weeks when my appointment is with the next specialist who deals with eye muscle problems is. Then its off to the big city of Toronto. I google him and he sounds very promising. He is an assistant professor at The University of Toronto and he is also on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. I will keep the faith! Thanks again! 🙂

    • Dazzle, I too have experienced double vision although mine is not all of the time. I especially notice it in the car when it’s sunny out. I see two center lines, and sometimes it appears oncoming cars are in my lane heading for me. To correct this, I close my bad left eye and all appears as normal. I have a macular pucker as a result of a vitrectomy for a detached retina in July, 2013. This also gives me distorted and wavy line vision with my left eye. I have a follow up appointment the end of September and am hoping the doctor will recommend membrane peel surgery for the macula pucker. I don’t expect it to improve my detail vision but was hoping it would correct the distortion and maybe the double vision. As Sue said, if I just had to rely on my left eye, it would be a challenge to drive, read and work, etc. However, I am thankful for the vision I have and just pray the right eye holds up. Keep the faith and perhaps consider getting a second opinion from another doctor if that is an option.

      • Hiya SueWizz: Thanks for your comments. Finally I don’t feel alone anymore. I was beginning to think I was the only one out here with double vision. I have it all the time. I have been dealing with it since last November. I get really anxious about it sometimes. Driving in the day is okay, I know what is real and what is not. When a look at a vehicle in front of me I see a second image in the pavement and yes the oncoming traffic looks as if it is coming right at me. It really freaked me out at first. Driving at night is something I try to avoid. All the lights make it really difficult. Thank god I live in the countryside and not in a city. When I watch TV I see two sets of eyes on everyone, they’re second set of eyes is in their cheeks and they have a second mouth in their chin. Everyone looks like an alien. LOL! Here’s a little test for you to try with your double vision. Take a finger and put it up close to your bad eye right in the middle of your sight and see if your double vision disappears. My vision is perfect when I do this. I do also close my bad eye at times. But, my opthamologist told me to use both eyes all the time. She doesn’t even want me to wear an eye patch when I’m watching TV. Let me know how things are going with you! Nice to hear from another victim of double vision. Keep the faith! 🙂

      • Hi SueWizz: I was just wondering how things are going with you? Have you had more eye surgery? I recently had a secondary cataract removed from my left eye, it was simply lasered off and it was a piece of cake compared to everything else that has been done to that eye. My vision is now at 20/50 in that eye although it is still distorted. I am not expecting much more improvement. I pray everyday that the scar tissue on my right eye’s retina does not start to affect my vision as well. I hope all is going well for you.

      • This fall I have had a total of 4 eye appointments but no further surgery. In September, when I went to my retina specialist, he said that there was only 30% chance he could improve my vision with a membrane peel and 30% chance it would stay the same and 30% chance it would be worse. These didn’t sound like very good odds to me so I opted out of surgery. He gave me some eye drops for swelling saying that they “might” help but certainly wouldn’t hurt. In October at a follow up appointment he said that 75% chance surgery would make it better and only 5% chance of making it worse. When I asked why the percentages changed so much in a month, he said that he must have been ultra conservative the previous month. My husband suggested that I seek a second opinion which I did. The next doctor tested the vision in my left eye at 20/50 and said that he would not recommend surgery. I had also scheduled an appointment with a third doctor who said I could go ahead and have the surgery with probably 75% chance of improvement. With the holidays and year end pressures approaching I reluctantly decided not to have surgery. Part of me feels like someone is trying to tell me not to have the surgery since doctors have been all over the place. Deep down I would really like to try and get the best vision possible but I also don’t want to be greedy and push my luck. So bottom line, I still have the double vision primarily when it’s sunny out and my detail vision is not the best in my left eye but I am able to function. Tests that the 3rd doctor performed showed that my right eye appears to be healthy so guess I will just pray that it continues to be. This is such a journey and I think it’s hard for others to understand what we are going through. I just wish there was a way to take a picture of how the world looks through our eyes so we could share with others.

    • Hey Dazzle: I am so happy to find this blog online. I had a detached retina and surgery on July 31st. Then the doc pumped in a nitrous oxide bubble and put a schleral buckle around my eyeball. It is so difficult to talk to friends and family who try to help but don’t quite understand the difficulty of walking like the 1000 year old man because of double or unclear vision in the affected eye. I’m glad you can sleep on your back — I long for this! I am so tired of sleeping in a bra with tennis balls stuffed in the back so I won’t turn over, but I do try to be positive. I mean, it wasn’t a cancer dx or a heart attack, and at 65 that could have been a real possibility. I just miss dancing, exercising, driving, reading, seeing and having two eyes that look the same. The nitrous bubble is small now, but I really don’t have much vision in the impacted eye. One good thing is that I was allowed to return to singing, and even though I can hardly read the music, it makes me feel alive again. Hope your recovery goes well and that everyone who commented on your site has breakthroughs in healing.

      • Laurie, I hope things are getting better for you soon. this is such a long process and someone who hasn’t been through it just have a hard time understanding, This blog has been a blessing for me and I hope It helps you.. It has been a year and 4 months since my surgery and I still have a shadow on the side of my eye and anything square weaves in and out on the outer edges. go back to dr. in noverber.every thing also in my bad eye is farther away and a shade darker than in my good eye this throws me off where there are floresant lights like in the stores and dr. offices. hope this will improve with time. Patience is a must for this.

      • Hi Laurie: thanks for your comments. It is quite a journey. Mine is still ongoing. How clever putting golf balls in the back of your bra so you wouldn’t turn over on your back! That gave me the giggles! Hang in there, the bubble is the worst part of it all and it will go eventually. Not being able to drive for 2 weeks wasn’t any funny either. Keep posting here on your progress. Keep your chin up!

    • I also had the procedure two weeks October 1st😫 Of course still blurry and doctor said that it would be that way for about a month. This whole ordeal started around a month in half ago when I woke up with small black spots through my vision. I thought I had a heart attack or my wife hit me in the head in the middle of the night when I was sleeping lol.

      So I went to a retina doctor down the street from the office. Lowe and behold I was in the right place. So the doctors proceeded with a exam and also discovering some holes as well in addition to horse shoe tears in my retina in my right eye and just a couple tiny ones in my left. He proceeded to laser the right eye so I waited for a week and I could see fine. Then upon my visit he noticed more tearing so he performed a process freezing the retina with great success. The following two weeks later I went in and had 20/20 in both eyes.
      That weekend I took my grandson shopping and noticed that I was getting black streaks again and hemorage
      I’m like great here we go again. I then went in on Monday and could not see anything do,to the blood that had leaked to eye and socket.

      He then discussed with another doctor and both agreed I get the gas bubble. Still foggy with some color can’t expect miracles in two weeks he said probably in four weeks or so. I did notice however my right eye is kind of crooked is that normal?

      • Hi Vito: You sound as about as frustrated as I am. My eye doesn’t look crooked but my left eye (the one that had surgery on it) looks a lot larger that my good eye and my pupil is still dilated after almost 6 months. Still have the double vision too and my eye feels irritated and watery all the time. Have to wait now until the 22nd of April, 2015 for an appointment with yet another specialist is see if there is a muscle problem. Some days I’m fine and other days I just want to scream out of frustration. When I feel like that I just keep telling myself how lucky I am that I can still see out of my right eye. I also have a epiretinal membrane in the right eye. I hope to god my vision is never affected by it in that eye. Just hang in there and ask your specialist all the questions you can on your appointments. Take care, Dazzle [?]

      • Sorry for your setbacks, yes a crooked eye is normal, I had macular surgery for a hole in June, and kind of thought my eye looked crooked, and not until later my co workers said your eye isn’t crooked anymore..healing thoughts are with you,

      • Debra,
        My right eye is still partially dialated, virectomy in Jan 2014, it is probably from the eye drops. Still holding breath on left eye. My gut tells me I still have a tear, see something weird still in that eye. Hoping I am just healing from laser treatment Monday.
        I will keep everyone in this blig , in my prayers. Vito good luck to you too. Be patient with the bubble. Mine took over 14 weeks to dissapate. Everyone is different. Follow all the doctors orders and don’t overdue and strain the eye. That is probably the hardest thing, slowing your life down.

      • Debra,
        I know what you mean about wanting to scream some days..I know I have not had the setbacks that some of you guys here have had, but my vision is not clear, and today driving in the dark and rain, I wanted to start crying because it’s not clear and hard to drive..but then I say a prayer for others who have cancer, or life threatening illnesses and count my many wonderful blessings..but it is still frustrating. So glad we have a place to go and vent. Does anyone ever share emails to communicate easier?

      • Thanks for your comments Sue. I am thankful for the vision I have. Believe me. My right eye also had scar tissue but I pray that it will be years before I have to have surgery on it as Well. I have had 3 very trying years as far as earth issues go. 4 skin cancers removed, and also I have had à pacemaker since 1998. I count my blessings every day that I am still here. If you want to contact me via email you can each me at zealanddebra@gmail.com. Have a great weekend.

        Sent from my HTC

  8. Hi!
    Thank you for posting this… Your experience totally describes what I’m going through as well. I am currently 2weeks and 4 days post op. I had a scleral buckle, vitrectomy and 6 weeks gas bubble put into my left eye. The bubble seems to be at 50% or so however my vision above the bubble is really blurry and cloudy, kinda looks like fog.
    This experience has really made me realize how not to take things for granted. Even though, I’m still recovering, I am GRATEFUL that I’m not blind. I pray for speedy recovery for us all.

    • Glad you found this place..I am 9 weeks post op after hole in macula..my long lasting bubble just disappeared this past weekend. Can sleep on back! The vision in still not too good, but like you I am grateful I’m not blind.take it easy..my dr told me to not bend or lift for 6-8 weeks so don’t push it.

    • Hi, I had surgery for a macular hole on 8/14. Gas bubble is now at about the halfway mark when I look forward. I also see cloudiness above the bubble. Anyone know if the cloudiness will go away?

      • Hi. The cloudiness should go as the bubble does and the eye heals. I did not realize that the healing takes longer than just a few weeks..I am 2 months and a few weeks post op and after bubble gone seems things are clearer, although my vision is far from what it was before. like sue w said the sunlight is really bothering me, and driving especially at night is not clear, but all my dr says right now is the. Goal was achieved and that was to close hole, now I guess I need to ask if this is what I am going to live with, no mention that there is any buckle, but need to ask more. Take it easy and time seems to be the healer

      • Thanks for the info Sue. I was thinking that maybe the cloudiness might also be because I’m still using the dilating drops too. I go back to dr on Friday, not sure when I can stop those. From what I’ve read out here it seems like the clarity coming back is a slow process.

      • I forgot about all the drops too! It hasn’t been that long ago..I did the steroid drops,and then pressure got too high, so was on 2 diff drops to bring that down, so I am sure once you get off those it does start to clear, you are lucky bubble down so fast I had long acting (9 weeks) as I chose not to do the rigorous face down . Most of the people here seem to have had detached retina, I did not just the macula hole from the vitreous not completely separating, was your hole a result of retina issues or something else.

      • Sue, I had a detached retina in the other (rt) eye 5 yrs ago. Had 5 surgeries altogether but never got good vision back. They did a 360 laser on this left eye back then to weld the retina so it wouldn’t detach too. It held fine until this hole developed. He says my eyes are the type with sticky gel which tugs on the retina. Last time I had oil instead of gas bubble which is why I’m not sure what to expect this time. I did the 6 days face down so I guess that’s the type or size of bubble which goes faster.

    • I am half way through my 10th week and still have a little gas bubble. I have had really good news in the last few weeks and I feel very fortunate to be able to see as well as I do. My retina had fallen down and draped over the optical nerve but I had a good doctor. My vision is still distorted but I am able adjust to most of the distortion and hope it will clear up as the gas dissipates completely. I had double vision for awhile but it mostly disappeared after the 7th week. My Visual Field test last week was better than before my retina detachment. I only have a pin point lose in my peripheral vision. Even with the distortion in my vision, I was marginally able to pass the vision test to renew my driver’s license. This week my glaucoma doctor said I had 20/30 vision told me that my retina doctor reported my retina was flat. I go back for a follow up with my retina specialist at the end of Sept. Since I was able to renew my driver’s license without glasses, I want to wait until after my final visit to the doctor to get new glasses.
      Audiobooks have really helped me get through the recovery period. They helped me through the 2 weeks of 24/7 facedown recovery and the 2 weeks of being 50 percent face down. I would listen to a CD face down and then a CD sitting up during the 2nd 2 weeks. Even during the periods I was sitting up in the second 2 weeks, I kept looking down. The doctor has released me without any restrictions on activities but I am still taking it easy until after I see him in September.
      My operation was on the right eye but I have uncorrectable previous damage to my left eye. The machine used by the state of Texas to test your vision for driving has 3 slots, left eye, both eyes and right eye. With both eyes open, I could not see any thing in the left eye slot. When I cheated and closed my right eye, the letters in the left eye slot became very visible. My brain has compensated for the distortion of the gas in my right eye by only seeing out of the right eye in close up situations. I could not have passed the test if I had not done the left eye and right eye portions of the test with the opposite eye closed. So at that time I was 20/30 in the left eye, 20/30 in the right eye and a marginal 20/40 with both eyes open at the same time.
      Seeing to type this is one of hardest things I do. I can watch TV and even read the captions now. I drive very little and the distortions only bother me when I read streets signs as I go by them. My distance vision is good. Patience.

      • I need to look up the date of my operation but I am close to the end of my 4th month and I never thought I would be thankful for distorted vision. My vision is good sometimes and looks like an abstract painting at other times but I am functioning. I am going to wait until I have my last doctors visit in a month to get a new prescription but even now my vision can shows improvement in testing at the optometrist’s’ office. Do you ever get the feeling that Picasso must have had retina surgery?

      • A little over 6 months after my operation, I still have slightly distorted vision. Getting new glasses last week made detail much sharper but my vision still seems like I have a fold in my retina. The doctor says the retina is flat but will not offer an opinion about whither the distortion might go away. I can legally drive without my glasses but I am wearing them all the time now. I see better at night or when it is cloudy. I see the big picture but I have problems with details like street signs or things on the grocery store shelves. I can see the detail when I focus on one area but I can not scan a row of items and find some thing special, I have to stop and focus on one section at a time. I can read without any problems and have moved on from recorded books to printed material and the Kindle. I just got an IPAD and I love it because I can enlarge the letters on the screen and still keep the words per page a maximum. This makes reading less stressful but I can read a paperback as long as I focus. I thank God every day for the

      • I only had cataract surgery and I feel much as you do. I was misdiagnosed with glacoma, do not have it. I have had Irisitis and the dr. thinks I have a systemic problem …I am beginning to believe he is correct, even though the much blood work and scans so nothing.

      • My vision is getting better but the image is smaller in the eye that had the detachment. I am seeing primarily out of that eye but I will have double vision for a few seconds sometimes while my brain tries to sort things out. Also, I have to concentrate on focusing. I can not scan things quickly, it takes a little concentration..

  9. I am two weeks post-op today. I had a small tear following a PVD and had emergency surgery. 2 weeks later and still have 50% of my bubble remaining. This is so frustrating because I have only one eye….the one with the bubble. I lost my right one at 13 because of a giant retinal tear that couldn’t be fixed because of scar tissue. On top of it all I had just signed a new teacher contract. Today was supposed to be my first day of my new career….and I’m on medical leave. Will this bubble ever leave???

    • Hey steven sorry to hear about your circumstance. If it’s only been 2 weeks and you’re down to 50% then sounds like they used SF6 gas. That’s good b/c its the fast acting one. Ask your doc to be sure. If that’s the case, then chances are it will be gone in another 2 weeks or less. The smaller it gets the faster it dissipates. I had a vitrectomy july 30th and my bubble was gone in exactly 2 weeks. Make sure you stay face down and keep that retina flat. It’s important! Good luck!!

    • I had cataract surgery on my left eye June 11,2014. After the bandage was removed on June 11,2014 ,I notice a flutter in my eye(not the lid) . I didn’t mention it to the dr. When I entered my bathroom at home(the lights are bright) I notice the flutter again. Now I am right at 3months and I am seeing a line(vertical) that moves with my eye movement. My chart reading is 20/25 ,however , this line is blocking vision and My left eye is lighter to the look at. My normal eye color is brownish green The left eye is yellowish brown .My dr. doesn’t seem to be concerned and kind of annoyed.

  10. Hello, I am a 29 yr old male. I unfortunately had to have this surgery in an emergency. I am an auto mechanic and on July 30th 2014 , a 3/8 inch flake of metal sliced it’s way into my eye…. Some how, it went in high, through the superior of my eye, nearly Pars Plana, missing the lens and everything else in front. Unfortunately the doc says that it looks like it nicked my retina and I may have a lower peripheral blind spot. also the scar tissue may tug on my retina and detach it. All in all I’d say I’m pretty lucky. Doc even said it was a one in a million shot that the piece went in that way. They did a vitrectomy and removed the piece. Then they put in a SF6 gas bubble and gave me the 3 eye drops. It’s been just over a week and the bubble is probably 20% remaining. My vision is returning but is very cloudy. I can see relatively decent up to about 10 to 20 feet away and then everything really runs together. I was wondering if anyone else had this cloudiness after the bubble went away and if it eventually gets clearer. Also of course I wear glasses and in typing this I noticed something else. If i look through just my V-eye with my glasses I can see far like I mentioned, but if I look at laptop screen in right in front of me with just the V-eye, it’s all a blur? I hope this doesn’t mean I and near sighted and far sighted now. Well it’s very comforting to read all of these posts, especially since they’re so recent. I know that patience is the key and also a set of SAFETY GLASSES….. Good luck to all. Oh and I too and flaunting the happenin neon green bracelet!

    • Oh my..you are so young to have to go through this.i cringed when I read the piece cut into your eye, but sounds like you are healing. I have a long lasting bubble, as I did not do face down recovery, I also did not have retina detachment, but macula hole, so I am almost 2 months out and gas bubble still there. Vision will be blurry for some time I am sure. Just stay positive..get support from family and friends..yes the green bracelet is lovely!!!

    • I feel fortunate that I seem to be healing so well but I think that I may have trivialized the extent of what had happened to me, just like your friends above. Reading the comments here got my attention I stopped doing most of the things I had started to do and follow my doctors orders to give the healing process a chance and drastically limited my activity again during my second 4 weeks of recovery. Maybe my doctor will release do more when I see him again but I will follow his instructions and not rush it. Every day, I see an incremental improvement in my vision. I come here when I a boast in my incentive to follow the doctor’s orders and not rush it. After 50 days, I still have the bubble but my vision has almost improved to 20/40.

    • Update: Hello everyone! Ok so 2 weeks after my surgery (last thursday), while I was in the waiting room for a check up, my bubble disappeared, That morning it looked like a pencil tip. I had found out the week before that they gave me the SF6. My vision has returned to almost 100% with the exception of a small blind spot in my lower peripheral, I will probably have to get a new prescription for my glasses but with my old script I can actually see fairly well. The cloudyness has gone away also. Good luck to all!

      • great news…I think we all have our own journey but probably all of us have a great respect for eyesight, and not to take it for granted. I am going to start wearing glasses when i mow or use anything that could fly into the eye. good luck for a full recovery

  11. I feel very fortunate because 6 weeks after my operation, I think I have signs of possibly a full recovery, I can read medium street signs from the car and I have a fairly complete range of vision. My bubble does not seem to reduce in size when I am looking face down but it seems to reduce in density. It is starting occupying less of my vision when I am upright.
    I had a detached retina and apparently it had draped over my optical nerve so about 80 percent of my vision was blocked. I had surgery with a buckle, bubble, spend 2 weeks face down 24/7, followed by 2 weeks of facedown 50 percent of the time. My doctor is letting me walk around little more and take sort trips out of the house. He is not very forth coming with information so I came here hoping to get more information on how long I will have the bubble. I will see him again in 3 weeks and I will push for more information. He was very satisfied with my recovery at the end of the first 4 weeks. This has been very nerve racking because my other eye is only correctable to 20/40 with partial vision. Looking through my other eye is like looking through Swiss cheese where I have to move my head around to see a complete word, so recovering my sight in the eye with the detached retina is very important.
    At first, I was mostly concern about being able to see again. Now I am wondering about the stages of recovery and the possibility of a recurrence in the future. I appreciate the encouragement received here.
    I had great support from my wife and friends. I had the surgery 18 hours after my first visit to the doctor. When I was sitting in the waiting room before the operation, I sketched out a device to help me stay face down during the recover. When I got home, a friend took the drawings home and brought me back the device that afternoon. this helped to support my head and let me breath in the face down position but after about a week it wasn’t very comfortable. During the second 2 weeks, my friend tried some improvements to the device but we found the device too complicated. We went through several iterations of pillows I found the best solution was to roll up a towel length wise. My wife made me a pillowcase for me. With the rolled up towel in a pillowcase, this gave me a pillow about 5 inches in diameter and 40 inches long that I could snake around on the bed to get the most comfort position . This along with 4 or 5 conventional pillows allowed me to be reasonable comfortable during the rest of the face down recovery..

    • Patience is the key to eye recovery..but it gets old,yet I feel blessed as there are many people battling a lot worse things than I am. I had a macular hole discovered in March of this year, tried the Jetria injection in hopes of no surgery it did not work, so on June 19 had surgery, did not do face down, and found out last Friday that hole has healed,but vision still off, not sure if there is a cataract. The bubble gets smaller each week.i hope everyone who reads these can find some comfort in that they are not alone. What really annoys me and I am just venting is that others just think you have had a little procedure done and now your vision is good..they don’t get that it is a major surgery. I have to wear a green alert bracelet because of bubble, and people just think it’s silly. What’s the big deal..oh we’ll thanks for listening.prayers to all for healing

      • My C3F8 bubble lasted a full ten weeks, or two and a half months. It seemed to reduce by 10% each week and once it was at about 50%-60%, I was able to drive by looking above the bouncing bubble. Unless you’ve been through this procedure, it’s really hard to find anyone to fully understand what we’re going through. That’s why Bubble, Bubble became such a great resource for me last summer.

        I found that using a stack of U-shaped travel pillows was the best way to stay in face-down position. I’d rest one on the kitchen table, and place my iPad in my lap to read, watch videos, or play Candy Crush. I’d stack them on my lap if I was riding in the car or sitting on the sofa. Now I see travel pillows in memory foam, which would have been even better than my fiber-filled ones.

        Even though I rented all the vitrectomy equipment, it got so uncomfortable, especially during the hot summer we had last year. I think I only slept with the rented contraption one night. I kept thinking it was unsanitary to put in the bed, and I don’t think I got any sleep at all while using it. Again, the stacked up travel pillows, surrounded by regular pillows, made it easier to sleep. And breathe!

        I had to wear that funky green medical alert bracelet too (even to my niece’s wedding!) It got so grungy from newsprint, etc and started to rip. My daughter encouraged me to get some cute Duck Tape in a nice pattern to repair it with. Once I got moving again and was able to take long walks in the neighborhood, I found that my FItBit band in bright tangerine orange was a good complement. The best part was hearing questions from people like – “Cool wristband! What resort did you go to?” “You don’t want to go there” was my reply!

        Sending healing thoughts to all who are in the thick of recovery now!

      • I absolutely agree that many people just don’t seem to understand the fact that our vision doesn’t simply return as it was before after major eye surgery. I had surgery for a detached retina in April but it started detaching again in June and I had further surgery with silicone oil this time. I frequently wish tgat people could just for a few minutes see the world as I’m seeing it, feel the aches and pains of posturing, and also the anxiety which seems to be common in those of us dealing with these eye problems- just to give them some understanding. I wish you all the best in your recovery and hope your vision improves.

    • When my medical alert bracelet broke, my wife sewed both ends of the label portion to a piece of elastic. It is much more comfortable for sleeping and I can slip it off when I bath.

      • Emma, I will hold you in my prayers you are going through a lot,I went to Dr. Friday and now have a cataract, but will wait and see how much my vision improves in the next month or so he said about 3 months and the vision will be as good as it will probably be, it is blurry but I hope that is the cataract. We just have to. net to each other as others just don’t understand. I am guilty of taking eyesight for granted, but have changed how I appreciate so much more each day, hang in there

  12. Hi, I have had a ongoing set of problems with a retinal tear, I originally had a vitrectomy with silicone oil, that did not repair the tear, as the vitreous fluid kept getting underneath and causing flashes, so 3 weeks ago I had a scleral buckle with vitrectomy and a short acting gas. The gas bubble has now disappeared, but I have a “pie” shaped piece of my vision that hasn’t come back, and my field of vision is pretty narrow (much different than the original vitrecotmy, where my vision was blurry, but I had full field). The doc said that the “pie” was caused by decreased choroidal blood flow, and has put me on steroid anti-inflammatories and aspirin to help reprofuse the area. He said that expectations were that the vision should start to come back, but I am not seeing any improvement in either field of vision or the fading of the “pie”. Has anyone else here had any of these complications? the vision I do have, is coming back, but it is so limited compared to where I was before this all happened. Thanks so much for any advice you may have.

    • Welcome, Sam! Sorry to hear about your continued problems, but you’ve come to the right place for camaraderie! I’ve found that the key to this whole detached retina fiasco is P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. In just two days, I’ll be “celebrating” the one year anniversary of my vitrectomy/laser/C3F8 gas bubble. The bubble took a full 10 weeks until it disappeared, and it helped my retina reattach and stay put!

      Like you, I don’t have my full visual field back yet. Even one year later, I’m still missing a good portion of my peripheral vision. But my doctor, whom I just saw today for a retina check up (all still holding strong!) assures me that it’s still likely to return. It might take another year or so, but the chances are good. The decreased blood flow in that area apparently damages the area and it needs lots of time to regenerate. I am very happy to have the vision I do have in my left eye, and have been able to resume my normal, active life. Give it plenty of time, follow all your doctor’s instructions, and hopefully you will notice improvements soon!

      • Thanks for the comments. It is always good to hear what others are going through. I had a short 1-2 week bubble inserted during the vitrectomy surgery and laser tack welding, but it did not hold. The 6-8 week bubble was injected 1 week later on June 24th and another on the 25th. It held the retina in place and then I had extensive laser tack welding thru my fake lens, as I had cataract in 2005 in this eye. I have been noticing the bubble shrinking in size. In fact today, July 28th, it split into two bubbles, one small and one larger. It will be 8 weeks on August 20th, and hopefully it will be gone as I have a flight the next day. The vision is not very clear, as I am sure there is plenty of scar tissue on the retina, which I might have to have an Epiretinal Membrane peeling. I do have double vision mainly when driving at night. I am thankful that I am seeing, but it is not as clear as the other eye.It sounds as if it will take more than a year to have clarity again. Thanks again for any comments on other outcomes from this ordeal

      • Hello Sam;

        i am also sorry to hear about your continued retinal problems. I totally agree with Karen that patience is your best healer and helps keep you in a positive frame of mind.

        I had my 1 year anniversary at the end of June to what I would call a never ending nightmare as I had so much going on with my eyes. Like Karen I am pretty well back to doing my normals driving working etc but far from perfect. I had a secondary cataract removed from my left eye at the end of June and it has made a huge difference in my vision in that eye. I have very clear vision out of that eye but it is distorted I read an eye chart very well. I also have found that the glare from the sun lights etc is much more tolerable as I used to often close that eye even with sunglasses on so much better. I do have a primary cataract in my right eye but when I asked the cataract surgeon about it he said that we will wait as long as possible to replace it. At my next appointment I am going to ask about that new procedure that is not as invasive for cataract surgery I think it is totally done with laser. If anyone has had this type of procedure your feedback would be appreciated.

        Anyways Sam try to stay positive as I think your attitude will be your best friend. Accept assistance from family and friends as you will probably need it. Hopefully your steps forward will be positive ones. Healing thoughts are sent your way!

  13. Well I’m now 11weeks post op. I had a very nervous visit to the surgeon yesterday. My sight in my right eye is very poor after my vitrectomy and I have a cataract in my left eye making life quite difficult. Although I was sent to the optician for spectacles they where not a success.
    I had convinced myself that I would need more surgery or that the poor sight I have would be my lot. It seems that a cataract has formed in my op eye already and the surgeon has told me he is going to do both cataracts with 2 weeks apart in the next few weeks So fingers and everything crossed it will improve my sight and give me my life back.
    I have been given the gift of a new and beautiful granddaughter a week ago and just puts life into perspective.
    Life is good!

    • Sally, prayers for you that your op is successful and you are on your way to better vision to see you new beautiful grandaughter with. I am a year post my macular hole surgery still going in for checks side vision a little bothersome and flouresent lights at stores but dr. says it takes about 2 years to full heal. Praying for the best for you PATIENTCES is still a must.

    • Hi Sally. I am 3weeks post op. Had surgery to repair macular hole.it seems like a long journey ahead. Keeping my eye covered seems to help it takes all the jiggly blurriness away. I too have a 4 week new grand baby girl and a 3 yr old boy they are my joy when I am down take care

    • Glad to have found this Bubble Blog Log. I too had a detached retina. It started out in the morning at work on June 16th as I noticed dark blob at the lower corner of my right eye. I saw the doctor the next day and had surgery that afternoon. My post op care stated to lay facedown or sit up. I wished I would have been face down as the 1-2 week bubble would have held the retina in place. I went back a week later for a follow up visit and there was signs of fluid leaking past the retina. I was injected with a 6-8 week bubble and went back the next day for more gas bubble insertion. I positioned as I was instructed and then on the 3rd consecutive day office visit, the retina reatched itself and then the doctor anesthetised my eye and laser welded the retina in place. Since I have had cataract,IOL replacements in both eyes, I was not too worried about the lasering work. The bubble is slowly disappearing and is half way down in the middle of the vision. Driving can be somewhat of a challenge due to the peripheral vision being gone, When reading and wanting to focus, I use an eye patch which helps with the blurriness. I too have just became a grandfather of a beautiful granddaughter that was born on June 27th. Fortunately, I was able to make the road trip to see her even though the route I had taken was 5 more hours out of the way. I had to make sure I stayed at altitudes below 3500 feet. I am looking forward for this bubble to be gone and go back with my normal routines. We take our eyes for granted and with only one good one to use, it does take adjusting. Good luck to all of you that have also gone through this ordeal.

  14. Hello……I had my post op. My bubble was gone two days shy of the two week post op day……and after reading ie so many who had that long after mine was gone, sighhhhh, thankful described me.
    My post op was good. I saw an associate of my surgeon, as we live hours away, and the docs take turns having clinic days in our city.
    The scan done post op, showed healing progressing……as Dr. said ” you couldn’t ask for a better two week out result! Your doctor did an excellent job!” ( hey, I think I did my little part too….with all that horizontal positioning on a three hour car ride home on day two 😉 and beyond, right? but I am EVER so thankful, and I’m not complaining!! )
    So, that doc said No restrictions. but to let pain be my guide. Keep on with the steroid drops, and when bottle one is empty, begin the tapering off with bottle #2.
    Feeling so glad to have no restrictions…….the next day ( last Wednesday ) I drove half an hour to Two Harbors, where I have worked seasonally at a small town small business greenhouse, transplanting etc and helping people make beautiful in their yards, containers etc. Visited with my coworkers. Stopped by a coffee/ice cream/pizza place for whom I “do” the container gardening for. Looked over the containers, put in about 15 plants, planned what else to put where, drove back to Duluth.
    Next day, drove to a tire place, as a fairly new tire of ours was coming apart. Nasty weather day……after they replaced our tires under warranty, I visited 7 plant places, to gather the remaining few I needed for those containers I’d started. Found them, came home, rested.
    Next day, drove half hour, installed the rest of the plants, in half oak barrels and two window boxes… ( I’m an active person, GO might be my middle name, sometimes ) had a headache a brewing, drove half hour back.
    Rest of evening and night, eye ACHE!! and HEADACHE. Despite Advil, and resting.
    CRUD!!?? What did I DO to myself??
    Stayed in bed half of Saturday, Father’s day, hubby drove the hour to my newly widowed dad’s for the day. Monday I rested. Tues. ( yesterday ) I drove the hour to Virginia MN to have lunch with my dad, and younger sis, and borrow her nice camera for my hubby and my planned trip west on July 4th.
    She and I walked the cemetery awhile, chatting. Pretty sunny breezy day.
    I drove home, eyes just tired. OK evening, rested.
    Today? Had the massage my church gave me a certificate for, gal worked on my owch neck… came home, rested, drinking lotsa water! 4 hours later, went in our car on this very windy gray day, to pick up a prescription. Other than recently discovered hypothyroid, I’m very healthy!! Active life.
    Noticed that in Walgreens, my vision on surgery side had this effect like throbbing? mild, but I noticed it.
    Came home, hopeful that Advil would help, as the headache is also more present.
    Called the VitreoRetinal Specialist clinic, as MY doc is up north here today.
    Waiting to hear back, ie is this normal?? It’s not always present, this is the second time, and came with headache before, last weekend, too.
    Anyone?? Had this?? I’m 3 weeks two days out from surgery. Ought I take it slower?? Advice welcomed ❤

    • Hi Shine Thru It – I’m interested in how you’re doing and hoping by now you’re doing great and got to take that trip west in July. I’d love to hear about your progress because I’m just like you in that I’m going to the same place for my surgery that you went to and I also live 3 hours away (Hayward, WI). When you mention horizontal positioning on the ride home, did you mean you had to lie down the whole time or just hold your head down? I’m also like you in that I’m super active and super healthy. I just happened to trip in a parking lot and did a face plant onto concrete and ended up with a macular hole. I’m hoping to hear good news from you because, as you know, hearing from people who’ve been through it is very helpful. Also, which surgeon did you have? I’ve been assigned to Dr. Ryan and I hear he’s terrific, thank God!!

      • Hi! So sorry you wound up with a macular hole, too!
        I had Dr. Mittra, like him very much. My continued post surgery went well…my bubble was like a pencil point on day 10, then gone that day :). I was quite anxious presurgery, having never HAD any surgeries in my life. The staff at the Surgical Center were wonderful…aside from positioning, twas smooth.
        I found that riding in our Accord’s backseat, with the top of my forehead leaned against the back of the front seat, was most comfortable. Dr. Mittra instructed that I just be sure that my nose faced the floor, and also that ( this part varies according to what your surgeon sees inside during surgery ) I only sleep on my Left side. Never on one’s back. Remember that the bubble is your “friend” and ally, keeping pressure on the tissues healing together 🙂

      • Deb – Thank you so much for making me feel less freaked out. I’m hoping your recovery has continued to be the greatest of all successes!

        Sent from my iPad


  15. I’ve been looking for a place like this! since my vitrectomy a week and days ago. Oh what relief, to not feel so alone! My gas bubble, is smaller the past two days, chin in normal position, in the lower third of my visual plane. Am yet keeping head tilted as tho reading a book, per my surgeon’s direction, after the first 48 hours of face down.
    I just went thru losing my mom after her breast cancer got vicious, March 6. Lost her older sister suddenly the week before, while mom was dying in a hospice house in my city. Two hard losses, then a very dear friend, who called our child loss group, died,age just turned 60, two weeks/later, the day after I turned 60! Of recently discovered cancer. My newly widowed dad’s sister’s best friend hubby had complications after a simple surgery, yup, died. April 6th.
    And you’d think that many tears would be good for my then just fine eyes!
    Mother’s day weekend, the headaches I’d noticed in my work of greenhouse plant transplanting and care…bugged me. During a car ride, I covered my right eye, everything looked Fine! ( my eyes/were tired, achey feeling. Near sighted in left, far sighted in right ) covered left eye. Wow, must need new glasses. Some very shadow in center, and distortions part way down a speed limit sign pole.
    Eye check, can’t see Any letters w right eye! Dilating, she finds macular hole! Makes an asap appt with vitreoretinal specialist. The next Friday, May 23, hubby n I go in ,dilation, scan, see Dr. Thorough exam , fluorescent dye scan, surgery scheduled for following Tuesday.
    Now, the bubble! How to explain, when NO ONE in our extended families, in our church family, among ANY of my friends! has experienced this.
    How about the tiny black pepper flakes in the fluid above the bubble?
    YES to the light Beams dancing above the top edge of bubble!!
    Yes! To fluorescent light horror! I was chin down going to “enjoy” a three item outing to Target. MISTAKE. Won’t be doing That, again till bubble is gone.
    Humbled, is the same word I keep using. Friends from our little church bringing wonderful, easy to eat while bent over meals♥
    Time to have life slow down, and be able to move along thru the compounded losses. Process, feel.
    I’m an active caregiver person, this unnatural position, positionING, has begun more healing, than just my poor eye.
    Looking at the bubble bouncing while I brush my teeth , riding in our car…seeing a bird soarcto the grass, but wondering ” is that an eye speck? ” but Seeing the bird land, brought laughter back! to me.
    It’s can strange journey,but compared to burying our week shy of 19 son, killed at his college money summer job! This journey, it will be history, someday, right???? Say yes, please!
    My eyes feel tired, gosh, I hope that my recheck on Tuesday, is progress news, chin up news, sleeping on one side release news, eye shield at night release news.

    • Hi Everyone! I wrote a few weeks ago regarding my vitrectomy and concerns I was having. It’s been 3 and a half weeks since my surgery for a hole in my macula. I’m happy to say that the bubble has gotten much smaller and I have a feeling it will be gone in a week.
      I was concerned about a floater in the bubble which has disappeared. That has been a huge relief! My vision seems to be improving daily. I’m noticing my close up vision improving nicely. My far vision is good but still a bit fuzzy.
      All in all I’m pretty satisfied now , but still worried about the future. I guess you can say I’m feeling paranoid. I see my doctor on the 17th and I’m hoping he will release me to start exercising again.
      Good luck to you all. Stay positive and patient. There is light at the end of the tunnel.


    • Hi Deb,
      Wow you have had quite a year! So sorry about all your losses. And now your eye problem. I had my procedure on May 12th. I’m feeling and seeing so much better now. I’m sure you will do the same.
      When I go out walking now I enjoy the small pleasures that I took for granted before. I had horrible floaters and now they are gone! It makes being outside so much nicer.
      Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery!


    • Hello Deb:

      Wow have you ever been through a lot. I also lost my Mom at the end of February so know how you are feeling, it is so hard. My Mom’s passing was very sudden but a loss is a loss no matter how it happens. I am so sorry for all your losses you must think will this ever end!

      Now you have to deal with this eye stuff which can be a long road. If you read back I had bilateral macular holes and then a retina detachment in my left eye. I am thankful that things have stabilized for the past year and I pretty well do my normal routine. I can remember thinking what I have to be face down 24/7 for 2 weeks, how can I do that, well I did that not only for 2 weeks but 7 in total because of both eyes, the detachment etc…not fun. I have survived though and now trying to deal with the loss of my Mom.

      Anyways hang in there things will get better..Patience is the virtue. Talking about sleeping on your side. Before this all started for me I slept 90% of the time on my back. Although I can do it now and have been cleared to do so for sometime I really do not sleep on my back very often..funny how that works!

      Let us know how you make out at your next appointment we are cheering for you and good eye health!

      • I so appreciate hearing back. Thank you Kim. Wasn’t Mother’s day…a challenge? I’m sorry for your loss, too. Losing mom was slow, that breast cancer….ugh.
        I’m hopeful for recheck, tho. Hope is a beautiful word, to reclaim!

    • Deb – You sure have been through a lot, and I’m so sorry for all the losses you’ve experienced. It does put your current eye issues in perspective, and yes, you must slow down and let others help. Be patient and healing will happen. I hope that your recheck today went well. Please post an update when you are able!

      Lauren – Glad to hear that your bubble floater has resolved. Like you, I couldn’t wait to get my dr’s clearance to resume exercising. I was able to go for brisk walks once I was out of the facedown position. And when my bubble resolved at 10 weeks, I was able to rejoin my yoga class. It felt so great to be able to do these normal things I previously took for granted! Of course, almost a year post-surgery, I still worry about certain upside-down yoga positions causing problems with my eyes! And not a day goes by where I don’t think something has gone wrong with one or the other eye. I’m not sure when/if that anxiety dissipates.

      Kim – Hope all goes well with your secondary cataract repair! I know I’ll need that some day too 😦

      Just thought I’d share a great resource for information about eye issues. If you have Sirius Radio, there’s the Opthalmology Show on Channel 81, every other Tuesday afternoon, from 3-4pm EST! Today’s special guest was a retina specialist, and it was a very interesting show. They took listener questions and touched on cataracts, macular pucker, new surgical techniques, etc. I would have called in myself, but I already asked my retina question on the April 8 show. If you have the Sirius app or can listen online, and you can replay the past shows too!

    • WOW! your journey has been lined with so much besides your eyes. Praying for your heart will heal and your eye will continually get better, It is a sloe journey and takes a lot of Patience but things will improve.

  16. Hi everyone – I discovered this blog by accident when searching for ‘how long will my six-week gas bubble take to disappear’. It’s really useful (if also sometimes scary) to read about others’ experiences and feelings whilst going through this nightmare. I had a vitrectomy in mid-April, after my retina detached whilst I was on holiday in Germany. I had to get an emergency flight back to the UK where it was operated on a couple of days later, and I had cryotherapy in my other eye at the same time, as they found two tears/holes in that retina as well. I’m now at the stage of 6 and a half weeks post-op and waiting for the gas bubble to go. Like Lauren, I seem to have a floater inside the gas bubble, which sometimes worries me a bit, although the consultant did tell me at my last appointment that floaters are normal at this stage. As a few people have said on here, I think the worst thing is the constant fear that something may go wrong again, or a redetachment might occur. I’m 38, and already had small cataracts before all of this happened, so I have had issues with my eyes but all of this came as a complete shock. Thanks to everyone for posting information and sharing stories, and I wish everyone a good recovery.

    • Hello Emma;

      Thankyou for sharing your story with us. Wow what an experience and at such a young age. It must have been so scary for you for such a thing to happen while you were on holidays.

      My first gas bubble lasted 72 days and just kept diminishing in size. that was in my right eye. As far as the left one went it did break up and was still present when my retina detached 7 weeks post the surgery for macular hole. I had a scleral buckle, silicone oil and the natural lens replaced at this time. The silicone oil was removed 4 months later. It was weird as I noticed it would get quite warm sometimes..strange.

      Anyways my next thing is the secondary cataract removal at the end of this month, that will be lasered off. I also have a cataract in my right eye but will put that off as long as possible. I test 20/30 in that eye which is pretty good. Legal to drive etc.

      Keep us updated on your progress and hope all goes well with your next appointment!

      • Hi Kim,
        Thanks for your reply. It sounds as if you’ve had a pretty grim time of it with all your eye problems too… It’s good that you can drive though, and I hope all goes well with your cataract surgery at the end of the month. Are you in the US? My bubble is still there at the moment – now 7 and a half weeks post-op. The floater inside it seems to have gone now – I’ve just read that Lauren’s has gone too… it made me feel a bit better to read that someone else had experienced this! There are quite a few other floaters, which make me nervous at times, but the consultant said this was normal, and from what other people have written here, it seems to be so. I can’t believe your first gas bubble lasted 72 days!! Was it supposed to be a six-week bubble? I guess everyone is just different…
        I should be going back to my own house later this week (have been staying with my mum) and then back to work on Monday. I’m scared incase anything goes wrong while I’m away from the hospital where I’m being treated, but I know I just have to get on with things. If anyone has any tips on how to deal with the constant fear, that would be great…

    • Hello Emma;

      Thankyou for your reply. Yes it is nice that we can share all our experiences and from different parts of the world too. I live in Canada so my experience here might differ slightly from what the Americans or you are having. Anyways yes my first gas bubble the longer lasting one C3F8 did last a long time and of course I had one in each eye for quite a while, I remember with that I could not even see to walk up steps , even my dinner plate in front of me because of the bubbles. I then had the silicone oil in my left eye for 4 months. It is supposed to be a great retina healer and at least I could travel with it. I think I went to Las Vegas a few weeks after it was inserted. I do hope your return to work goes well. I know I was off work for just about the whole year last year. It seemed that it went on forever. I work in a hospital and the dryness etc was really hard on my eyes. I have read a lot about different vitamins etc and use quite a few now that are supposed to promote eye health. I figure why not, worth a try anything to keep stability. I also use a bunch of different eye drops and I think they also help I tend to use a eye gel when I am at work and I find it very soothing. I usually avoid anything that is too messy so the drops and gels work nicely. I am like you apprehensive about my upcoming lasering of the secondary cataract but really do need to have it done and it has been a year since my troubles with my left eye happened so the cataract surgeon is confident that things will go well. As far as the right cataract goes I am going to put that one off as long as I can. Hoping for good things with the left one to start with. Anyways Emma I think we all live with this fear of something happening again but I think we have to live our lives as best as we can but also at the same time be aware of the possibilities and know it might happen again and if it does we will hopefully be somewhat prepared (easier said than done I know). Healing thoughts for your eyes!

  17. Hello Everyone,
    I too had a vitrectomy recently. It was done on May 12th, so 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I had a macular hole that had sealed up nicely according to the doctor. My right eye is the one that I had the surgery on. About 10 years ago I had developed a cataract at the age of 48. I know, young for a cataract. About 6 years later, a torn retina that developed into a detachment and repaired in the doctors office. Three years later I developed the macular hole.
    After the torn retina I had horrible floaters. They were so annoying and distracting, but learned to live with it. I am pleased that almost all the floaters are gone now and my vision is getting clearer every day. I had a slight hemmorage during the surgery so the doctor thinks it will take more time to get the final result.
    I was facedown for 7 days and still sleep on my side. The bubble is still there, it is smaller every day and now there is a little bubble that popped out on the side. I seem to have a floater inside the bubble. I’m wondering if any of you experienced this. The floater never goes out of the bubble, which I think is a good thing and I am hoping it is blood debris that is stuck in the bubble and will dissipate soon. I haven’t read of this happening to anyone else.
    I’m also paranoid about this not being over and continues problems with this eye. Thank God my left eye is healthy. I had lazer done all around the lattice to strengthen it and hoping it will stay healthy.
    Good luck to you all. I hope you all heal well and your vision is restored. I look forward to your comments.

    • Hello Lauren;

      I just posted but thought I would reply to you. I started with laticcing in my right eye when I was 35 many years ago. I had lasix corrective surgery at age 40 for minimal myopia and had better than 20/20 vision for the next 10 years. My bilateral macular holes appeared in January/2013 I ended up with 2 surgeries for the holes March and April 2013. Things went well until my retina detached June 2013 in my left eye. I then ended up with a scleral buckle. Then a week later the lens was replaced, silicone oil was inserted, bubble taken out. The silicone oil was in for 4 months. I could fly though with the oil. The first bubble lasted 72 days. I then also dealt with a collapsed iris, increased eye pressure and face down once again. My goal at this point was to just stay out of the or. Finally things settled and I have been stable for the past year. I find that my left eye does not react as well as the right to brightness so find that I close it even though I am wearing sunglasses when it is super bright. I also seem to get better vision when driving if I close it. I often think about where I and the rest of use would be if we did not have the medical system we do. I am leading a fairly normal life now after not working for 8 months last year and do hope for better vision once I have this cataract stuff done. Great to ask fellow bloggers about stuff relating to these situations as it is so helpful. I did want to mention that the first eye’s bubble never broke up just got smaller. The other did lots of breaking up before it was replaced with the silicone oil. I have a lot of floaters that hopefully will diminish and they actually are clear on the inside and tend to come and go. Have sort of gotten used to them…lol

    • Hi Lauren – Welcome to Bubble, Bubble! I enjoy being the “unofficial greeter” here! It’s such a crazy experience, and it feels great to share the details with others who have been through it. (I was just telling a “regular” friend about my vitrectomy ordeal today, and she had such a look of horror on her face! Like how could a person even survive this experience!?!) Well, we do survive, with the help of lots of tlc and patience, and we never take our vision for granted ever again!

      You developed cataracts at around the same age I did (way too young!) I actually waited a good 10 years to have mine repaired because I had so many rd risk factors and I didn’t want to upset the fine balance of my vision. My retina detached within a few months of the cataract surgery, so my worries were not unfounded. Your retina gave you a few more good years of vision before detaching post-cataract surgery, which is nice, but your saga continued with the macular hole later on. It’s no wonder you are still worried about what the future holds, but hopefully the vitrectomy and gas bubble will do the trick!

      Glad you are on the road to recovery now and your vision is improving. I hope the bubble floater resolves soon – sounds like it makes things doubly annoying!

    • Hello Lauren:

      I just posted but thought I would reply to you. I started with laticcing in my right eye when I was 35 many years ago. I had lasix corrective surgery at age 40 for minimal myopia and had better than 20/20 vision for the next 10 years. My bilateral macular holes appeared in January/2013 I ended up with 2 surgeries for the holes March and April 2013. Things went well until my retina detached June 2013 in my left eye. I then ended up with a scleral buckle. Then a week later the lens was replaced, silicone oil was inserted, bubble taken out. The silicone oil was in for 4 months. I could fly though with the oil. The first bubble lasted 72 days. I then also dealt with a collapsed iris, increased eye pressure and face down once again. My goal at this point was to just stay out of the or. Finally things settled and I have been stable for the past year. I find that my left eye does not react as well as the right to brightness so find that I close it even though I am wearing sunglasses when it is super bright. I also seem to get better vision when driving if I close it. I often think about where I and the rest of use would be if we did not have the medical system we do. I am leading a fairly normal life now after not working for 8 months last year and do hope for better vision once I have this cataract stuff done. Great to ask fellow bloggers about stuff relating to these situations as it is so helpful. I did want to mention that the first eye’s bubble never broke up just got smaller. The other did lots of breaking up before it was replaced with the silicone oil. I have a lot of floaters that hopefully will diminish and they actually are clear on the inside and tend to come and go. Have sort of gotten used to them…lol

  18. I’m really pleased to have stumbled upon this blog through searching for post-operative experiences after vitrectomy and must say it is good to read about all the different journeys here. I am in the UK and since age 13 have worn glasses for shortsighted vision. Back in 2003 I was diagnosed with posterior vitreous detachment at the opthamology dept of my local hospital and given a leaflet about it. I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to this as it’s apparently common in short sighted people as we age (I’m 56) but aware that I was more likely to have retinal tears, or worse detachment. On May 4th (Sunday) I was suddenly aware of a slight clouding of my vision in my left eye and was concerned that it could be RD. I went out shopping and decided I should drop by an optician to get checked out and managed to get a brief cursory examination from one just before they shut and was advised to book a proper appointment the next day. The following day was a public holiday which didn’t help matters. I rang the last optician to give me an eye test and they were fully booked, but when I explained my problem the opthamologist agreed to see me in her lunch break. After examining me at length she concluded that I needed to go to the eye hospital in a nearby town and tried to make me an appointment. As it was a public holiday there was no retina specialist available so she was obliged to arrange the appointment the following day. I went home with instructions not to lift anything heavy, do gardening or exercise. I sat at my computer for an hour or two and when I got up I suddenly found my sight had worsened drastically with a semi-opaque dark stain now going right across the centre of my vision and obscuring the tv which I now imagine was when the detaching retina pulled off the macula. I rang the eye hospital twice that evening to see whether I should go in as an emergency case, but was told once again that there was nobody there who could deal with the back of the eye and I was advised to wait until my appointment the next day.

    At the eye hospital I waited for 2 hours past my appointment time due to other emergencies taking priority and eventually saw a doctor. I have to say that the doctor could have been a little less brutal when she gave me the diagnosis. When I heard the words “It’s not good news I’m afraid” followed by the rest of the gloom and doom about a detached retina and the possibility of not getting all my vision back, the need to have the other eye possibly treated and then maybe not getting surgery until the following day, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I’m an independent person who is very much on their own in the world – my parents have passed away, I have no siblings, no husband and no children. Thankfully I do have friends and an ex partner who is there for me, but I do feel very sorry for someone who has to deal with something like this alone and without support – it’s a very frightening situation. In fact once back in the waiting room after being given the bad news I actually passed out briefly – I think it was basically shock which caused my blood pressure to drop like a stone.

    After recovering on a trolley I was directed to another waiting room and called in to see the consultant and surgeon. From then on things progressed more quickly and I was scheduled for a vitrectomy within a few hours. The consultant told me that I might not get back my close vision, may need another operation, and in six month’s time would need to have a cataract operation – oh joy! By the time I was wheeled into theatre my vision had continued to deteriorate and I was seeing about 95% total blackness through my left eye. I have never been so scared in my life. My condition according to the consultant’s notes was a Rhegmatoganous Retinal Detachment with Macula Off. Treatment was a Left Pars Plana Vitrectomy, Retinopexy, Endolaser and Tamponade with SF6 gas under local anaesthetic.

    After the procedure I was told to remain cheek down on the left side for 10 minutes, then facing down for 5 hours (very uncomfortable) and then 5 days laying down on my right side with 10 minutes an hour in which I could get up and move around. This posturing was only manageable because I had some help – goodness knows how someone without assistance or who has difficulty to lie on one side would cope. I also had to sleep on my right side for 5 days and am still continuing to do so on operation +11 days although probably not necessary now. Thankfully I have had little discomfort – I only took two Ibuprofen when I went to bed after the op in case of pain as the anaesthetic wore off. I have three sets of drops (antibiotic, corticosteroid and beta blocker) to put in and tablets to take for 6 days. Kindly ex made a printed schedule for all the drops so I don’t forget them!

    The sight in my treated eye has certainly improved over the last 11 days. To start with it was extremely blurry and dark, but I guess this was a result of looking through the gas bubble or saline – not sure which. At present the meniscus of the bubble is in my lower third vision looking forward and moves to the centre if I tip my head, so then its like looking into a giant contact lens. Light tends to smear upwards from it so as I look at this computer screen it is reflecting in my eye upwards from the bubble and distorting and moving as I look up and down. At this stage I’m finding it easier to blot out the left lens of my specs and sunglasses and look only through my good eye. I’m looking now at a vase of flowers with first the right (good) eye and then the left to compare them which is a bit scary. Colours seen by the treated eye are less saturated and images are distorted considerably, so the vase is much narrower and looks like it has been squashed up. I don’t know whether this is caused by macular pucker and whether another operation will be on the cards, or if it’s just due to the intervention I’ve had and is something that should improve over time as the eye heals. I guess I’ll find out more at my follow-up appointment with the consultant in 5 days time.

    Good luck to everyone on this site who is recovering from surgery and thank you for sharing your experiences – it’s good to read about how other people get through the experience, and there are certainly some inspiring contributions on coping and living with compromised vision – patience it seems is the essential virtue.

    • Hi Sally! So glad you found Bubble, Bubble as it’s a great meeting place for people going through this crazy rd experience. Sounds like you’ve been through quite an ordeal, but you’re now on the road to healing. It’s really interesting to see how differently things were handled for you in the UK, compared to my experience in the US.

      The main thing is to be very patient (and of course, follow all your doctor’s orders precisely!) This is especially true during the early weeks when you think nothing is really improving. Your vision will be pretty distorted as long as the gas bubble remains in your eye. If it’s not blocking your vision totally, it’s bobbling around and making it hard to see, and you can get strange reflections off the edges. All this should resolve once the bubble is gone. And then, if you’re like me, you may have new distortions and issues until the eye fully heals (which can take a few years!) Glad to hear that you have good friends around to help you – that’s invaluable in speeding up your recovery process!

      I’m about 10 months post-vitrectomy now, and I still have some of the symptoms you describe (smaller, distorted images) as well as a few other issues (missing peripheral vision, eye still somewhat dilated.) I saw my doctor a few months ago, and I don’t go back again until late July (which will be a full year post-surgery!) He is still hopeful that everything will get sorted out over time and my vision will return to normal. I have recently noticed that although I wake up in the morning with a big dark area in my periperal vision, as the day progresses, it seems to lighten up and I am able to see things off to the side. Sometimes I think I’m just imagining this improvement, but it’s been happening more often, so I’m going to stay optimistic! As I’ve written in my numerous previous posts, I’m just thrilled to have any vision, and to be able to do all the “normal” things I’ve done in the past!

      Sending you healing thought as you continue on your journey, and do keep us posted after your next checkup!

      • Karen is right, you have to be have patience. I am 16 weeks post-op now, and my bubble did not fully dissipate until 14 1/2 weeks. The good news is that my vision is better now than before the detachment. Have to go to the optometrist tomorrow to get new glasses. I knew something was wrong with my eye for several weeks before I went to the doctor. Tried to explain away my vision issue as a floater or a secondary cataract, as I had cataract surgery 15 years prior. Finally went to the doctor when I could barely see. Dr said I had a Giant Retina Tear and needed surgery immediately. It was still two days before surgeon got team together, etc. The morning of surgery I woke up to what appeared to be a cracked computer screen in my eye. Later found out that my retina totally detached between visit to surgeon and surgery day.
        Today I had my 4 month post-op checkup and all is good. My pressure is a little high; however, not too bad. I will need to continue to use the pressure drops in my eye. The doctor was extremely pleased with my progress. He said I had the worse tear he has ever operated on. I do not have to return for a checkup until August. At that time, the doctor will evaluate whether preventative surgery should be done on my other eye. I apparently have thin retinas that are susceptible to tears.
        I appreciate all the support I received on this site, and reading others journeys. It helped me stay positive! Thank you.

      • Hello Karen;

        It has been a long time since I have posted here because along with my eye problems my Mom who was my closest friend was killed. Our world has been turned upside down. Her accident happened in February after we returned from Florida. I found that since this has happened we have such a supportive family but my mom was the centre of our world, we had hoped to have her around a lot longer..

        Anyways my vision is far from perfect but was explained to me at least by the cataract surgeon. I saw him right after my mom passed away. He said that my macula on my right eye is not smooth like it should be and sort of wavy. I test well on the eye chart but I see things quite distorted., Hard to say if this will improve. I have a cataract in that eye also but patience is the key here. I will first have the secondary cataract removed this summer on my left eye, this is also the eye where I had the detached retina. My retina specialist says the macula is fine on that eye and thinks things will remain stable. I have excellent close up vision for reading etc can read very small print etc and am happy with things but do deal with constant dryness etc. I live in a very dry area. We were in Hawaii after my mom’s passing and my eyes loved it there. We have decided to purchase a condo in Maui now and will spend more time there, it really is paradise.

        To the others that are dealing with gas bubbles etc. Patience is the key. I spent a total of 7 weeks face down last year as I had gas bubbles in both eyes, silicone oil etc. It was a humbling experience. I have never heard of anything that you can use to help decrease the gas bubble this is very interesting. I actually had to cancel all my vacations last year because of the gas bubbles, it really is not worth taking the slight chance with these because it is not hard to find a story about someone that has lost their sight because of elevation.

        Karen I love all your encouraging words you give to the new members of this blog. I had thought often of contacting you in the last few months as I dealt with the passing of my mom.


      • To Kim Oud – I hope you find this reply as I’m not sure exactly where to post it so you can read it. (There was no “reply” button below your last entry.)

        I’m so very sorry to hear about the tragic passing of your mom. It’s horrible to lose a beloved parent, especially when it’s much too soon, under such shocking circumstances, and when you are still healing from surgery and in a vulnerable state. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

        I’m glad that you were able to travel and find your place of paradise. Hoping that it gives you some peace of mind as you move forward through mourning – another journey that requires much time and patience. If you’d like to contact me, you can do so through my blog – sniffapalooza.com.

        With Sympathy,

  19. Hi all. I had my surgery 10/04/14 on my right eye. How I wish I had found this blog before. After 5 weeks my bubble is getting smaller, wavey lines are gone but the vison is very blurred. I still hsve very bloodshot eye and painful it gets worse as the day go by. I get headaches every day. Last week I was very tearful but seem to have pullef myself up this week.
    until I found this blog I felt very alone in this and all the info I had read told of being fine in 2 to 3 weeks, well after 5 weeks I still have a long way to go.
    I have a cataract in my left eye that will be done in a few weeks and I also have feathering in my operated eye that will need to be done later.
    Thank you all for the great post, they have given me hope and I now know its no just me who have some of the strange side effects of vetrctomy.

    • I am happy that I am able to read other peoples concern and journey with this surgery I had my surgery 3 weeks ago and is struggling with will I be able to see again. I do not find that the bubble is dissipating but I am constantly seeing floaters in the eye that was operated on I am hoping when i go to my dr 2 weeks from now I will hear good news I am travelling on July 27th And I am hoping that things will get better so that I can travel

  20. I am so grateful that I stubbled on this blog. I am a healthy 30 year old and a wife, mother of a 3 year old, and a pre-nursing student. Twelve days ago I noticed a dark spot in my left eye inner vision that had on and off flashes of light throughout it. At first I thought it was my contact or a migraine without the pain, so I ignored it. When I finally took my contacts out the spot was still there and the panic set in. Since it was 10 o’clock at night, I decided that if it was there in the morning I would immediately go the the eye doctor. When I woke up the panic flooded back, I rushed to the eye doctor who quickly diagnosed me with a retinal detachment and sent me to a retinal specialist. The retinal specialist saw a large tear from 10 o’clock to 3 o’clock across the top of my eye. I had a vitrectomy, lasering, and a gas bubble placed later that day.
    I am not 11 days post-op and I am healing well. I have had many frustrations and humbling moments going through this experience. It is amazing how much you take things for granted until you have them taking away from you. I have about 1/2 to 3/4ths of my vision back with the annoying bubble in the bottom of my vision. One of the biggest frustrations is having to sleep at a 90 degree angle. I have resorted to several pillows and an airplane neck pillow to gets some sleep. Backaches, neckaches, and leg spasms happen nightly. A few days ago I experienced severe headaches, especially around my eye that lasted most of the day. I was not sure if it was the overuse of my eye trying to do a few normal things around the house and going to the store.
    I wanted to see if anyone else has had bright streaking lighter bands in their vision. I can’t tell if it is light glaring off of the gas bubble or the gas bubble is causing a cataract which is causing this. I am hoping this is the gas bubble and will go away soon. I also wanted to see what the likelihood of me having to have cataract surgery. Since is am 30, I would love to have the best vision possible for as long as I can. I have read that cataract surgery comes with it’s own set of risks, including retinal detachment. My retinal specialist told me to plan on cataract surgery in 6 months and has already seen a feathering cataract starting. I have read that the cataract surgery needs to be done differently since I have had a vitrectomy.
    All of this has made me feel blessed to have so many loved ones help us in a time of need and to be grateful for the wonderful things I do have, but it has also caused me to have a high amount of anxiety about the whole experience. I fear that I won’t get my vision back or that there will be complications like repeat tears or cataracts. I know that all of this is out of my control, other than taking it easy and being patient with my body as it heals.
    Thank you all for posting your experiences. It has made me feel like I am not alone in this rocky adventure!

  21. Boy, this blog is a godsend. Had vitrectomy w a gas bubble in left eye on St. Patrick’s Day 2014. Won’t go through the details as they track much of what has been said here. My issue is just about the time I was really back to functioning well w the one bubble then two, and then three, significantly smaller bubbles appeared. It is like I’ve having to readjust all over again to the brighness and the headaches because the viewing field is different. Has anyone felt like that? Difficulty for me is that I am a lawyer doing mainly transactional work (dual monitors and paper) and it’s a huge PITA and impacts productivity. Probably venting more than anything else as the retina has reattached and, until the bubble kaleidoscope appeared, no Tylenol Extra for 10 days. Again, thanks for everyone’s comments. I pray for each and every one of you to heal and find peace. I thank God for my good right eye, the vision that I presently have, and the available medical technology to make things better (and learning a much needed lesson in patience).

    Happy Easter to All.

    • had my surgery may, 2013. vision is better,but I seem to have a shadow at the outer corner of my eye and vision is brighter in my good eye and things are closer in the good eye. floresient lights seem to bother my eye I had surgery on. has anyone had any of these effects?Darlene

      • Same here, Darlene! My surgery was July 2013. I still have limited peripheral vision (the shadow at the outer corner you’re talking about?), objects seem smaller and further away, waviness, pupil still a bit dilated, more glare, etc. But, bottom line is I’m THRILLED to have any vision! And my dr has reassured me that everything will improve over time – maybe another year? So, patience is still the name of this game.

    • I had my vitrectomy in September 2012 and two subsequent cataract surgeries. My retina specialist told me that I have a macular pucker, or scar tissue, that needs an additional surgery to remove. Meanwhile I too experience problems with fluorescent lights. Big box stores like Target are the worst. I have also experienced dry eye syndrome requiring daily use if eye drops. Glad to hear I’m not alone in my recovery.

      • thank you it helps to know this is not unusual. Hope this is resolved for us both soon. I guess patience is still the thing. have a great Easter

      • Bright Eyes: I am so glad to hear I’m not the only one who has a problem with fluorescent lights, I was beginning to think my mind was playing tricks on me when I went into big stores I hadn’t seen any other stories about these lights. (I ‘m not glad you are haveing this problem but glad to know it’s not unusual.) Hopefully we will all improve each day. PATIENCE is still the key I guess. Have a wonderful Easter Darlene

      • My vitrectomy for a detached retina was in July 2013 and just had cataract surgery a month ago. My vision is still 20/80 with a contact correction and probably 20/200 without. I too have a macular pucker which gives me distorted vision — wavy lines, etc. I go back in October for a possible evaluation for another surgery. I’m starting to wonder if I should quit while I’m ahead as I am definitely not blind in that eye — I just can’t read with it. As long as my right eye remains good, I can function perfectly fine. Big box stores also cause me problems with too much light. I would really like to know what the results of the macula pucker surgery might be like. I am not sure how much improvement in vision I would experience by removing the pucker. It’s good to hear from other’s that have had similar experiences.

      • bright eyes: just went back to dr. says problems with store lights, and edges of things being wavy will correct in time and things farther away in bad eye may need glasses will see in 6mo if improvement or not. I now a year since my maculer hole surgery. Have 20/20 in good eye 20/25 in other can’t do much better than that, Hope you are improveing with each day . Darlene

    • Sounds like you’re on the right track, grey! Patience is the name of the game. Just take it slow for a while (easier said than done, I know!) This blog, my iPad (EyePad?), Candy Crush Saga, and all my wonderfully helpful friends and family are what got me through. You are absolutely correct – there’s a big lesson in patience to be learned through this “adventure.” The important thing is that your retina reattached and you have your vision 🙂

      • Had my surgery on 1/25/14 and today bubble spit into two for several hours then back to one bubble. Dozens of small bubbles floating around. It’s like a party in my eye. Based on my experience you must be very patience and that was easy for the first 10 weeks. Now I am getting impatient. At least now, something is happening. I too a job with two monitors lots of detailed paperwork. It can be difficult some days. Hang in there.

      • Today, I am 3 months post-op. The bubble in my eye no longer breaks off into smaller bubbles; however, it is considerably smaller. Still can’t believe how long it is taking for it to disipate. Doctor said this is a record for him; however, he also said that he put the biggest bubble he has ever placed into an eye, in mine. He also said that my tear was the largest he has seen, plus the detachment, and my thin retina, made it a difficult case. He is happy that I did not need multiple surgeries, and that was reason for the larger than average bubble.
        I noticed one great side effect, my eyelashes are very long and thick. Asked the doctor about, and he said that the drops are the same as Latisse. Now I just need my other eye to have the great lashes!! LOL
        The good news is that the doctor has cleared me to fly in two weeks, and has given me some pills to take, if bubble is still present.
        So I am on the way to full recovery. Now I just need to worry about the other eye, and hope it does not tear, before I have preventative surgery on that eye in the fall. Doctor wants to wait 6 months before proceeding with the other eye, to ensure I am totally out of the woods.

  22. I discovered this blog last summer after having a vitrectomy for a detached retina. The vision in my affected eye did not improve more than being able to read the top two rows in the eye chart using the pinhole. Just yesterday I had cataract surgery in hopes of gaining improvement in vision. I already had a cataract prior to the detached retina and it worsened post surgery. This morning after removing the patch still not able to read the eyechart past the top 2 rows. However, with pinhole was able to read several rows further down. While I’m not exactly sure what the pinhole does and what that means, at least it is an improvement. My vision does seem to be brighter and more colorful however not quite the perfect vision I was hoping for. Actually my opthamologist told me before surgery that I might realize about a 50% improvement since my macula was affected by the detachment. Patience and baby steps! At least I can still see. My next follow up appointment is April 23 so we will see what that brings. I do love reading this blog as others’ share their similar experiences.

    • Hi Sue – Hope your eye has settled down over the past week and your vision has improved! It’s good when you can see more with the pinholes because it indicates that your eyes can be further corrected. Patience is the key word, for sure! Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my cataract surgery (left eye.) What a long haul it’s been, but I (knock wood) feel (hope!) that the worst is behind me now. Glad you found this blog – it’s been a lifesaver for me too!

  23. Been 10 weeks since my surgery. I still have a gas bubble. How much longer will it take to dissipate? Had a giant retina tear. Retina detached day after diagnosis and day before surgery.

    • Hi MJ! My C3F8 bubble took one day short of 10 weeks to resolve! Some people’s disappear weeks earlier, and some hang on a bit longer. Is your bubble getting smaller and smaller? If so, it’s probably on the right track. Be sure to ask your dr if you are concerned. I figured the longer the better for the bubble, since that’s what was holding my healing retina in place.
      Hope this helps,

      • Thanks Karenska. The bubble is getting smaller and my vision is quite good above it. Very lucky. It has been 10 1/2 weeks since surgery. I have a trip that was planned over a year ago scheduled in 4 weeks. Dr said if any of the bubble remains, I need to cancel. Unfortunately, I can’t get travel insurance, as it is a preexisting condition. I know I shouldn’t worry about a trip; however, it has been planned for years. I have a condition called Stickler Syndrome and Giant Retina Tears and detachments are part of this. After this eye is repaired, I will have laser to hopefully prevent the other eye from tearing and having a detached retina.

      • Today I noticed approximately 50 or more little bubbles breaking off the main bubble while walking the dog. Is this normal? I am 11 1/2 weeks poser surgery.

    • Hi MJ, you mentioned in one of your posts that the doctor gave you some pills for the gas bubble so that you could fly. Could you tell me what the name was and what they were for exactly? I am also waiting for the “ok” to fly.

  24. I’m glad I came across this site. My experience is spot-on to yours; although, I had pneumatic retinopexy instead. It’s already been a month for me and my C3F8 bubble only seems to be slightly smaller than it was at its max, but visually that means nothing. I appreciated the drawings it does help when I’m trying to explain it to people! I’ve also been having the constant headaches/eye aches too, and I’ve noticed when researching it seems no one else was experiencing that; what’s up with that? Glad I wasn’t the only one. 6 more weeks of impaired vision and terrible depth perception to go. I have my fingers crossed that all goes well for my month check-up today.

  25. Hey, hope all of you are doing well. I wonder if any of you are facing problems with fragmenting bubbles. I find my gas bubble splitting into 7-8 smaller bubbles sticking in a cluster every morning after I wake up. I had my surgery about a month back.

    • Hi Shubhrima! A belated welcome to Bubble, Bubble, the blog that kept me sane and moving forward through my vitrectomy/gas bubble ordeal. My C3F8 bubble lasted for a full 10 weeks, slowly getting smaller and smaller until it was just a tiny dot. Then, pouf! It was gone after I blinked one afternoon. It never split into smaller bubbles, but many people here have reported that theirs did. My doctor also told me that splitting might happen and not to be alarmed. From what I’ve read, the bubble can split, then reassemble itself! Fun, fun, fun!

      I just read your incredible eye journey with all the twists and turns. You are so young to be going through all of this, but hopefully that means you will heal quickly and be better than you were before! There are many life lessons to be learned from this ordeal – the main one being PATIENCE (as you well know!) and also the importance of following doctor’s orders precisely, appreciating what you do have and can do, and learning to graciously accept help from others.

      Though my surgery was over 8 months ago, the journey continues. My vision is still somewhat distorted – wavy lines and tiny images – and my peripheral vision is very limited. My retina dr reassures me that improvements will still happen, and he expects my peripheral vision to return in a year or two! Talk about patience 🙂

      • My bubble was 10 weeks yesterday. Still have a portion left. Supposed to travel in a month and am worried I will not be able too. Dr originally said only 4 to 8 weeks for bubble. Good news is I see better with that I then before. Colors are brighter with that eye then other. Dr recommends laser on other eye once this eye is healed. I have Stickler Syndrome and unfortunately this is one of the symptoms.

    • Just to let you know, it took my bubble the full 10 weeks to dissipate and yes it did break off into tiny bubbles and than they would attach to each other.

    • That is totally normal! Mine split into about 4 and then had tiny bubbles split off of that and at times they woulod rejoin. It is merely a sign that you have less gas in your eye. I know, a little irritating, but in just a few weeks the bubbles will be gone… You could still have some floaters for a while…

  26. Hi all, here’s one I can’t seem to find any posts on and wonder if anyone else has experienced this. About 13 days ago I had a vitrectomy in my left eye and a gas bubble (SF6) put in. Check ups since have been good and without any problems, and the doctor is happy with my progress. The gas bubble is now down down to about 1/3 original size. Once it shrank to this point something new has appeared -seemingly associated with the bubble itself. I now see reflections being cast within my eye from any bright light source or object. The reason I believe they are associated with the bubble is because they “wiggle” and move exactly in time with the gas bubble when it wiggles or moves around. It almost seems like the reflections originate from the bubble and go out from there. I wonder if this is a possible side effect from the gas as it dissipates. Maybe harmless and will go away as the bubble contnues to shrink? My vision continues to improve otherwise and I’ve not noticed any other problems to indicate a new tear or detachment. Has any one else noticed this sort of thing when your bubble has shrank down some?

    • I remember that! I had the surgery last May 1st! Yes, the gas bubble does give reflections that are irritating. But the bubble will go away and then the reflections will also be gone!

    • I am glad you posted because I have the same experiences. My bubble line is just below my center field of vision and looks like an ocean in my eye. I have recently developed double vision and have noticed that my affected eye does not track like it used to. I can look in the mirror and it looks like I have one of those eyes that just stares into space. (freaky). When I noticed that it was not looking in conjunction with my other eye, I started doing exercises such as staring at my finger 2 feet in front of me. I can feel the eye tighten when I try and focus both eyes on the finger and I can only do it so much because of the headache exercising your eyes will give you. I have double vision left and right but also up and down. When I look in the mirror and try to move the eye towards the center it is really hard to concentrate enough to watch it move more center. My greatest challenge has been when it is partially dark in a room. My depth perception is really messed up and it makes every look flat which I thought was odd. I also see streaks of color that my attention seems focused on. I literally cannot pick up a glass because everything looks flat. I had my retinal tear and gas bubble surgery about 4 weeks ago. I see my vision improving however I am still challenged by my brain getting distracted and I find that my eye is closed when it feels open. I believe that eye exercises will improve that tracking. One more really odd thing is that when I put my hand an inch from my face everything is very clear and enlarged like I am looking through a microscope.I am scheduled to go back to work and thank the lord I work on a computer so it should not be too difficult. When this happened which was in the span of 2 days, it was not due to trauma or having any eye problems at all. I never needed glasses when I was young and the sudden appearance of a curtain scared the dickens out of me. I waited an additional day (which was dumb) and watched the curtain grow in size to occupy my entire lower field of vision instead of just the very bottom. I went to emergency that night and the next morning I went to a specialist who checked my into the hospital for a day and the surgery was completed and I was home that night for 2 weeks of face down. I was hoping to get rid of the bubble much sooner than the eight weeks that others are saying it takes but as long as it goes I will be happy. I am going to start an eye exercise regimin because I don’t want to be a person that people ask which eye they should look at. Also my understanding is the buckle will eventually dissolve which is what I hope for but I am unsure whether this is true or not.

      • Hi There! I had a vitrectomy and a epiretinal membrane peel done on the 2nd of April. In January I had cataract surgery done. All this with the left eye. I also had a gas bubble inserted. The gas bubble went away in a short time (not quite 3 weeks). I am experiencing double vision and it is driving me crazy. I also had double vision before the cataract surgery. Still there after that, opthomologist said it would go away with new glasses because my focal point was off. It didn’t. Optometrist said I was having double vision because of the pucker in my membrane. Now eye surgeon has said I am having double vision because my brain is confused and also because my retina is swollen and it could take up to six months to go away. I am beginning to think no one knows why I am having double vision. I AM SO FRUSTRATED!

      • Annie, so funny you should mention the eye not looking straight. I have the bubble in my left eye. It’s been a week. I look in the mirror and it seems my left eye is off looking somewhere else. Although when I ask people if my eye is looking at them, they say yes. The doctor described my vision as looking out a port hole. Which is how my vision is in the left eye. I drive a school bus and I’m already itching to get back to work. Surgery was May 7th, 2014. Doctor gave me a note telling work I would be back may 28th. Reading everyone’s posts here, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Has anyone who had the bubble return to work faster than expected?

      • Dazzle, Just curious how you are doing since the epiretinal membrane peel. Prior to the surgery were you having distorted vision, ie wavy lines, etc? Was the epiretinal membrane peel for a macular pucker? I have some of the same symptoms as you and am thinking that is my next and last step. However, I am also cautious about having too many surgeries on the same eye. Does anyone have any words of wisdom? I am very thankful for the vision I have but it sure would be nice to see finer details with my left eye.

      • Hiya Sue: I didn’t have wavy lines, just very distorted vision with the left eye. And yes it was a pucker in my membrane. It has been 2, months since surgery on the 2nd of June. The double vision is still there so now I am waiting to have a cat scan done. If the surgeon still can’t see what is going on after she see’s the results she is then going to refer me to yet another specialist. It’s been 7 months since all this started. Some days I just want to scream. Still taking Maxidex eye drops. Don’t wait too long to have the epiretinal membrane peel done if that is what your eye specialist is suggesting. The worst part of recovery is staying flat faced for a certain amount of hours for a few days, in my case 9 days total for 4 hours and then for 2 hours per day. I used my computer desk, tucked my face into my folded arm on the desk and watched Game of Thrones and movies with my laptop on the floor, also you can break your hours up, you do not have to do them all at once. Let me know what you decide and good luck! Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi, I’m a 56 year old female in the UK and on 6th May I was diagnosed with a detached retina with macula off – pretty bad news. I was so scared that I passed out in the waiting room after the doctor gave me the worrying diagnosis! Thankfully I was operated on that afternoon and was given a vitrectomy, laser to close the retinal tear(s) and a
      SF6 gas bubble was inserted. I’m so relieved to have my sight back in the affected eye but it’s early days to say how much it has been compromised by having a detached macula as well as retina. My bubble is now in the lower third of my vision, but I find looking through both eyes difficult as the floating bubble is distracting. To make life easier I’ve blacked out the left lens of my specs and sunglasses so using just my good eye which at the moment I find I can deal with better. Like you, I’m experiencing smears of light above the bubble which I think are coming from reflections on its surface and projecting upwards – they move around in synch with the bubble. I’m due to see my consultant in 5 days time for the first follow up. Sight in my left eye is definitely quite distorted but I’m hoping and praying this will improve as the weeks pass. Also hope that my good eye doesn’t decide to follow suit.

  27. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Just home from my first retina check up in 4 months – a very long time for me! My dr. was very happy with how things are looking, and he feels confident that my eyes are now stable and will keep improving over time. I can now read some letters on the 20/20 line (corrected with glasses) with my left eye, which I wasn’t able to do at my last checkup!

    It’s been 8 1/2 months since my vitrectomy/gas bubble, and I still have limited peripheral vision. My dr feels that this will improve over time, along with some other minor issues (a still (slightly) dilated pupil, visual waviness, and a constant scintillating movement in the corner of my visual field.)

    I hope everyone else is making progress in their rd journey too. Please keep us posted!

  28. Hello everyone,
    I am writing this comment exactly one month after the Doctors inserted a C3F8 bubble in my left eye. I guess that gives me the onus to do something remarkable today, and I shall start by writing on this wonderful blog which has been my trusted friend since I found it about a week back. Yes, I took all the time to go through each of your comments till I reached the bottom to leave a reply!! And yeah, in addition to putting me on the same page as everyone, it allowed me to look at my situation through multiple perspectives and the enormous power and will to survive the condition. Big thanks to you guys!!
    Well, I am 24, and had gone for a long-planned strabismus(squint) surgery. (It was definitely not for cosmetic reasons; I was actually having blurring in my distance vision due to tight muscles in both of my eyes, which needed to be loosened). The surgery went well. The next day after the surgery, when the doctors opened my patched eyes, I could see quite well with my right eye. The left eye was a different story altogether. Everything was clouded, yellowish in appearance and big black blotches hovered all over my field of vision. It was quickly discovered that I had a tear and detachment of retina. The black blotches were the remnants of the hemorrhage.
    And yes, I was NOT AT ALL prepared for this!!.. never even heard of retinal tears before!.. gave me enough shock to last the day. The doctors said that this is a very rare complication of strabismus surgery(the frequency being about 1 in 10000) and speculated that this may have happened due to a trauma during anasthesia (I remember having a high heart rate and low pressure during the procedure). Anyway, the good thing was that the tear had still not advanced to the macula and vision could be restored if operated timely. Thankfully I was in a big eye hospital and was quickly transferred to the retina department and treated by one of best retina surgeons around. Within a few hours, I was back in the OR and they inserted the C3F8 bubble. I think they just inserted the bubble and did not do a vitrectomy(that’s removal of the whole vitreous fluid). I was face down for two days followed by a left side propped-up position for another two. Then they performed two sessions of laser over the next two days. God, that was painful! My head went almost numb and headaches lasted the whole day. I was discharged from the hospital the next day and told to maintain the face-down or left side position for the next 10 days, for around 20 hours everyday (1 hour sessions with 15 minute breaks). I was freaked out throughout the whole time and restless like hell!! I am a very outgoing person, and being confined, was really troublesome for me. My parents had come down for my surgery and were with me all the time. I could feel they were stressed too, but they never showed it to me. Their presence was the biggest support.
    The yellowish blur was there for about a week and I discovered that I was seeing distorted, wavy images (like a person’s head would appear much smaller than they actually are). I read that many of you had similar experiences, so I guess this is common. I was on anti-inflammatory meds and painkillers for two weeks along with an antibiotic drop and another to refresh tears. My eyes were red due to the surgery. The bubble covered around 50% of my vision. It has shrunk a little now(covers about 30% in the lower corner), though I think I have a few more weeks to go. I feel it appears larger in the morning when I wake up and shrinks considerably by the evening, maybe because it flattens out while I sleep. Wearing a glass with higher power helps, though my doctor is yet to give me new glasses.
    I started going to work around two weeks after surgery (I am in Grad school and have a lot of laboratory experiments to perform). The surgery wounds have gradually healed. Vision has improved(with lot of blurring), but I still see glares in bright lights. The distortion is the major problem now. I cannot focus on an object and cannot read without the letters seeming to dance!! I guess I have developed astigmatism too. But I will take care of that later, once the eye heals completely. I am just thankful to God that my right eye works fine. It has been taking all the toil for its left counterpart. Also, my doctor says that since the retina is supported on the bubble all this while, there is high risk of re-detachment of the retina when the bubble disappears. In case that happens, I may need some more lasers.
    Now I will tell you the fun part. This incident has taught me P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E in big capital letters. It has been a truly humbling experience. Each day, I started climbing the stairs of hope, lost heart and started climbing again. I learnt how much we take our body and our life for granted. During this period, I read a lot about vitrectomies, other eye surgeries and ophthalmic sciences in general. I suggest you read too. And ask your doctors to attend to your queries. I even went through my angiograms and OCT and asked the doctors to explain them till I had my questions answered. Keeping yourself informed about your disease condition helps a lot in healing as you are aware of what to do and which things to avoid. Wearing an ID band helps. Please note that do not undergo anesthesia with gases such as nitrous oxide while the bubble is inside your eyes as being more soluble, they dissolve into the bubble and drastically expand it, inducing high pressure, causing loss of vision. Travelling in flights has the same effect.
    I also ended up reading the research papers of the doctors treating me, got excited about their discoveries, started seeing them in a more admiring light and in the process, gathered a whole lot of belief in them and their profession.
    And yes it taught me to be creative in the myriad ways life offers us to be. I named my bubble as “Bubbly” and started sketching and painting what I saw through my eyes each day. That created a lot of abstract, gibberish art, must say!! And I thought, very few people would see a view of the world as we see it. Partly magnified, partly distorted and hugely unclear. A lot like reality itself, isn’t it?? Just imagine how special you are, about the great things you can do. This forum itself has created so many facilitators amongst us, always ready to help out in the tiniest ways we can, through sharing, caring and earnest praying. I think it is always the tussle between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. We may be “have-nots” for a while but we still “have” a lot of things to cherish!
    I know, like everything, it shall also pass and someday I may even miss “Bubbly”!
    I will keep you updated about the latest developments in the condition of my eyes. Wishing you a great recovery and a greater life! Please feel free to contact me for anything whatsoever.

  29. Hello. Brenda from Texas, here. Retinal reattachment surgery in Houston by retina specialist on 2/18/14. Complete detachment; nightmare trying to get help…that’s another story.

    Thanks for this blog; it will be a great source of encouragement and insight for me. So far, so good on the surgery. Glad to find others who can put into words the trials and rehab period(s) into perspective. (I blog about genealogy a bit, so not sure how my profile with show up; Ancestry Smith is my blogger name.)

    • I had my first vitrectomy with the buckle and silicone oil on nov. 13,2013. I’m 53 and was in a rear end collision three weeks prior to all of this. I’m not sure what the cause of the rd for all of you was but I can’t get the opthamologist to state this could be a cause. She states being near sided and me being over 50 is the cause.
      Anyways what a process. I swelled up in my right eye and bloody tears. Etc… Four months later, march 5, 2014 they took the oil out, and tried to remove a scar tissue on in inner left corner of my left eye and I think it just got larger. Now I have the gas bubble and can’t see a thing. It’s only been two days. I have to sleep on my left side.
      I have this prickly pain, she states is from the stitches. Eye is really red but not as swollen as the first round.
      This is so frustrating and no one really understands. This was great to find this blog. I’ve never blog before .
      Any advice on how to reduce this prickly pain. I’ve been lying down as much as I could tolerate. Being type A this is really hard but I know my body and eye needs time to heal and I need to be patient.

      • Hi Emily – Wow! Sounds like you’ve been through quite an ordeal with your rd surgeries! Glad you found Bubble, Bubble – it was a lifesaver for me after my vitrectomy. Nobody understands better than those who have been through similar experiences. The key for me was to follow my dr’s instructions very carefully with drops, positioning, limiting activity, etc. Very hard for me too, as a person who rarely slowed down. Since following instructions was basically the only factor I could control in the whole crazy equation, I did it to the best of my ability. It became my “job” of sorts. I hope things have settled down for you since you posted your comment, and the pain has subsided. Please keep us posted on your progress.

    • Hi Brenda – sorry to hear about your rd, but glad you found this blog! Bubble, Bubble helped keep me sane during my crazy vitrectomy/gas bubble journey. It was great to find others who shared the experience, and to realize that I wasn’t so alone with what I was experiencing. Please read as much as you can here, follow your dr’s post-op orders, and most of all… be very patient! Stop by often let us know how you are progressing!

  30. I am so thankful to all of you for keeping the conversation going and for supporting each other. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers every day. Peace, Belinda

    • Hi Belinda! So nice to “meet” you! I was hoping that you would pop in and see all the goings on here. Thank you SOOOO MUCH for creating your blog, and especially this “Bubble, Bubble” post! You can’t imagine what a lifesaver your blog has been to so many of us who are on this crazy visual journey. There are quite a few sites that talk about vitrectomy from the medical viewpoint, but “Bubble, Bubble” has become a meeting place of sorts for many of us who have felt lost in the process and needed to connect with those who shared the experience. I hope that you are doing well too, and please know how very grateful we are!


    • Hi Everyone,

      So glad to find this blog. I had a scleral buckle put in my eye in 2011 and in 2013 another tear in my retina occurred right below the existing buckle in the bottom back of my eye. Fluid got between the tear and the eye wall so Laser was not effective after 4 attempts. In the end, I had a Vitrectomy Posterior Pars Plana and a gas bubble. Everything went great and my eye is 4 weeks into the healing process. I had my 2nd post op on 2/26.

      The nurse always dilates my eye prior to the seeing the doctor and the nurse commented that my eye was already dilated, so she just gave me half treatment. I just figured it was because I had the patch on with sunglasses. However, I am now at the point where I am using the eye and today I noticed that the pupil in the operative eye was a third larger than my other eye?? In fact, it doesn’t seem to be dilating at all – always seems to be the same size. I called the Doctor, but she is at a conference all week. I was wondering if anyone here had a similar experience.


      • Hi Lisa – So glad you posted your story here because YES, my vitrectomy/gas bubble eye is STILL DILATED TOO! 8.5 months later!! Just like you, the opthalmic technician always wants to dilate my eyes before the dr examines me. I don’t let her anymore! As a matter of fact, I went in for a checkup yesterday, and I explained my continued dilation to the tech before the drops, and asked to have the dr take a look at it first. He comes in to the exam room shortly after and checks out the dilation. And they measure my pupils each time too.

        My dr thinks the continued dilation is due to the fact that the eye doesn’t get as much light due to the repaired damage, so it needs to stay open a little larger. At this point in time, it’s getting smaller, though still not equal to the other pupil in my “good” eye. It does react to the slit lamp light the dr uses (not so much reaction when we test it at home with a flashlight), and that’s what’s important. So, as with everything else, I’m just going to be patient and see if time fixes this problem too.

        Please run this issue by your dr, and have them check it and measure it whenever you go there. And keep us posted about what they tell you!

  31. I know the process we are all going through is very difficult. Sometimes you just need to vent. You need to say out loud your fears. Eventually, you have to pick up the pieces and say to yourself this is what I have now and I’m going to move forward. For those of you who may see this site has a negative presence on the web I would ask you to please consider the emotional issues that we all must face as well as the physical. Sooner or later we come out of the dark night. I am thankful that this blog exists and provided me a safe place to express my thoughts and feelings. I hope others in the same circumstance will find this blog too. It is strangely comforting to find other people who are having similar experiences. At least, you feel like you aren’t the only one out there experiencing this.

    If you, the reader, should find this post after having this surgery I would tell you the following things about my experience:
    (I wish I had had this list at the beginning of my journey.)

    -it is a slow, unpredictable process
    -there have been unexpected delays and changes in the eye’s condition. This has happened MANY times.
    -I have had a strong feeing of helplessness and wanted desperately for someone to tell me what to do or not to do to fix it. My best bet was to follow my doctor’s advice to the letter.
    -I needed the help of my family and friends to deal with day-to-day tasks. I needed a back up team!
    -I needed the massage chair type of apparatus to help me in my recovery. It really helped a lot and I recommend you look into it as well.
    -I have been away from work for about seven weeks. I will need about five more weeks if I am really starting to come out of this. I needed time. Lots and lots of quiet time.
    -thankfully at the present time I only have the one eye that is being treated. It is helpful for me to remember that life is bigger than one eye, it is even bigger than sight itself although that is very difficult for me to say out loud. So, look for perspective and try to find a good place for yourself in it.
    -above all remember that this too shall pass. Be patient.

    • WOW! I am so glad to see you back here, Buddy, and what a beautiful and thoughtful post! I’ve been thinking about you over the past week, and have been checking often to see if you’ve been able to write.

      It sounds like you have come to the place that we (hopefully) all end up reaching – the realization that most of this crazy journey is out of our control, and we just have to hang in there and keep doing the things that we DO have control over (ie – facedown positioning, instilling eye drops on schedule, avoiding strenuous activities, heavy lifting, etc) and do them REALLY WELL! That is the whole key to this wacky bubble puzzle!!

      It sounds like you are now on the right track. And we’ve all had to find our way over to that track – the one that will lead to healing. All of us who have found our way to “Bubble Bubble” have a pretty good idea of what you’ve been through, though the gory details of our journeys are all a bit different. We’ve each had our own personal setbacks and victories. It’s not easy for you now, but know that in a few short months you will be “back to normal,” albeit a “new normal,” and you may wonder how you even found the strength to get through this all. But you are strong, and this whole experience will make you a better, stronger person with a bigger capacity to understand and help others as a way of returning the kindness that was shown to you.

      When you are ready and able, please give us an update on what’s been happening.

      Sending you & your eyes continued healing thoughts and vibes!


      • Hello Karen;

        Wow your words are so encouraging. We are so fortunate to have each other on this site. It is so encouraging. I have returned from Florida and had a great trip. The weather was cool at times but did not stop us from seeing the sights. My eyes did like the humidity which was great. I did not go on any of those fast paced rides but stuck to the low key ones, that was fine though. Saw the rocket launch of the Atlas 5 at the Kennedy centre which was really cool. I though seem to have a ring of colour around bright lights which i think is something to do with the refraction of my eyes but not totally sure anyways like we said it is what it is for now.
        Overall a great trip and feel very blessed that I can travel once again!

      • I am so glad that you are able to travel again. I know traveling has been one of life’s pleasures for me. Å of color? That’s interesting. Good to have heard about it. That way if I should see a ring of color I’ll be less likely to become panicky about it. At one point I had what looked like a cut outs of a firm branch. It changed colors as the day went on. My surgeon said the bubble can cause interesting visual effects at times. It certainly sounds like you are on the road to regular life again. Good for you!

      • I believe my last surgery was January 20. I had scar tissue forming on the retina and the surgeon remove the scar tissue and this time filled the eye with oil. He said that I have the largest eyeball that he has ever worked on. He believes this is the reason why my case is a difficult one. He told me there is a chance that the scar tissue will come back. If it does, I have to make a choice whether to have another operation or to let it go. At the time of the appointment I told him I didn’t want anymore operations. However, I may change my mind about that. At the time of that conversation I was just too raw after my last surgery. I don’t do well with the after affects of the anesthesia. It really does a job on me.
        Some of the oil migrated past the artificial lens in my right eye and formed two pockets of oil visible on the surface of the Eye. At first these scared me but the doctor Tells me they are not dangerous. On the positive side of things, I notice that I am able to see more objects and detail through my right eye. I hope to be able to take walks next week as I have gained about 10 pounds since this whole thing started. I look forward to being able to go outside and walk around the neighborhood a little. If all goes well, the week after that maybe I’ll drive the car around the block!
        I am hopeful that this fifth attempt to halt the damage will be successful. I am not glued to any one resolution to the problem. But I feel that I am closer to that resolution. Moreover, I am sure I have the tools necessary to move forward from that point. I know there will be more challenges in the future. There is a cataract forming in my other eye. I will have to deal with that situation at some time. But that will be a project for another day.
        I wish everyone good luck and much love as you continue on your journeys. Remember nothing lasts forever.

      • Hello Buddy;

        Glad to hear your update. Yes this is a slow process. I am just coming up to the year mark from when my troubles all started with the bilateral macular holes.

        Hope the silicone oil in your eye is the answer for stability and I know in my case it seemed to do the trick. From what my retina specialist said she felt I had an excellent chance at saving the vision with it, the scleral buckle and lens replacement. I have had faith in my surgeon from the start and I think this is super important in the healing process.

        Any idea about how long you will have the oil? Like I mentioned mine was in for just over 4 months.

        Keep us updated when you are able and hope those walks and drives around the block happen sooner than later.
        I bever drove for a total of 3 months last year and was so thankful when I could.

        Here’s to healing eyes in the near future!

    • Hi Kim – So great to hear that you had a lovely vacation in Florida! It sounds heavenly, especially with the cold weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast US. How exciting that you got to see a rocket launch too!!

      You mention seeing bright colors around lights, and that’s what I was seeing before I had my cataract surgery. Full rainbows, actually! I don’t have any of that now, but I am noticing a touch of cloudiness again due to the posterior capsular opacity (secondary cataract) I’m developing. I just saw my cataract dr this week (first time since the rd!) and he does not want to touch anything in my eyes with a laser until it’s absolutely necessary. There’s a fine balance that must not be tampered with!

      It’s wonderful that you were able to travel again! I’m looking forward to my next trip abroad, hopefully next fall 🙂


      • Hello Karen;

        Thankyou for your insight on that circle of colour that i mentioned. I was pretty sure that it was the cataract that is developing on my right eye. It is really not causing an issue because my vision is fairly good in that eye but yes probably causing that problem. I guess my view of the rocket launch as spectacular as it was, was a unique one! I also like you have the secondary cataract in my left eye the one that had the RD but I think I mentioned the retina specialist wants to put off doing anything until absolutely necessary. I was thinking though I would touch base with the cataract surgeon in the next while. My best vision now is really things that are close by and I think for the time being I am going to have to accept that until things heal further and the cataracts are dealt with. Like you i am happy that things are settled and I once again have a fairly normal life. I am so thrilled that I can drive work and of course travel.

        Hope Buddy continues to move forward. I like all of us on this blog are so thankful for Belinda who started this support group, it was so nice of her to pop by!

    • Hi Buddy – Thanks for updating us all on your most recent surgery. I hope that the oil stabilizes things for you this time. I’m glad your vision is a bit better and you’re moving forward. You will feel infinitely better when you can get outside for a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood – just doing more normal things will make you feel great!

      I had the opposite problem of yours – I lost 10 lbs during my “quarantine” period last summer. I have no appetite when I’m aggravated or upset. A great way to diet 🙂

      Take care & post when you can.


  32. Hi again,
    I hope everyone is doing better today. At least I hope spirits are up. There are times when that is a major job. My doctor visit yesterday was not encouraging. The scar tissue that is forming on my Retina has gotten worse. Next Thursday I go see him again with the strong possibility of having surgery to remove the scar tissue that same afternoon. He told me not to eat anything after 8:00 PM The previous night. So, I guess he is pretty sure were going to do this. Today I have spent a lot of time on the telephone trying to coordinate my Health insurance, disability insurance and my employer paperwork for family medical leave. All of this is new territory for me. I hate paperwork anyway. But, I do have these resources to fall back on. I am thankful for that.
    My doctor has started talking about worst-case scenarios. Apparently, we are waiting to see how bad it gets……anything from Total blackout in the right eye on one end of the spectrum to what I have right now on the better side of that spectrum. He said I will be dealing with this problem for the rest of 2014. And, I should not expect to go back to work for at least a month after the next surgery. By the way, he said he Would be putting in the oil bubble with this next surgery. I know there has to be a second surgery to remove the oil. What I don’t know is does he have to put another air bubble in when he takes the oil out? Sounds like a LOT of days altogether.
    Strangely enough, when he told me I wouldn’t be going back to work for at least another month it somehow made me feel calmer. Like, here was Something that I could grab onto. Something to refer to and try to manage. At least it sounds better then come back in a couple of weeks and will wait-and-see.

    • Sorry to hear news not great.This is a long, constant changing thing, I hope all goes well,,will keep you in my prayers I know it is such a roller coaster ride but hope we will all come out for the better. a bubble friend

    • Hi Buddy – Thanks for updating us on your latest appointment, and sorry it wasn’t as positive as you would have liked. Do you know the name of the surgery your dr wants to do? Is it an in-office procedure? Out patient at a surgical center?

      Kim also had a silicone oil procedure, so it might be good to reread her blog posts below. Maybe she’ll be able to comment here too – if she’s not too busy packing for her vacation!

      While I personally didn’t have this procedure, I know the feeling of calm you are describing from getting some definitive news that you can plan for. After going through several unsuccessful laser procedures, I actually felt relieved to learn that my dr was proceeding with the vitrectomy/gas bubble because stepping it up to the next level meant a better chance of solving the problem. And it was good to get a time frame for recovery, no matter what the outcome would be.

      I’m glad that you are moving forward and getting all of your health & disability insurance and medical leave paperwork in order. Just the act of doing all that (and thank goodness you have access to these resources!!) can make you feel very accomplished and well-prepared. Then you will be able to relax a bit, take the next steps as they come, and put your effort into healing. When you really think about it, your health is the most important thing in this whole equation. Everything else can be managed by those around you.

      Sending you healing eye thoughts, and please keep us updated!

      • Hello Karen;

        So happy you are on this sight. Your comments and up beat personality are so wonderful. Yes health is your wealth so we all must do what we can to preserve it.
        I must start packing as things have been so hectic I have not had time to start.

        I will have my laptop so will keep an eye on this blog.

        I am sure my eyes are going to love the humidity!

        Talk soon!

      • Hi Karen,

        “Do you know the name of the surgery your dr wants to do? Is it an in-office procedure? Out patient at a surgical center?”

        He may have said the name but I don’t remember. It would be in hospital though. He said then he wanted to remove scar tissue and probably put in the oil bubble. I have a feeling that we are going to the operating room sooner than expected. I woke up this morning with a new “curtain” coming down from the top left. It looks like a black paper cutout of a fern branch. I called the on duty person early this morning…hated to call so early, got an appointment and started making arrangements for transportation. I skipped breakfast just in case we do operate. Starting to get hungry now. This happened just when the air bubble was starting to get small enough to really give me a chance to see. It’s going to be a busy afternoon and evening.

    • Hello Buddy;

      Sorry to hear about your most recent visit. Like Karen said it is great that they are willing to try different things and realize when something is not working.

      Remember when I said that I had 3 surgeries in 1 week, only one was a small one. i first had the scleral buckle for the detached retina and laster. I saw the retina specialist 3 days later and she was not happy and said things were not looking good and the natural lens had to come out. I had that surgery 3 days later and had general anaesthetic the surgery lasted 2 hours. I did not feel very good at all after that and remember looking at my arm and wondering where my blue band had gone to. I had been wearing a blue band for 3 months because of both eyes have the gas bubble in them. Anyways a nurse came and said that I had the gas bubble removed and they had replaced it with silicone oil. There are no travel restrictions with it but I did stay close to home for about 5 weeks after that. Anyways I had that funny lava effect in the left peripheral vision and thought it was the oil but have since learned that it is vitreous, protein strands, The oil does not give you great vision but it is clear from what I am told. The only thing I found was that my eye at times felt warm and would get red easy, a little hard to describe. From what I have read the silicone oil is the most effective tampon on the retina. I saw my retina specialist 4 days later and my eye pressure was very high she was not happy again and said that some of the silicone had to be removed, I guess it is a fine balancing act with it. Back I went to the OR again for removal of I think 1cc of silicone. Back to the office again the next day at this point my biggest challenge was staying out of the OR. I then saw a glaucoma specialist who along my retina specialist decided to start me on steroid drops every 2 hours along with something for pressure the atropine and an antibiotic. Off I went with my schedule. Oh forgot to mention my iris was also collapsing. So here I am thinking oh boy I am supposed to be face down and my iris is wanting to collapse on the cornea. Anyways I was told to still be face down. 1 week later I went back and thankfully after seeing both specialist they were both happy and things had settled, my pressure was normal and the iris was behaving. I was so relieved as my daughter was getting married in 1 month time. Even my retina specialist was working hard to ensure my eyes were not dilated for photos.

      Regarding the silicone oil form what I read it is not advisable to leave it in too long. It seems sometimes they do and I even read that some people refuse to have it removed because I guess they finally have stabilization. I flew to Las Vegas twice actually twice with the oil and had no problems. The oil was removed at the beginning of November and my retina specialist told me to stay close to home for a while after that. I was off work again for a month. Like I said she is happy with how things look now.

      Hang in there Buddy it sounds like things will improve in the near future. Like Karen said it all takes time and yes PATIENCE.

      I have not packed a thing for out trip so must do that. I really hope my eyes like the humidity of Florida. Today my left eye is not happy, must have over done it, using lots of drops.

      Focus on getting better and be glad for caring health care workers. I will have my laptop with me so will certainly keep an eye on your posts. Take care ..heres to better sight down the road!

      • Kim – Thanks for your kind words! Actually, I am in awe of you! You have been through so much, and with grace, dignity, and lots of patience. And look…. you made it to the other side and are about to embark on a well-deserved vacation! Enjoy all the beautiful sights of Florida!

    • Hello Buddy;
      i apologize for not answering your question about insertion of another gas bubble post silicone oil removal. Now I cannot speak for everyone just my own experience but no I did not have another one inserted, thank goodness. I asked what they insert and was told it was a type of saline type solution and then over time your eye replaces it with what is normally there. I had the silicone oil from the end of June 2013 until Nov 4/2013. Hope that helps. Good Luck and keep us up to date on your progress..think positive!

      • Hello Buddy;

        Yes sorry Buddy but who knows maybe you will not have it as long. I went on 2 trips to Vegas in that time and my surgeon wanted to wait until I would be home for a while. I think though from what I read it is usually 3-6 months. The big bonus though for me was that you could travel and it is a great retina healer, which is what you are needing right now, stability. Try not to worry, take things one day at a time. With your work done for a while like Karen said you can now concentrate on working to get yourself better!

      • With the oil in place do you still have to keep your head down and sleep on your side? The same as when you have the air bubble? I am wondering if I will be able to return to work and drive with the oil.

      • Hello Buddy;

        First of all I did not have to have my head down with the oil and because I had got so used to sleeping on my side I pretty well kept doing that and still do. I was told by my retina specialist that I really could sleep any way I wanted, but remember that was for my case. The retina specialists all seem to have slightly different rules. The only time I could really see the oil was when I looked up to put eye drops in it seemed like I could see the outline of it. I worked part time mind you, drove etc. From what I read they use it in more complicated retina problems and the one draw back is that it has to be removed. When I had mine done it was with the vitrectomy and then for the removal another vitrectomy was done. After the removal I was on atropine and the antibiotic again for about a month. Glad to help you with your questions and hope it helps. I know I was constantly looking up information.

  33. Karen,

    I love your insight! I agree that my iPad helped me get through the days spent in face done recovery mode! I used the speaking mode to “read” my emails and surf the web. I also downloaded the app for Dragon Dictation which allowed me to compose emails and keep a daily log of activities. I was fortunate to rent equipment to help in the recovery time. I was able to even watch tv using a special mirror designed to project the image from the tv to the mirror beneath my table. Friends and family were awesome! If they offer to help, let them! I also found myself having to let go when it came to housekeeping! Although it wasn’t always up to my standards, everyone wanted to help. While my vitrectomy experience was life altering, it wasn’t life threatening. I am grateful for all of the support I received during my ordeal and can now move
    on. I am still looking at one more procedure to fix a macular pucker but the worst is behind me!

    • Hi Bright Eyes! Do you know the name of the procedure to fix the macular pucker? My post-vitrectomy vision is somewhat distorted and wavy – like looking through hand-blown glass. It seems that it’s getting better with time, but my retina dr did mention something about an erm peel. (He also said that he really doesn’t want to have to do any additional surgery and upset the fine balance in my eye, which is pretty stable now.)

      I’m also developing a secondary cataract in my rd eye. I haven’t seen my cataract dr since before my rd, but I have an appointment with him in ten days. I’m not sure if he will address this new problem now, or wait for more healing time.

      How long after your vitrectomy did they fix the secondary cataract? Is it just a quick laser procedure like I’ve heard?

      “Life altering, not life threatening” – I like that definition!

      • Hello Karen:

        Just a quick note while I am packing. I wanted to say that I had that peel done on both my eyes when I had the macular holes repaired. They do a vitrectomy which is the term used for entering the eye , using the 3 scope sights, 2 for instruments and 1 for the camera. The EM peeling I am pretty sure is where they peel the fine layer, like an onion skin that is on the surface of the macula. I was told we are not born with it but it develops over time. For macular holes this aids in the healing of the macula. and gives a higher success rate for closing the hole. Then they insert the gas which when you are face down rises to press on the macula and aids in its healing. Anyways this is what I was led to believe.

        Thankyou for the vacation wishes..talk soon!

      • Just wanted to wish you a great vacation! Enjoy every minute of it. After so many disappointments and long and difficult days you deserve to have a wonderful time.

  34. Feel free to skip this…just needed to get this off my chest.

    I am wondering how other people are dealing with the uncertainty of this situation. One week it looks like maybe the dust has finally settled and then BOOM there is a flurry of activity (and disappointment and pain). How do you tell coworkers and others in your life that are use to relying on you that maybe you’ll be there next week and maybe you won’t without sounding like you’ve given up? What do you tell yourself to keep from giving up on yourself? It feels like the ground under my feet is trembling and it may stop, or not, at any moment. Or, it could begin to slide in any direction. Life is changing for me. But, in what way and to what degree? For a control junkie like me this is a difficult thing to confront. My burden is shared by my family. I am blessed to have them. But I want my situation to stop being an extra drain on them. My doctor said I can expect to be working with my eye problem for the rest of this year. This is bigger than anything I’ve had to personally face before. How do others approach this? How do you keep your spirit up? To minimize the load others incur on your behalf? How do I avoid turning into a couch potato? It isn’t good to just let go and I feel that is what I am mostly expected to do. Being stuck in a face down position for a month is beginning to have its effect.

    • Hi Buddy – I totally understand the uncertainty and frustration you’re feeling. I too, am a very independent, active, and somewhat controlling person, and it was a major life adjustment to get through this. I basically spent the entire summer of 2013 housebound, recovering from various unsuccessful laser procedures, and finally the vitrectomy/gas bubble/facedown position. It wasn’t fun at all and there were times I felt depressed and hopeless. No work, no exercise, no travel, no yoga, no shopping, no cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Like you, it was my first ever health crisis (and my very first surgery, not counting the cataract procedures!)

      My family (husband and kids) also had to pull together to keep the household running, and my mom & aunt even moved in for a few weeks too. I am so very thankful for all of their help, and cannot imagine getting through this without them. At first, I refused all help and didn’t want to put anyone out. But then I realized that people actually wanted to feel useful and help, so I just gave in and was very appreciative that I had the luxury of their assistance. There are many people in our situation who live alone and don’t have anyone around to help care for them, and that has to be so much more difficult.

      I got through the recovery by accepting that certain things are out of my control and I can’t do anything about them, ie- I had no control over my thinning retinas. The only control I did have was being very diligent about following my dr’s post-op orders, staying in the facedown position, inserting the eyedrops, etc. That became my new “job” and I was going to do it as best I could! I had to know that whatever the outcome, I gave it my best shot.

      I have to say that having an iPad really helped me maintain the facedown position. I positioned it on my lap, rested my forehead on the edge of the kitchen table, and played hours and hours of Candy Crush! I also watched lots of Netflix movies and all of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Diversions really help!

      I mainly felt the effects of the facedown position on my neck, shoulders, and back. My head felt like it weighed 100 lbs, and I could barely lift it up to be examined at the dr’s. My incredible niece, who is a massage therapist, came to visit every few days and gave me the most amazing massages to ease my aches and pains (with the dr’s blessing, of course!) I looked forward to her visits, and they kept me moving forward.

      Another thing that helped me keep my spirits up was having something to look forward to in the not-to-distant future. We planned a beach vacation for 6 weeks post-vitrectomy, and I had that goal in mind while I recovered. And I was able to take the trip, gas bubble and all.

      I look at the whole process as a journey. Sometimes it progresses nicely and you move forward. Sometimes there is a roadblock in the way that needs to be addressed. It just doesn’t stay the same. Hopefully, at some point we can expect things to stabilize. I’m coming up on 6 months post-vitrectomy, and my dr says that it could take another year or so to get my peripheral vision back. At this point, I’m so very thankful for the vision I do have, and for the ability to drive, work, shop, exercise, read, knit, do yoga, travel, etc. I don’t take any of these simple pleasures for granted.

      I do hope that things stabilize for you soon, Buddy, and that you can get back to being “yourself.” Or as I like to call it, the “new normal.”

      • Hi Karen,

        Yes, the “new normal”. Is a good way to put it. Letting go and accepting is difficult. Actually, the word torture comes to mind. I am so thankful for the help of my family. And I am so down about having to rely on them. I still have some fight left in me. I need to focus that energy doing the things I can do something about. Thank you for drawing my attention to that aspect. You are certainly right about that. I know feeling sorry for myself is going to get me no where. The hardest part is the not knowing where the next turn in the road is. I think there is a spiritual lesson buried in all of this but I would rather just get on with the usual routine. Thanks for the response. Good luck to you on this uninvited journey. Good luck to everyone on this road. I hope we can find the end if it soon.

      • Hello Buddy;

        First of all do not apologize for anything. Believe me we all have exactly have been through exactly what you have. I often have said to whoever would listen ‘i wonder if this nightmare is ever going to end.” Karen’s reply was so true. It is so hard not to be in control etc and so difficult to let others take over your life. I know my self because of the gas bubbles in both eyes and then the retina detachment in the left eye I was face down for 7 weeks on and off. I remember reading at the beginning of all this about this face down thing and said to one of my daughters, no way I could never do that. Like Karen I am super active, I am in my early fifties with 4 children, I work part time, exercise etc and now am even cautious when I lift a light weight. We had to cancel a trip to Hawaii when I was told that I needed to have the surgery and would not be able to travel anywhere for months because of the gas bubbles. I relied on my aging parents to drive me to appointments etc because of course my husband and kids were busy with work, school etc. My mom came and cooked, did vacuuming etc. I actually did not work for 7 months and then was off again another month when I had the silicone oil removed. I work in a large inner city hospital and had my surgeries in the same facility, it was very difficult to be on the other side of the fence, the patient rather than the health care worker. I felt so down for so long, that did not even visit my colleagues for months. At one point I had 3 surgeries in 7 days 2 very big surgeries and one minor one and my thought after that was my goal now is just to stay out of the operating room. My pressure in my eye had sky rocketed and my iris was collapsing. My retina specialist was pretty concerned but I then went on steroid drops every few hours for a week and things thankfully settled. I was also face down at this time so the iris thing was a problem. i have read so much different info on the face down thing but my thoughts are if it is your vision you would literally stand on your head if you had to. I had those prism glasses for watching TV they worked pretty well and I found a laptop was handy. Also I was allowed to sleep on my side but eyes facing the floor. I was always a back sleeper so even that was a huge adjustment for me, but again you do what you have to.

        I see my retina specialist tomorrow so hope for settled vision and retina healing. Do take things a day at a time and keep writing on this blog, i find it is great therapy, conversing with people that are going through similar experiences.

        If today hasn’t been a great day well keep reminding yourself tomorrow is another day and it will hopefully be better..hang in there!

    • Hello Buddy;

      First of all do not apologize for anything. Believe me we all have exactly have been through exactly what you have. I often have said to whoever would listen ‘i wonder if this nightmare is ever going to end.” Karen’s reply was so true. It is so hard not to be in control etc and so difficult to let others take over your life. I know my self because of the gas bubbles in both eyes and then the retina detachment in the left eye I was face down for 7 weeks on and off. I remember reading at the beginning of all this about this face down thing and said to one of my daughters, no way I could never do that. Like Karen I am super active, I am in my early fifties with 4 children, I work part time, exercise etc and now am even cautious when I lift a light weight. We had to cancel a trip to Hawaii when I was told that I needed to have the surgery and would not be able to travel anywhere for months because of the gas bubbles. I relied on my aging parents to drive me to appointments etc because of course my husband and kids were busy with work, school etc. My mom came and cooked, did vacuuming etc. I actually did not work for 7 months and then was off again another month when I had the silicone oil removed. I work in a large inner city hospital and had my surgeries in the same facility, it was very difficult to be on the other side of the fence, the patient rather than the health care worker. I felt so down for so long, that did not even visit my colleagues for months. At one point I had 3 surgeries in 7 days 2 very big surgeries and one minor one and my thought after that was my goal now is just to stay out of the operating room. My pressure in my eye had sky rocketed and my iris was collapsing. My retina specialist was pretty concerned but I then went on steroid drops every few hours for a week and things thankfully settled. I was also face down at this time so the iris thing was a problem. i have read so much different info on the face down thing but my thoughts are if it is your vision you would literally stand on your head if you had to. I had those prism glasses for watching TV they worked pretty well and I found a laptop was handy. Also I was allowed to sleep on my side but eyes facing the floor. I was always a back sleeper so even that was a huge adjustment for me, but again you do what you have to.

      I see my retina specialist tomorrow so hope for settled vision and retina healing. Do take things a day at a time and keep writing on this blog, i find it is great therapy, conversing with people that are going through similar experiences.

      If today hasn’t been a great day well keep reminding yourself tomorrow is another day and it will hopefully be better..hang in there!

      • Hi Kim,

        I am a back sleeper too. I long for the day when I can just let go and rollover on my back, close my eyes, and just let go into sleep. Sounds wonderful. I also had to cancel a nice trip when this situation popped up. It sounds like we are experiencing some Similar things. It may sound strange but it is somehow helpful to hear others’ stories and share my own.
        Tomorrow I go back for another check up. We’ll see if things are still holding together. My pattern so far has been 1. procedure, 2. check up in a week with everything OK, 3. check in three weeks and another tear. I have repeated this pattern three times. Right now I could be in the middle of a fourth repeat. I know someday it has to stop. I’ll be relieved when that day comes.
        A friend of mine who knows a great deal more about computers than I came over yesterday. He showed me how to use the dictation Function on my MacBook Pro. I didn’t even know I had this. It makes writing on the computer much easier. So, if I begin to get a little long-winded it’s because it’s easier to get ideas on the screen.

      • Hello Buddy;

        About the back sleeping oh yes we take such things so for granted. I remember when this all started it was like what I can’t sleep on my back, how I am I ever going to manage, but I have learned we do. This blog is so helpful because as much as we talk about all this stuff with family and friends it still is not that same as talking to someone that has walked the path or currently going down it. Like I said life altering not life threatening.

        We are so lucky that we have the surgeons and specialist that can help us. I know my retina specialist said that they have only been repairing macular holes since the early 90’s which is not that long and that a colleague of hers in the USA was the fist to discover the procedure, she said it was the biggest advancement in her career, she said that they would tell people like me that there was nothing they could do. It scares me to think of that scenario. Like Karen I am back driving, working, light exercising and most important looking after my family after almost a year of ups and downs. My vision is far from perfect and I have floaters, strands of vitreous in my left peripheral vision but I know I am much improved over where I was and I hope you will be too.

        I saw my retina specialist today and she was thrilled said the retina’s are looking great and things are continuing to move forward. I am so thankful as we are leaving for Florida on Saturday and was hoping that we were not going to have to cancel another trip. I had though decided before I went that if that had been the case I would have insisted my son and husband go without me. It seems for me that I always like to have a plan B in my head the control thing I think because things happen. My specialist said that she would like my retinas to heal as long as possible before we proceed with fixing the secondary cataract or the other one that is in the distance and that makes sense. I have printed an eye chart that I test myself on and so will keep tabs on how things are going with that.

        I totally enjoy talking to people on here and I think we all are a great help to each other, good luck with your appointment tomorrow and let us know how it goes, like I remember mentioning before I was at a point last June when my goal after having 3 surgeries in 1 week was just to stay out of the OR. Great that your friend helped you with your computer, blessed to have such caring friends. Good Luck!

      • Yay, Kim! So glad that things are heading in the right direction for you now! Relax and enjoy your well-deserved vacation in warm & sunny Florida!!!

      • If I understood correctly you got a greenlight from your ophthalmologist. Congratulations! I have my fingers crossed for you that everything continues to hold together. I will go see my doctor this afternoon and am hoping for a good report likewise. Have a wonderful time in florida.

      • Hello Buddy;

        Yes you are correct, it was actually my retina specialist that I saw yesterday. I had the OCT Scan of both retinas and she was very pleased with the healing and my vision. The plan now would be to keep an eye on those cataracts and if my vision seems to be getting worse she said that it would probably be the cataracts that were causing the trouble. Like I previously mentioned she reinforced that we want to wait as long as possible to do anything with the secondary cataract and the one that has started in my right eye because of the risks. I have the eye chart on the wall and I will do my periodic checks. I did get my progressive glasses today and they seem to given me a little crisper vision especially for distance. I really do not need a reading glass but they give me a sharper image there too which is great.

        I do hope your appointment went well and you keep moving forward. Are you still doing the face down thing? Or is it just for a limited time? I am not sure if you are adding any supplements to your diet but since I started this whole thing I have been taking the omega vitamins {fish oils] and vitamin A. Systane actually makes a vitamin that is supposed to be great for your eyes. I know my Mom’s optometrist told her the fish oils seem to really help with eye health. I myself am willing to try anything.

        Thankyou for the vacation wishes and do let is know how your appointment.

      • Hi Buddy – Wishing you lots of good luck at your dr appointment today! I went through the laser procedure/holding steady at one week/falling apart at 2 weeks routine a few times too! Hopefully that nasty cycle has been broken for you and you are on your way to healing this time. Please let us know how it goes for you today.

  35. Hello all.
    Interesting stories here since I signed up last November, and from what I have been reading, many people are far worse off, and have to contend with more pain, worry and difficulties than do. I guess that is some sort of a blessing for me but scant reassurance for anyone else.
    In terms of my recovery, my consultant seems to be very pleased with my progress; last week, I could read the third from bottom line of the sight chart from about 7 feet away (is that good?) with the operated (right) eye and the bottom line with my left (lasered only) eye. The gas bubble has almost gone – I think it will have disappeared completely in a couple of weeks.
    He will see me again in a couple of months when he will hopefully have a better idea of how the cataracts are developing. Apparently, 50 years old is an important timeline: cataracts can go one way or the other at that age. My guess is he will recommend replacement lenses some time in the next 12 months.
    I have noticed though a significant degradation in my short-sightedness: reading books, papers, text at a computer is much less defined and comfortable than before. I would imagine this will be addressed by lens replacement – I hope – but for the moment, I have to look away at faraway objects from time to time when I read, in order to ‘relax’ the focus.
    Wishing you clearing sight and improving vision through the year.

    • Hello Tim;

      Nice to hear from you. Glad that you are progressing in what seems the right direction. Those darn cataracts, I know that because of my bilateral macular holes I had gas bubbles in both eyes 1 month apart. My retina surgeon used the long lasting one C3F8 and I it lasted 72 days in my right eye. There was a period of about a month where I could not see at all below me, walking up steps etc was a challenge even could not see my dinner plate as it was like looking through a fish bowl. Anyways I had the second gas bubble only until my retina detached 7 weeks after the macular hole surgery on the left eye. At that time I had scleral buckle, lens replaced {the vitreous was still pulling} and silicone oil inserted. I had the silicone oil removed at the beginning of November. I have a secondary cataract on that eye and one starting on my right but like I previously mentioned I think my retina specialist does not want to do anything with either until absolutely necessary. I do fairly well with driving etc which I am very thankful for I test around 20/30 or 40. Just waiting for a progressive lens to see it that improves my vision a little more. Good luck to you! Should clarify what 20/30 means 20./20 is perfect vision 20/30 means what I see from 20 feet normal 20/20 person sees from 30 feet etc. Hope that makes sense.

    • Hi Tim, I’m new to the blog and felt that I was alone until I started reading all the posts. I had a vitrectomy on 1/8/14 and my neck and back hurts from keeping my head down. I had to have my retina reattached and a gas bubble inserted to fill the hole in my macular. I was awake through the operation and thought I would not make it past surgery. All the equipment that I rented was no use because my eye would run fluid all the time. I’m still getting headaches. The mirror was my life saver and I brought it from the rental company. I’m walking around with a moveable circle in my eye. I can’t see but hopefully it will get better. My doctor said the retina is attached and I can return to work on Monday. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

      • Hi cheechee1707

        I hope that you have had some relief with the back and neck pain. It was a real adjustment for me learning to sleep on my side because I am at back sleeper. I am getting used to it now. I’m sorry to hear the rental equipment was not much help to you. It was a great savior from my neck and lower back.
        Have you had any improvement in your vision? I am noticing details slowly starting to become more distinct in my eye that was operated on. It has been a very slow process and I have had to start making adjustments and how I do things.
        I’m praying for you.

      • Welcome back Buddy;

        Like Karen i have also been thinking about you!

        So did you end up with the silicone oil? I would love to hear what your surgeon decided was the best stabilizer and healer. Glad to hear that you appear to be moving forward. Remember when I said that my only goal at one point was to stay out of the operating room and I did achieve that goal.

        So you are starting to see out of that eye a little better, that is great! Hope things continue to improve and do update us when you are up to it!

        Thoughts and prayers are with you!

      • Welcome Cheechee;

        Yes as you can see you are among friends on this blog, although we might have different bends and twists in the roads we have taken we can all relate and understand the feelings you have regarding this current life altering situation.
        i speak for myself in saying that this site had been a real healer for me as you do realize that you are not alone and yes there are many others that are dealing daily with gas bubbles, crazy 24/7 face down positions, limits to what we considered just normal everyday activities.
        Like Karen has said in the past. A person must reach out and accept assistance from others at this time because your biggest job is getting well!
        Hang in there and keep us updated on your progress!

      • Hi cheechee, thanks for you reply. Blimey – awake during the op sounds unthinkable! I was fast asleep all the way through thank the good Lord. Anyway, I now have full sight just like the old days except my existing myopia is much worse and the floaters are a permanent presence. Sounds like you are healing and maybe getting back to work will be a welcome change for you. I was off for a couple of weeks and wore a pirate patch when I returned – looked like a twonk but made it easier to see my pc and drive with my one good eye.
        Should have my lenses replaced in time as cataracts are developing but that’s a walk in the park in comparison to some of the stories here. Karen’s words are kind and gentle and full of wisdom and encouragement and fill me with a calm I have rarely felt.
        Keep your pecker up and hope you continue to make a full recovery. Good luck at work and milk the sympathy!

  36. The laser treatment is very painful for me. I havent yet read anyone mentioning the same. My doctor said people with light blue eyes, like mine, are more sensitive to it. Surly I am not alone in this experience. When I read of those who report hundreds or thousands of laser blasts I shudder to imagine it. The laser is a difficult thing for me to tolerate.

    I am very thankful that this forum exists. It is no small help to know I am not the only one in this situation.

    • Hi Buddy! Sorry to hear that you are highly sensitive to the laser procedures and experience pain. For me, the laser treatments are uncomfortable, and some of the blasts are downright painful. They feel like someone is sticking a knife in my eye, but that feeling only lasts a split second.

      They give me numbing drops before the procedures and those seem to help. I hope you are getting them too! For me, the bright flashing lights of the laser (the last procedure was purple!) and the pressure is most annoying. I always ask my dr. to tell me when he is halfway done, so I have an idea of how many more blasts to anticipate. (I didn’t do this the first time, and it seemed to go on forever!) I think the sessions last about 15-20 minutes. So far I’ve had 4 laser procedures on the left eye (including the vitrectomy) and 2 on my right eye. Close to 6000 laser blasts in total.

      Do you have the “lava lamp” sensation that I have? It’s a constant motion or flickering in my peripheral vision. My dr. said it’s the eye healing from the laser, and it could take a year or more to subside.

      • 6000 blasts, wow! I have not had anywhere near that number. But I suspect I have just started my journey. Yes, I have the lava lamp effect but it is very minimal. I am thankful for that. This process is a very long one. The process itself has made me change my day to day schedule. I am very lucky to have people in my life that are kind and supportive. And I hope you have people like that near you I think it makes a lot of difference.

    • I had some plain running up from my eye to my eyebrow, during laser treatment, but nothing like the horrible pain I had when they had to drain fluid off my eye the first and second days after surgery. Hope you are doing better, I;m still haveing treatments after surgery done May, 26 2013.

  37. Hello,
    I have been following these posts with interest since a pars plana vitrectomy and lasering was performed on my right eye on Weds 14th Nov 2013. This was to correct a detached retina. CF38 gas was also injected. I have noticed that many patients are advised to lie face down for at least two weeks post-surgery, but my consultant simply asked me to sleep on my right side and ‘push’ on the eye with the pillow – nothing else (apart from 2 kinds of eye drops). I have noticed no improvement in my eyesight whatsoever since surgery almost a week ago. I can see vague shapes and light and dark but that’s it. Am I being impatient? Can anyone also advise when I might be able to go back to work? I am a systems analyst therefore 100% of my job is staring at a screen.
    Many thanks for any words or encouragement anyone might provide. Wishing you all speedy recoveries and a return to normal.

    • I did this surgery 6 week ago. I had 11 tear on my retinal. In my case wasn’t successful and I had to do vitrectomy.
      you will see fine. Just be positive and patient.
      Trust your doctor.
      Good luck

    • Hi Tim! Just read your post and had vitrectomy/laser/C3F8 gas bubble in July. It took 10 full weeks for the bubble to disappear (10% a week), and you really can’t see much until the bubble is 50 or 60% resolved and you are able to see above it. At least that’s what happened in my case. If you look through the bubble, you will just see light and shapes. Once the bubble is low enough and you can see above it, you can read and use the computer, but the vision might be very wavy/glare/distorted. It takes a few weeks before you are fully functional and can get back to work. By now, you are probably there!

      The key is patience, patience, and more patience! I’m 4.5 months post-vitrectomy, and I’m finally seeing significant improvements in the waviness and distortion. My vision is now corrected with glasses/contacts to 20/30, which I’m very happy with! Now if I can only get my peripheral vision back…. I’m patiently waiting!

      • Hello Tim and Karen:
        I thought I would give an update of where I am. I started this whole thing January 2013. I had bilateral macular holes in the retinas. Surgery on my right eye with insertion of long acting gas bubble that lasted for 72 days was performed in March. One month later I had surgery on the other eye so had half a bubble in one eye and a full gas bubble in the other. I could not see below me steps, etc for a good month because of gas bubbles. Things were going well with my vision returning very nicely in my right eye when at 7 weeks post my left eye I had a detached retina, vitreous pulling on the lens. I then had a scleral buckle then 5 days later the lens replaced, the vitreous was still pulling on the retina. I then had silicone oil injected. It has been a very humbling experience to say the least, I had the silicone oil removed the beginning of November. Patience is what is required tons of it. I have been off work most of the year, back now. I find I need tons of eye drops. I test 20/30 on the eye charts but it is a little deceptive. Even my left eye with the detached retina is around 20/40. I feel very lucky that I can see to drive etc but my vision is certainly not want I once had. I have a secondary cataract in my left eye but my retina specialist wants things to settle further before anything is done with that. My right eye does have a cataract in the distance but it does not seem to be causing any problems thus far. Anyways faith in your surgeon is very important and of course support from family and friends. Hope things continue forward for both of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your families!

      • Hi Kim! I couldn’t find the reply button below your post, so I hope you find this here! Wow! Just thinking about having vitrectomy #2 while still having a gas bubble from vitrectomy #1 is nerve-wracking! I can only imagine how it impacted every aspect of your life. I’m so glad to hear that you are back at work, and doing normal things – though it’s a “new normal” for all of us. It is a humbling experience indeed, and one that makes us never take our vision for granted.

        My left eye horseshoe RD happened last July, following successful cataract surgery in April. Since I had just about every risk factor for RD to begin with (high myopia, family history, lattice degeneration), cataract surgery was the last straw. The RD happened despite my retina specialist laser reinforcing each eye a month prior to the cataract surgeries. The laser reinforcement probably protected the left macula and kept the RD more contained.

        Now I’m developing new thinning areas in my right retina, so I just had more laser reinforcement on that eye 3 days ago. 700 new laser blasts and I’m still seeing flashing lights (the dr said that would be normal!) and some peripheral weirdness (hopefully will resolve as things heal).

        Happy Holidays to you and your family, and here’s to 2014 filled with healthy vision!!

      • Hello Karen;

        I did get your reply, thankyou! Yes it has been quite the experience to say the least. Funny how things happen because I really did not have any of the preexisting issues that you would usually have before a RD. It is that darn vitreous that seems to have caused my issues. My retina specialist said that she sees one new macular patient a week but it is much more rare to have it in both eyes at the same time, that week she saw me she also had a man that had it in both. I feel very blessed because my vision has improved so much from then. I was 20/60 corrected with glasses when I had the first surgery so have come a long way. I needed a microscope at that time to read and now read without glasses, which is like wow! i work in a large hospital doing desk work so that has been a challenge at times but also lucky I have great benefits. Keep in touch Karen as like you said it is nice to have the support of others that have gone through similar experience. I must ask do you have floaters? I have what seems like groups of them and then they disappear for awhile.. Hope with time things all settle for us and we have fairly normal vision once again. talk soon! Kim

      • Hi again, Kim! I don’t have any floaters at all in my (vitrectomy) left eye. I guess cleaning out the vitreous took all the floaters along with it.

        I still have plenty of floaters in my right eye. The same ones I had before the cataract surgery, only now I can see them better! I call them “the usual cast of characters” and one is particularly large, but stays out of sight for the most part. I think the only way to get rid of the floaters is to have them cleared out with the sticky vitreous.

        I’m wondering why you still have the floaters if all the vitreous was cleared out during your vitrectomies? Have you spoken to your dr about it?

      • Hello Karen & Tim

        Thankyou once again for your email. I have spoke to the retina surgeon about the floaters but she does feel that they will settle with time. Yes you would think that I would not have them with all that vitreous removed. I myself also wondered if the vitreous regenerates when it is removed and from what I understand it does not, maybe you have heard something else. I know it does of course fill with proteins etc. You had spoke about peripheral vision I find that I have this activity on the left side of my left eye and it is strands that move all the time. They do not effect my vision but are sort of just there. They take a while to settle at night..which is weird. I think though my biggest thing right now is the dryness we live in Alberta, Canada where we have very cold, snowy winters so our houses tend to be very dry. The hospital where I work is super dry. I think I should have bought shares in Systane eye drops for the amount I use. Anyways wonderful to chat with you and Tim.


      • Your comment helped me with my lack of patience, I am in my 4th week of recovery and am starting to feel really down. I had a check up yesterday, 4 weeks after the surgery and was told that the retina is beginning to detach again. I had a 3rd laser treatment at the same appointment. I’ve got the air bubble in my right eye.

      • Hi Buddy – Sorry to hear about your continuing retina problems and need for more laser procedures. Did you have a vitrectomy along with the scleral buckle and gas bubble? When I had the vitrectomy, the dr lasered down the entire retina (>2000 blasts, yes I asked!) when the vitreous was removed. The prior in-office laser treatments I had weren’t holding my retina together either, and new holes/tears kept developing.
        Please keep us posted and hope things improve for you soon!

      • Hello Karen;

        Was just reading your comment to Buddy. Yes we all have our battles with this darn eye thing. Thought I might ask how you are doing? I have an appointment this week with my retina specialist and also am waiting for some new glasses to arrive once again. I find that even though I do not need a reading glass I almost need a progressive lens to get the refraction right on the retina so am going to try a progressive lens next, this was the advise I was given by my optometrist. Hope you had a good Christmas and here hoping that 2014 brings us all health and happiness!

      • Hi Kim,

        So nice to touch base with you again! Nothing new going on with my eyes right now (thank goodness!), but I do have a follow-up appointment with my cataract dr in a few weeks.

        I had my cataract surgeries in April (L)/ May (R), which started off this whole firestorm of retina issues. I last saw my cataract dr. for a post-op appointment in early June, before the left eye detached (late June) and everything was going great. I’m looking forward to seeing him and updating him on all that’s happened since! My cataract dr. and retina dr. are in the same group practice, and I chose them specifically because they could work together with my high-risk situation. Also, they were highly recommended and affiliated with Yale. I know I’m in good hands, and they can’t control all my risk factors, but I really didn’t expect the rd, since the cataracts healed super fast and my vision was great afterwards.

        My retina dr. said that I was developing the sub-cataract on my left rd eye, and I’m not sure if the cataract dr. will want to fix this now, or wait for more retina healing. We shall see.

        As for my vision, I was a -19 before my cataract surgery, and I’ve been wearing glasses since the age of 3, contacts since the age of 13. We decided it would be most comfortable to leave me a little near-sighted with the cataract IOL’s, so I’m -2 in my left eye, -3 in my right eye. I can see just fine around the house and the office without any correction, and can do close work like reading and putting on makeup, without wearing reading glasses. But I do need glasses to drive and shop and go to the movies.

        Wearing glasses all the time is more than I need, and what I found works best for me is to wear one contact lens in my right eye, so I can both drive and read, etc., and my brain thinks I’m seeing everything with both eyes but just one of them is doing the work. My dr. called it “mini monovision” and it is the perfect solution for me. Like you, I’ve been trying to avoid bifocals or progressive/multi focal glasses.

        Have you tried wearing one contact lens? It might work for you too! Please keep me posted on how your eye dr appointment goes this week!

        Happy and healthy New Year’s wishes to you too!

      • Hello Karen;

        Thankyou for your reply. Wow yes to share these experiences. As I mentioned my retina specialist seems to really want to delay doing anything with this secondary cataract for as long as possible, probably a year. I also because of the gas bubble I had in my right eye have a cataract starting in that eye. I mentioned it last appointment and she told me I was seeing so well that it was probably not causing too much trouble. Probably putting that one off as long as possible is the plan also. Wow you have amazing correction. I like you can read with no problem etc and do correct to 20/30 or 40 with glasses but had such crisp vision before so had hoped for better. I used to wear contacts many years ago before I had laser corrective surgery and had not thought of doing it now. I really do not know how especially my left eye would like it as my eyes are so dry. I hope these new glasses arrive this week as I am anxious to try them, the optometrist feels that because I seem to be able to get better correction by just moving my eyes the progressive might really help. I work in a large hospital and find it super dry. My family and I are going to Florida soon for a vacation and am thinking that my eyes will love it there. You mention that lava thing in your vision which I also told you that I have, mine is in my left eye peripheral vision. I asked the optometrist about it and he said it was strands of protein etc in the vitreous, I also asked if the vitreous when removed replaces itself and he led me to believe that it does. I hope that in time that it does diminish like you doctor said. Well Karen I will certainly let you know how things go with my appointment. I am glad that you are also on the settled and moving forward path. Also glad that you are so pleased with your docs, I think that is the most important thing, faith in your doctors. I also after all my procedures repair of the macular holes, scleral buckle, lens replacement, silicone oil and removal of silicone oil that each step that was carried out was by what I read the most effective treatment. I have also had the lasering of areas but had the drops like you mentioned so no intense pain, but could certainly feel it. Buddy is probably right that blue eyed people are more sensitive to this kind of thing. Here’s hoping that he keeps moving forward also!

      • Karen, and Buddy I had a macular hole repair. for some reason my eye kept feeling up with fluid and they had to put a needle in it second day after surgery and third day after surgery.VERY VERY PAINFUL . but am getting better. had to have lazer done a few weeks back still had a small hole, hope when I go back in 2 weeks it mended it. hope you are better.

      • Needle in the eye… Just when you think you’ve had the worst. I just wonder where this ends. Somewhere inside ourselves we have to find the ability to accept what we must go through. I honestly don’t know where this ability comes from. I hope you are better now and that needle in the Eye will soon just be an unpleasant memory.

      • Hello ALL:
        I totally agree that yes this about accepting what cards we have been dealt but at the same time not giving up. I think we all have those days when we think will this eye stuff ever end but we all have to take it a day at a time and do what we can to ensure we keep moving forward. I know myself I am just about a year since this all started and feel so blessed for the support I have received from family and friends. A life altering situation but lucky for us not life threatening. Hope we all keep moving forward in 2014 and eye pain etc is a distant memory!

      • thank you feeling better, will just be happy to get to the end of this. You truly have to have patience for this proceedure. Hope you are improveing

    • Thought I would provide an update on my vitrectomy almost 5 months post surgery. The vision in my left eye is 20/70 with contacts correction. Without, I can still only see the top 2 lines of the eye chart which is where I was at the day before surgery. My understanding is that the surgery doesn’t restore vision already lost, it just stops you from losing more and eventually becoming blind. My vision is still somewhat distorted in the eye as well. My mantra is “not blind but vision not great.” On December 10 I had a follow up appointment with my retina specialist and he has diagnosed a macular pucker in the eye. Will have surgery this spring to remove that along with a cataract. I am still hopeful that will provide me with better vision. I too work on a computer all day but I am able to get along OK. I wear my reading glasses which seems to help the distortion. As long as my right eye stays strong, I can still drive, work and function pretty good. Still a little fearful what I would do if the same thing happened to my right eye. I do enjoy hearing about others’ experience as it seems to be a little bit different for everyone.

      • Hello Sue;

        Totally agree sharing stories does really help. I always say that we have live altering conditions that can greatly effect our everyday life. I know that I was probably around 20/80 in both eyes with glasses before my surgery for bilateral macular holes and now am 20/30 right eye and 20/40 left so that is better than when I started. I like you feel very blessed to be able to drive and function fairly normally. I find my vision especially in the left eye changes constantly and find that looking through the top part of my glasses I wear just a single corrected glass seems to sharpen distance things which seems weird. I do not need a reading glass which is great. I also worry about something happening to my right eye but at least now we having gone through these experiences know warning signs to watch for and that seems to be the key with the retina. Merry Christmas to you and your family Sue.


      • I have enjoyed following everyone’s experiences. I had my vitrectomy about a year ago, followed by cataract and secondary cartaract surgeries. My retina specialist wants to do one more surgery to remove some scar tissue. It would br done in a hospital and would involve general anesthetic. I am happy that I can see as well as I do now and don’t want the risks associated with more surgery. Has anyone else gone thru this?

      • Thanks to Karen, Kim and Sue for your feedback and progress. Typing is a bit difficult with one eye determinedly refusing to let me see through it when I look down! Driving is OK although was not good when I first started (I stopped and get lifts when I can which is difficult with 2 small children at different schools 🙂 ).
        My consultant assures me all is looking good: there is still quite a bit of gas in the eye and lots of what looks like seafood swimming about in the murk. Dr says these are probably bits of gunk that came off the back of the eye after the fluid was sucked out. Yuk. As you suggest, I hope these will disappear after a while.
        Vision not up to much on the sight chart – first 3 rows is all even with my glasses on; a shimmer like an over-developed cine film sits over the bubble too, like filming in direct sun. I think this is light refracting through the liquid and bubble and causing an interesting illusion, but what do I know? Cataracts starting to develop in the operated eye too a little earlier than he expected. Hey ho, don’t get old (and I’m only 50 in 2014…)
        By the way what is the 20/30 and 20/60 you refer to?
        Wishing you all crystal vision soon and thank you for your comments; always welcome.
        And compliments of the season to you all.

      • Hi Bright Eyes! I’m sure there are some folks here who have had the surgery you’re talking about. Is it called an ERM peel, or something similar? My dr mentioned that I may need that to fix my wavy distorted vision, but he felt the risks (of another RD) outweigh the benefits in my case and he wouldn’t attempt it. I am also developing the secondary cataracts, so that will probably be my next procedure. I hear that’s a simple and quick laser procedure. Wishing you healthy eyes in 2014!

      • Hi Sue,
        I understand how you feel. Four years ago I had surgery to close a macular hole in my right eye. I was 52. After surgery I had a blank spot in my vision. Then, a year ago I got a large floater in my left eye. The retinal specialist said it was nothing to worry about. This year, the macular hole in my right eye opened again and I had surgery again. I am so afraid it will happen in the other eye too.


    • Hi again, eye buddies! Systane Ultra is my new best friend too! After many weeks of 3-4 eye drops, 3-4 times a day, I guess I was having “withdrawal symptoms” and needed a placebo drop. Systane fits the bill! It really seems to refresh my eyes when they feel dry or tired/achy. Which is often.

      Did I mention that my left eye is still a bit dilated, 3 months after discontinuing the Atropine drop? Fun! Glare! But I won’t complain – after all, like all of you, I’m THRILLED to be able to see anything!

      Kim – you mentioned a constant “activity” on the left side of your left eye. I’ve got something that sounds like that too! I call it my “lava lamp” and it’s a constant movement, a flickering in 2 curved lines, like brackets in my peripheral vision. It blocks out my vision by fading out certain areas. It started back in July, after an extensive (and unsuccessful) laser repair. My dr says it’s basically the eye healing. And will take lots of time to resolve.

      Anyone else?

      • Yes the Systane really does help. I use all the different ones Balance, Regular, Ultra. I also at times use Liposic that is a gel that feels cool in your eye. I found especially with the silicone eye that my eye felt warm sometimes which was totally weird. I am glad that you shed some light on this lava lamp things, yes that is exactly what it seems like to me constant moving but for me it stays totally on the far left side of my left eye. I am hopeful that with time it will totally go away, wow that would be great. Anyways i was also going to comment on the dilator because i was on them a total of 21 weeks on and off after all the surgeries. It does take a long time to wear off and i think 2-3 weeks was how long it took after each round of them for me. I find though now my eye is still light sensitive and even with a totally fitted dark sunglass over my glasses if it is really bright the light bothers me. Thankyou for explaining the vision acuity thing you did it perfectly. Legal driving I think pretty well across Canada and it probably is pretty standard where ever you go is 20/50 and it only has to be in one eye. Anyways as always great to chat about and share our stories. All the best to you and your families!

      • Thanks for writing “My dr says it’s basically the eye healing. And will take lots of time to resolve.” I have that too and wondered about it. Can someone please comment on my experience that I will describe? Two months ago u got my “snow storm” in the right eye. That was my first retina tear. I had no idea what was going on. I went to an ophthalmologist and before you could say “what’s going on” I was on a table getting the first laser treatment. Four weeks later there is a second tear and laser treatment. The doctor made told me he would not do laser on me again because of its damage to the tissue. Three weeks later another tear and this time it’s out patient surgery with the sclera buckle and air bubble. Four weeks later another tear is starting (fibrosis I think he called it). Then the third laser treatment. Doctor said he is no longer trying to save the peripheral vision just the center vision. My question, do this sound like a reasonable, routine experience with this kind of problem? I am beginning to have doubts about the medical services I am receiving.

    • Hi again, Tim! Just read your last reply and wanted to tell you that I had that same strange reflection in my eye as the bubble receded. Anything I could see clearly above the bubble, also had an upside-down reflection as an overlay. Very odd, indeed! When the bubble finally disappeared, I still felt like I was seeing things through a handblown glass window. Distortions and waviness that are still present almost 5 months later, but I finally sense some improvement and can read a bit better.

      It must be hard going through all this with young kids at home who need lots of attention, rides, help with schoolwork, etc. My kids are in their 20’s and more self-sufficient. And don’t feel too bad, I developed cataracts in my 40’s and waited another 10 years until I had the operation. Glad I waited, since their removal precipitated my RD!

      As for your question – 20/20 is normal vision, or what a person with normal sight sees from 20 feet away. 20/40 vision is what a normal person would see on the eye chart from 40 feet away, but if you’re nearsighted, you’d see the same line on the eye chart from 20 feet away.

      Happy holidays to you and your family!

    • hi I had the same surgery, same as you I only had to sleep on my right side, with 6 drops . It took six weeks before I could see anything other than shapes. I am 9 mo. into this and had to have lazer done last month, still a small hole( I had a macular hole repair originally). Just putting 1 drop in at bed time now go back in two weeks. As everyone is right. patience, patience, patience. I hope you improve soon and are doing better

    • Hi Tim,

      I know the feeling that this will never end. I have an air bubble in my right eye. It took about three weeks before I noticed an improvement in what I could see through it. The first week I couldn’t see anything except colors and light. I can’t read with it now but I can make out large objects in the house. Try to be patient and give your eye a chance to get better. The two big themes I am picking up as I read these posts is that this is a LONG process and there are many different variations of experiences people have. So, Stay in close contact with your ophthalmologist. One really good thing is that reading what other people are saying makes me feel that I am not the only person who is going through this. It helps me to know how my experience fits in with that of others. That may not sound like much to some, but it has really helped emotionally. I’m not ready to wax poetic about this eye problem, but I am not locked in despair either. Don’t let yourself become isolated.

  38. I noticed a few have had retinal issues integer left eyes. I have had that as well. Are any of you left handed? I am and am wondering if more strain on the dominant side of the body occurs, resulting in these issues.

  39. Something to watch for – I had vitrectomy surgery to repair retina tears and detachment on August 16 2013. I had the gas bubble for about 1 week and was recovering OK when, at 5 weeks post-op, my vision started to become distorted, with wavy lines vertically and horizontally. The surgeon looked in and said that scar tissue was forming inside my eye and was puckering the retina. So a second surgery was required to remove the scar tissue. This time he put in the silicone oil rather than a gas bubble. Recovery from that event is going well two weeks later, but a third surgery will be required to remove the oil and then a fourth surgery to remove the inevitable cataract. Lesson is – don’t ignore vision distortions because the longer the scar tissue builds, the more damage it does.

    • Hi. How is your vision now? I had vitrectomy 6 week ago and I still have the bubble in my right eye.
      my doctor told me that I can go back to work and lift as much as I want!
      usually I only allowed to lift 5 killo.
      any idea?
      I hope you are better now.

    • Ron,

      I have the feeling that I may be following you done the same path. Last Friday I had my 3rd laser treatment (which was after the buckle/bubble operation. Four weeks after that Doctor says he sees fibrosis in the eye and did the 3rd laser. If that doesn’t hold then its off to surgery again for the oil bubble etc.

  40. This blog has been great!

    I am a female, 58, and had a vitrectomy with gas bubble 7/23/2013 for a detached retina in my left eye. Six weeks out and the gas bubble is just about gone. The vision in my left eye has not returned to anywhere near where it was. I would say I can see shapes but definitely it’s not reading level. My biggest concern is that the vision is quite distorted with wavy lines. I’ve been wearing a contact in my good right eye and getting by pretty good. When I put on my glasses, the wavy lines and distortion gets worse. I am curious if anyone else has experienced this and if it eventually went away. I mentioned it to my retina specialist at my last appointment but he didn’t give me any concrete answer — more of a wait and see.

    • Hi Sue! I’m a week behind you (vit 7/30/13) and my bubble was 50-60% last week according to my dr, so I guess it’s about 40-50% now. I’m able to read above the bubble without glasses (my cataract surgeon corrected me to remain a little nearsighted) but like you, things look pretty distorted and I see an upside-down streaky image of whatever I’m looking at right above it. It’s kind of crazy and makes me a little dizzy! I almost feel like I’m looking through glass, and I’m thinking it is the reflection off the upper edge of the bubble. I drove for the first time today (so exciting to get my independence back and not have to rely on others!) but the road did look rather wavy. Honestly, after this whole detachment ordeal, I am THRILLED to have any vision back! I think patience is the operating word for this type of recovery. Good luck and keep us posted about your progress!

      • Follow up appointment with the retina specialist Thursday. The good news is that everything is healing fine and the retina is still attached. The bad news is that my vision is still very poor as far as reading. I can only read the top 2 rows of the eye chart. He says that it could take 6 mos to a year for me reach my final vision. PATIENCE! I guess some fluid had leaked into the macula prior to surgery which further impedes the vision return. Don’t know a whole lot about that. My bubble was totally gone Thursday morning so that annoyance is gone and no more sleeping on my right side. I have an appointment with my optometrist in a month so I can get fitted with a contact for my left eye. I think the distortion is gradually going away although it might just be wishful thinking. At this point I just hope and pray that nothing happens to my right eye. I am thankful to have sight in my left eye but it is not very functional at this time.

    • I lost all vision in my left eye after retinal detachment. Lots of floaters and squiggles in my right eye. Right eye has had lots of laser to wall off tears. My contact lens tends to be for distance and when I put on readers I see the floaters a squiggles much more. I guest the readers help with the close up vision and my floaters are close up! Have only one working eye is harder. It’s been 3 years and my non working eye still hurts, and I get tension headaches around my right eye.

  41. So glad to find this blog post! It’s great to know I’m now alone on this strange journey. I developed retinal tears, holes, and a horseshoe detach in my left eye two months after successful cataract surgery. (I did have several risk factors – family history of retinal detachment, high myopia, lattice degeneration – which had been closely monitored every 6 months for the past decade. I had each eye laser reinforced prior to the catact surgeries.). I had two post-cataract laser procedures to repair the holes (only my peripheral vision was affected). Each procedure held for about a week, and then fluid would break through and new holes would form. The time came for a vitrectomy and gas bubble. I had the surgery 2 weeks ago.

    I stayed facedown for 2 weeks, and now I was able to cut my facedown time to 12 hours a day, including sleep time. I saw my dr at one day lost surgery, one week, and 2 weeks. I think he’s being extra cautious with me because of the unsuccessful laser repairs. My gas bubble is at 80% now, and I can see the top edge. My vision above it is blurred, due to the continued atropine drops that keep my eye dilated. The bubble is annoying, and very wobbly. It makes me feel dizzy, especially now that I’m able to walk upright again. I’m a very active person and its been incredibly difficult to live life at such a slow pace. I took time off of work and have been home for most of the summer.

    My family has been very supportive, and my mom and aunt have moved in with us for the last two weeks. They are taking great care of me, and the house, and cooking great meals for me and my husband! In addition to helping me with my eye drops ( near impossible to do myself!) I just started doing some catch up computer work, and we plan on taking a trip to Walmart tomorrow. You can’t imagine what a big thrill it will be to do something ‘normal!’ I can’t drive yet, and prefer to keep my left eye covered so I don’t have to look through the fishbowl. And the light show through the closed eye can be rather disconcerting too.

    I didn’t want to read or research anything before the surgery because it would have really stressed me out. But at this point, I’m so glad to have found Bubble Bubble and see how others are coping. I am trying to remain positive, patient, and in the proper position!

      • Hello Buddy;
        Sorry to hear about all your troubles. Yes this is a great place to share our stories. I had the bilateral macular holes to start with and then a retina detachment in my left eye 7 weeks post the hole repair. Anyways at that point I had scleral buckle then lens replacement followed by removal of remaining gas bubble and insertion of silicone oil. I am now 7 months post the detachment and my retina specialist is very pleased. I do have a secondary cataract on the left eye but I think my specialist wants to leave it probably as long as possible because of the risks involved. As she puts it things are stable we want to keep it that way. My vision corrects well even with the cataract but do hope for improvement when they do laser that film off. I am almost a year since this all started and do feel very fortunate that I see and do so fairly well but do hope for crisper vision without floaters etc down the road. Hope things start to settle and stabilize for you too!

  42. I had my macular hole surgery 6 weeks ago. Gas bubble is smaller with 9 small bubbles on the outside. is this normal? Night vision is bad. Sight is better close up but overcast far away.
    Started driving week 4. Nine holes of golf twice. Bubble makes golf harder ha

  43. Nice to hear people going through the same thing…

    I had a vitrectomy about 5 weeks ago for a retinal detachment. The Doctor put gas in my eye and I had to lay facedown 50 minutes out of 60 for 2 weeks. As you all know that was not easy. I was constandtly worried that I would not effectively keep the bubble positioned correctly or that I would turn over in my sleep. Well it looks like things went okay as far as positioning. I think. At least I can see above the gas bubble.

    Now, the bubble has reduced in size around 60% – 65% and is the “black halfmoon” in the bottom of my eye. This is all as it should be.

    The interesting things that I want to share are the Black shadows that seem to move in eye accompanied by a “light show”. Ths shadow was shaped roughly like a fingert pointed at my Macula. At first I worried about this so much I went back to the Dr. After a new examination he said that the retina was still attached so not to worry too much at this point. (His opinion is that you just cannot know for sure before 3 months). His thougts on the black shadow are that the gas bubble causes some kind of interaction with the retina. So a lightshow and shadows may be nothing to worry about.

    Another interesting thing I am seeing can only be described as “crawling worms”. So one good thing about all this was supposed to be that the floaters would disappear. They have been replaced by very small worms. It is not a serious impediment to seeing but definately noticable. My next Eye Doctor’s appointment is in a week. I will not call him again about this but will mention it in the appointment. I am certain this is related to blood vessels …fairly certain.

    I will check back and see if anyone has had similar issues.

    Again, nice to hear all your stories and thanks Belinda!

    • I think my experience is similar to yours, James. I had retinal detachment surgery almost 6 weeks ago and still have quite a large bubble compared to Belinda’s illustration. As the bubble has receded I am now experiencing several streaks of light going upwards from the bubble which are worsened when for example, I look at a computer screen.

      I have spoken to the clinic about this on the phone and they say that this isn’t anything to worry about right now unless my vision worsens or I experience light flashes rather than my current light streaks. Does everyone else get these light streaks?

      I don’t have any floaters, but a couple of times small bubbles have broken away from the main bubble and then disappeared the same day or so, which seems to be normal.

      My macula was off so I expect that there will be some fairly significant loss of vision once the dust has settled. Certainly if I try to read things above the bubble with my damaged eye my reading vision is very poor. I don’t know whether this will improve when the bubble disappears altogether. I don’t think I’ll be able to drive for quite a few more weeks due to the size of the bubble and the fact that I’m certain that I’ll need a new glasses prescription for my damaged eye in any case once the bubble has disappated.

      Finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed their experiences to this blog. It has been most helpful.

      • I’m almost 3 months post surgery (9/24/2013) for a horseshoe retinal tear and subsequent retinal detachment and my gas bubble finally disappeared from my field of vision at about 2 1/2 months post surgery. I had the tiny bubbles break off the main bubble, most I ever notice was 3 tiny bubbles orbiting the main bubble at any one time. My surgeon’s office said this is pretty normal. I also had the light streaks, explanation I got was that it is just the way the gas bubble is refracting light when it enters your eye. I noticed the streaks of light most when I was looking directly at a light source, (computer screen, tv or movie theater screen etc) or if I was outside and the sun was shining. Night driving was very very difficult for me for a time because of this.

        When the gas bubble was still quite large I also got what looked like a 2nd upside down image of everything I was looking at over the top of the bubble. The upside down image was kind of distorted like I was looking through a thick pane of glass or maybe clear plastic.

        I’m noticing today what appear to be 3 or 4 really tiny bubbles wandering across my field of vision, going to have to call my surgeon and see if it is possible for the last bit of the bubble to hide out of one’s field of vision at the very end of the life of the gas bubble. I’m hoping it’s just the very very last of the bubble and that these aren’t actually new floaters…I’m thinking that might be bad at this point.

        I think some of the weird visual distortions, as well as the time it takes the bubble to finally completely go away depends on what type of gas the surgeon uses. When in doubt about a visual disturbance of any kind, I call my surgeon’s triage nurse, she asks the surgeon about anything abnormal. She has saved my sanity on more than one occasion during this misadventure.

  44. I have floaters and I seem to be looking through 1000s of small bubbles. Now at night if I am in a dark room I get a light show with my eyes open. It is in both eyes has anyone had this problem?

  45. Although definitely irritating, my gas bubble is NOT my main concern! I know that will go away and my doctor had explained that in advance and I had also researched my surgery on the internet. I had a vitrectomy 2.5 weeks ago because I had a small hole in my macula caused from a puckered macula. (I also have a puckered macula in my other eye which will most probably need to have surgery sometime in the coming months.) I was a good girl and stayed face down for the required 10 days. I would guess my gas bubble is about 35%…. My issue is the fact I have a blind spot in that eye. As I look at my computer with my surgery eye only, I can’t read anything on this page other than some VERY peripheral words which are still hard to read. Whether I am imagining it or not, it APPEARS that the area where I can’t see at all MIGHT be getting smaller.. The lines I can see on our eye grid are very wavy and I see multiple lines. I expect for my vision to be blurry, but I did not expect a blind spot. I also have one very DARK round floater unlike anything I have ever had in the past. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I see my surgeon next on June 8th. posting this on May 17th….

    • I had my surgery April 1st had 9tears and got the dark black gas bubble and belt. Yesterday I noticed small bubble outside and attached to large bubble. I just emailed my doctor about it. I don’t see her til the 18th of June. If I get an answer before your appt I will tell u want she saids -Kaiser

    • Hello, I hoper you are doing well.
      I had a FOV Vitrectomy on May 31, 2013.
      Please try a look at this video trying to recreate the bubble games I could see the same day I had vitrectomy.
      [video src="https://www.dropbox.com/s/m9rtm0h9ifd29gl/AirBubbles5hoursPostVitrectomy-CGI-Simulation2.mp4" /]

  46. A couple of vitrectomies and handful of laser surgeries everything was finally going fine at around 4 weeks after last vitrectomy however I woke up a few days ago and my vision was very very foggy – cloudy. I’m not sure if this is glare coming off the bubble which is about 1/3rd in size yet or if I have some other complication. I’ve been at this problem since November actually and am getting a tad depressed its us overwhelming.. You can check out my audio here http://www.myeyesight.net

    • Hi,
      Have you given your eye doc a call about the change? The office should be able to answer your question about the fogginess.

      I know that the whole process takes so much time. At one point, I thought that I ought to just go to work for my eye doctor since I was spending so much time at his office. lol. Now, things are stable and my next appointment is a year away. Try not to get discouraged.

      • Hello;
        Really appreciating all these stories that people have wrote regarding their experiences. I had vitrectomy surgery for a macular hole in my right eye 4 weeks ago, the C3F8 gas was used. I have been able to read super small print for the last 2 weeks and can see just above the bubble line but it does seem to have a lot of reflection issues. My retina surgeon is very pleased with my progress and I am scheduled to have the other eye done this week for an identical hole, face down again for 2 weeks. Lucky to have such supportive family and friends. Am very hopeful for good results my vision just before surgery was 20/60 in both eyes. I have been wearing a reading glass for a couple of years but because of the macular holes was finding reading very difficult. I had also noticed waviness to otherwise straight lines, ie mini blinds.

  47. Hi, my name is Joe and i am from the Philippines. I accidentally stumbled into this blog when i googled for patients’ experiences in vitrectomy procedure. Needless to say, i joined the many who had everything good to say reading all the entries sharing their experiences, comforting each other, and encouraging a positive outlook towards regaining precious eyesight! I underwent vitrectomy about a month ago and my surgeon, a very competent and compassionate professional was pleased with my progress during my weekly check-ups. As to the bubble, he explained to me that every movement of mine has to be on “slow-motion” mode, for the reason that he doesnt want any turbulence caused to the bubble such that it will result in the bubble splitting into smaller bubbles, which he says will delay recovery. Lately, however, i informed him that while my bubble had become noticeably smaller, i have seen one, and occasionally two smaller bubbles that are gliding along the periphery of the main bubble, but is not separated from the main bubble, and i asked why this is so, because i have remained in”slow-motion” mode without fail. My doc say that as the main bubble start to shrink leading to its eventual disappearance, the presence of these smaller bubbles are normal. This is the little experience i wish to share to everyone, hoping that it won’t be too long before the bubbles finally are gone. Many thanks for taking the timeto read…and many thanks to this blog…

      • Hi to All, i first posted my experience on this blog last Match 24, and am very happy to share that my eye surgeon had pronounced me ready to resume my normal activities! All in all, it took me 53 days from the vitrectomy procedure to be where I am now. The gas bubble which I had described as “stubborn” had disappeared, but only after it had played games with me, by splitting into several bubbles of varying sizes, back to just one or two bubbles, totallly disappearing and re-appearing a day or two later. This eye ailment episode certainly teaches us the meaning of p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e, and the importance of following doctor’s instructions to the letter. At the moment though, there still exists some sort of visual imbalance from the left and right eye, but since my right eye is normal, the right eye is now dominant so its not too much for a problem. Once again, with thanksgiving to the Great Healer, the surgeon, the clinical staff, support from family and friends, and to this blog that provided me comfort through reading the experiences of other patients, may I greet everyone most heartily! I will continue to visit this wonderful blog from time to time, Cheers 🙂

    • Hello Joe;

      Thankyou so much for sharing your update. When I first found out I had macular holes in my retinas and needed vitrectomy surgeries on both my eyes I found that there was so little known by friends, family colleagues etc about my condition so of course immediately started searching the web. It certainly has a world of information on it but at least you can read about and connect with others that are going through the same thing. You mentioned this various different stages of bubbles and I would agree with that as I noticed a smaller one that was floating around, would disappear for a day or two then reappear, now it is totally gone, strange. Anyways Joe glad to hear that you have been given the green light o resume normal activities that is wonderful!

  48. I’m so glad to have found this blog. Reading other peoples experiences has helped me realise that I am expecting too much of myself too soon. So I shall curb my impatience and guilt. I had my vitrectomy (and other wordy things I cant remember) 6 days ago and keep thinking I should be getting on with things at home. I have ME/CFS, which hasnt been helped of course. I’m mostly shattered. I didn’t really have any pain to start, more of an uncomfortable prickly feeling in some areas. I do seem to be getting more actual pain over the last couple of days though, a bone deep sort of ache. Is this familiar to anyone else?

    Its also great to hear others being light hearted about the situation too. Love the ‘squeak’ name for the bubble! (For non English readers that is an old English dish, Bubble & Squeak. My kids, when little, named their gerbils the same) Does anyone else find it quite beautiful? To me looking over the bubble (with eye shut) has looked like a peachy coral sunset or sunrise over a dark horizon, and once the blue of a desert sky over a land in darkness. The bubble has shrunk enough now so when I look down (eyes shut) I can see it in its entirety, exactly like my own personal total eclipse, surrounded by a corona of sunset colour. With my eye open its like a liquid magnifying glass hung below my face, the centre being clear with a tint of grey, with a dark grey circumference. Quite fascinating but I guess that will pall as time passes! Oh and my facebook pic is now me with a photoshopped pirate patch, cutlass and parrot on my shoulder.

    I have a lot of floaters now, far more than before. Has anyone else found this? Do they go away? Its just as well I’m not afraid of spiders, I keep thinking there’s one hanging next to me.

    My first check up is tomorrow. When this eye settles down completely he wants to get my left eye done (not as bad, no hole yet, only pulling) , then later it will be new lenses in both when the cataracts appear.

    Its interesting to note that the consultant now tells me things he didn’t before. Eg quite breezilly after the op ‘oh its really a 2 year recovery process.’. Thanks for that! Though it makes no difference, it had to be done.

      • Hi. My eye settled very quickly. At my first week appointment the consultant was so pleased with his work he dragged me off to show my eye to nurses down the corridor. The cataract had already started. The bubble disappeared in 10 days. A follow up appointment and scan at 3.5 weeks showed the back of the eye has recovered completely and the floaters have virtually disappeared. I’m getting the occasional cloud pass over my eye though, especially after lying down, but I’m guessing that’s just gunge and that it will settle. I get headaches behind the eye but I’m probably reading too much with glasses that no longer ‘fit’. To be honest my vision is worse than it was as for some crazy reason I never had the distorted vision, despite the scan showing it was pretty bad. Apparently it would all have just ripped apart if I’d left it. I only had the scan done in the first place because I saw a few grey spots with my right eye. Lucky! I’m now booked for the cataract to be done in 2 weeks time and I’ve opted for the multifocal lenses. Has anyone else had these? What are your experiences?

        The other eye will be done later too.

    • Hello Kay:

      Just wondering how you are doing now. I think that the fact that you have floaters is not really a concern as I also mentioned that I was seeing a few here and there and my doctor said that was to be expected.

      • HI Kim. My eye settled well from the vitrectomy. The main floaters have decreased considerably. Hopefully they will carry on doing so until gone. The surgeon said if they don’t he can either zap them with a laser or, I think, wash them out.
        I’ve now had the cataract done, using a multifocal lens. That was Thursday afternoon so not expecting great things yet. My eyelid is very droopy, my vision blurred and I get deep seated aches behind the eye when I move it too much. I move my head rather than my eyes as much as I can.
        To reassure others who may be as scared as I was about having the cataract done whilst conscious……I was given IV sedation as well as painkilling drops and injections around the eye. For me the worst bit was having the canula inserted into my hand for the IV sedation. Once that was done and the happy juice was flowing I was fine. Amazingly so for such a wimp. I felt no pain, could see nothing but bright lights and colours and felt the occasional slight pull. He even did a couple of cuts in my eye to help with the astigmatism as the lens for my right eye doesnt fix that. No real bruising, just dark shadows.
        Its early days as far as vision goes so I cant report on success yet.

    • Hi Kay;
      Thankyou for your reply and it is so good to hear about yours and the other bloggers experiences. I have been told that I also will develop cataracts within 6 months to 2 years. It sounds like your cataract surgery went well and now you are just playing that patience game. I have found this whole thing very humbling and am trying very hard to be patient, I think that is the most important. I will be very glad once this next macular hole surgery is also done and then hopefully will get back to a more normal life. I meant to ask which gas bubble was used for you, or do you know? I have sure read a lot of different things about how long the bubble especially the C3F8 one takes to dissolve and am hoping that it is the 6-8 weeks as I would like to book a flight in a few months time. Hope you have a good week and hope your vision improves daily!

      • Hi Kim. I’m not sure what was used in the bubble, I assumed just air. It only lasted 10 days, which surprised me as I’d expected it to last longer. I hope your next surgery goes smoothly. 🙂

      • Well just returned from seeing my retina specialist and she is very pleased with my progress, I am now 7 weeks post op from surgery in my right eye and am seeing 20/40 which I am thrilled about. I still have the long acting gas bubble and it sits mostly at the bottom of my vision field. It has become very dark around the edges and I find it useful as a magnifying glass. I do not seem to need a reading glass and find reading above the gas bubble works for me. I am hopeful that this bubble does go away soon but was told by the specialist that they take longer to disappear in some people. I stopped the dilating drops in that eye 2 weeks ago and my pupil is still slightly dilated. I am hopeful that my distant vision will possibly be even better once the bubble goes and my pupil is normal. My left eye is 3 weeks post op and the bubble is 60% present. I can read text on my cell phone and when I put my head down I am starting to see the clear area above the bubble. I think this eye has taken a little longer than the other to come to this point. I do a lot of computer work for my job so probably not ready for work for a while yet. I am hoping that cataract surgery can be held off for a while and my retina specialist says that so far my lens are clear. Just wanted to share where I am at with my fellow bloggers and hope everyone else that reads this is also having positives happen in their post op experiences.

    • Hello Kay:

      Well I am now just about 2 weeks from my surgery on my second eye and 6 weeks from the first one. I still have the bubble in my first eye but can see above the bubble. I myself cannot believe how long this process takes, you certainly learn how to be patient. So with that being said I was thinking about you and wondering how things were going.

      • Hi Kim. Patience is proving hard at the moment. My eyesight has been worse since the cataract surgery (18th April), my right eye lid still droops and my right eye lags behind the other one sometimes if I move my head fast to the left. I have ME/CFS so we’re hoping that that plus the vitrectomy a month before are the causes, that it will all improve. At least the pain moving my eye has virtually gone. Everything I read said implied improvement immediately, in fact the surgeon said I could go on to readers straight after the surgery. I’m going to my next appointment armed with questions and may get a 2nd opinion too.At the moment I’m very despondent and wishing I’d not gone with the surgeons choice, and waited till the cataract forced a choice. But to everyone reading this – I really dont think my experience is usual.

  49. I had vitrectomy yesterday. My dr is very gruff and I’d like to buy him a bedside manner. None of these things were mentioned. Also scary for me my right eye is now skewed to the right. Will this correct itself? My eyes have always been my best feature and if this doesn’t fix itself I’m going to be very upset. My eyeball is black from the bleeding and lying face down is a migraine trigger for me. Dr will not prescribe migraine meds to help. He jerked the patch off my eye so hard this morning it felt like my eyeball was coming out too and my face is raw where the tape took off my skin. I haven’t had any pain but have thrown up every color of the rainbow and then some maybe from anesthesia maybe migraine or maybe the combo. I’m in law school and planned this surgery for spring break under the belief that everything would be normal in a week. Now I’m afraid it isn’t true and I have the MPRE in a month and I’m scared I won’t pass it because of this and it’s too late to ask for accommodations. I don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any words of encouragement?

    • Kim – Your experience is very different than mine. If you are worried, please call the doctor’s office. Talk to a nurse or tech about your concerns. There must be someone there who will answer your questions. You will probably not be healed in a week, but the worst ill be over. How long do you have to stay head-down? That will give you a clue about your expected recovery time. It is different for everyone because, as you can read here, there are many different ways of performing a vitrectomy and many different recovery experiences. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and listen to your body. Don’t try to do too much or it will make recovery take longer. This will be worth it in the end. God bless. Belinda

      • I’m supposed to be face down for 7 days. I have 3 papers to write this week and am not getting my energy back as quickly as I normally do after surgical events. I’m sure it must be worth it but I’m having second thoughts about having the other eye done.

      • I called the doctor’s office this morning to schedule my second follow up. I asked to speak to someone about some concerns. A tech came to the phone, “Boo” (which should’ve been a clue). I asked her about my eye being skewed to the right. She didn’t understand so I explained further and she said I’d have to wait and talk to the doctor but in the meantime just keep using the drops. What professional doctor’s office allows his employees to introduce themselves as “Boo” to his patients? What kind of tech can’t answer a simple question about whether a postoperative symptom is normal or if not, even if she’s not allowed to say it is cause for concern, get me an earlier appointment to see the doctor? I am not impressed with this group at all.

    • Hello Kay:

      Oh my, things do not sound good. I totally sympathize, like you said maybe it will just take time for things to settle. From what I was told I will also need cataract surgery but anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. I opted to have both eyes done fairly close together because I really did not want the left one to get any worse. I myself never really had pain in either eye mostly discomfort. I also had a black eye on this last eye. i just also stopped the dilator and antibiotic drops on the right eye and have been told that my sight should improve slowly as the dilator wears off and of course I am waiting for the bubble to disappear. You mentioned a second opinion that might also be something to think about. Hope things improve soon.

    • Hello Kim:

      Just wondering how things are going. After reading all your blogs I thought I better ask how you are doing..
      All I know is that this whole process takes a long time and we have to be very patient!

  50. I am a 67 yr old man and I had retinal laser repair and vitirectomy using the perfluoropropane gas 1 month ago. My vision is returning now, with the bubble top line just below the middle of my visual field when I am looking straight ahead. The vision above the bubble is bright but amazingly distorted. It seems there may be wrinkles in the retina, but my brain is doing the processing and it is getting straightened out.

    I have had headaches and eye ache most of the time. I have been back to work for two weeks, and am very tired. Everything seems to be a struggle. I am so lucky to have my wife to help me. She makes it all worth it. I have had both eyes operated on for cataract, and one of the lenses came loose, and the Ophthalmologist sewed it to the sclera in two spots. Some of the Doctors have wondered if I have Marfans Syndrome, but I do not know. The gas bubble pressure turned the lens sideways, but it is coming back into alignment now. I am looking forward to seeing well again. The retinal specialist says the surgery went very well indeed. When I first noticed a visual disturbance, and first saw my Doctors about it, they thought I was seeing the edge of the lens. By the time a grey curtain was growing over the visual field, it was clear that something had to be done. Surgery was the next day.

    I just hope I have some time to enjoy stuff before something else happens. Guide the hands and guard the minds of our surgeons and nurses, so that sight may be restored.

    • Hi John – Hopefully, your recovery is going well. These surgeries can be miracles, so give your body time to recover. There are many wonderful things to discover in life – with full vision or low vision. Don’t get discouraged. Please let me know how it is going. Belinda

  51. Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine but when opening
    in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, terrific blog!

  52. Hi. October 2, 2012 I had a vitrectomy and gas bubble insert to treat a macula hole diagnosed two weeks earlier. It’s been 11 days now since the surgery and “my” bubbler is much smaller and in residence at the bottom of my left eye’s field of vision, charcoal gray with a black rim. It wobbles like a drop of water and blobs around whenever I turn my head.
    I was very lucky to have had no post-op pain or nausea or dizziness but now, 1 1/2 weeks later, I do have some pretty intense headaches, a new thing for me. I am not yet driving. Nor am I working again since teaching requires so much reading of paperwork and on the computer.
    In August I began seeing distortions in objects in the distance. I called my ophthmalogist the very next day. A macula hole was his diagnosis. Everything moved quickly and out of my control after that. I used the rental equipment, chair and night face support for the posturing recovery at home. My husband growled “head down!” whenever I forgot to do it. After 8 days the dr. said I could stop posturing and we shipped the chair back.
    I had had cataract surgery in both eyes at the start of this year and wonder if that was the cause of the macula hole opening? At any rate, I’m recovering like the rest of you but concerned about the new blurred vision above and around the bubbler. I worry: is the blurriness permanent. And thanks to all of you for contributing your experiences. It is comforting!

    • I just had my vitrectomy a little over a week ago. It started with a retinal detachment that did not go beyond the side of my vision field in my right eye. So it was a relatively mild detachment, which may have contributed to my fast recovery. After a week of looking down for the bubble positioning I was permitted by the surgeon to free my neck and to in start driving and working. He would probably approve, even recommend that I recover at home until the bubble disappears. But I was desperate to get back to normal life, driving my son from school, teaching high school kids. I don’t regret doing so, but it is difficult to do my best when this bubble is in my way whenever I’m looking down. I also have this baby-bubble attached, keeping the big one in company. No headaches (yet?).

  53. I am so happy that people are continuing to find this post and adding their own experiences. Thank you all. I have not been able to keep up with responding to each post, but I do read them as soon as they come in. I rejoice each time someone says that they found it helpful. Please keep the comments coming so that we can all continue to learn from one another. As always, if you have any concerns about your healing please call your doctor.

  54. Thank you for sharing this. Having gone through this and healing, it was great comfort to know that I was not the only one experiencing the bubble effects. I would like to add that the bubble appears to be showing on the outside of the eye, appearing to be a black semi-transparent disk with a black circumference almost in 3D.

  55. I have residual bubbles in my eye after silicon oil removal surgery this past week. One is quite large (It feels like the size of a quarter) and there are at times 9 or more satellite bubbles floating about the mother ship with many smaller glowing orbs out in the galaxy. It is most challenging when my head is in a down position. I am hoping that this condition is not permanent. One of my doctors suggested another procedure to attempt to reduce the size of the large bubble. I can’t find any information on the internet about the benefits or risks of this procedure or the permanency of these bubbles. I too do not feel comfortable driving. I hope to be fitted with new glasses in two months. In the meantime I am trying to make the best of the situation. I have developed a “video” game that I play in my left eye. I try to move the smaller satellites within or into the membrane of the larger Orb by tilting my head as I count the number of bubbles bouncing around. Belinda ~ Thank you for this blog ~ and to all of the others who have shared their “insights” ~ I Whisper Aloha to you.

    • Lois, of all the comments I’ve read regarding the vitrectomy recovery i laughed because I played with my bubble too. I had a vitrec. in Nov 2011 in the right eye, the left one was done this july 2012, due to diabetic retinopathy. The right eye took 6 months to healed well, but I experienced an oozier (bleeding)/set back and endured some vision loss until the remnents of that blood dissipated and that took another 3- 4 months. The right eye is still recovering, as this is the 6th month yet it seems recovery for this eye may need more time.
      But more importantly Ive experienced so much negativity from the optometrist and the opthmalogist while trying to get new glasses. The optometrist suggest that i have cataracts removed then come back yet the opthamalogist felt that the cataracts were not mature enough. So, Im back to square 1. This is Jan. 15,2013 and I still do not have a new pair of glasses. It’s as if the doctors are afraid to take the extra time it takes to examine those of us that have gone through this type of surgery. Now Ive learned that Doctors specializing in “low vision” may be more help. there’s so much more I need to comment on regarding after recovery! If anyone has had luck with a patient yet skillful/knowledgeable optometrist in Houston, Tex please email me @srussell10@gmail.com

      • Hi Ann! My eye doctors were all hesitant to perform cataract surgery because my cataract did not appear to be ready and/or they did not think it would make much difference in my vision. They finally decided to give it a try because my vision had deteriorated so badly. I am so glad they did! The cataract surgery performed a miracle on my vision. Even though they could not get exactly the right lenses and even with all the damage to my macula, the difference in my vision is amazing. It took a LONG time for my vision to stabilize after each surgery, but now I am thrilled. Hopefully, someone will give you the name of a good doc in your area. Don’t give up!

      • Hi Ann,
        We have to keep our sense of humor throughout all of this. Glad that you are laughing along with me. I finally have glasses for driving. It has been nine months since my first operation. I did go in for another procedure to reduce the size of my bubble. It is now the size of a dime instead of a quarter with only one satellite bubble floating around it. Most of the time I can ignore it but whenever I look down it is there bobbing about. This sure is an adventure. Good luck to you and keep smiling.

  56. This site has helped a lot. I read the comments before, during and then again after my surgery. I also had the scleral buckle and vitrectomy with the gas bubble. It’s been 8 weeks and the bubble has finally shrunk to about the size of a quarter. I started driving at 6 weeks, and can work at the computer for several hours each day before my eyelid feels like its drooping.
    I’m wondering if anyone else felt like their eyelid was drooping and gets nervous that it’s the curtain that has come back? I’m always pulling my brow up to make sure that is all I see in my peripheral, but it still makes me nervous. Also, Is anyone else’s eye still red and yucky looking? Mine sure is! And for the women, when did you feel comfortable wearing mascara?

    • Julie, I was happy to see your post. I was beginning to think that my bubble will never go away, it been 9 weeks and a small black spot still remains. I went back to work this week and needed to wear makeup, since I still have very blurry vision in the eye with the surgery puttin on eyeliner and mascara on the opposite eye is very difficult. Good luck!

  57. Good luck with your progress. Im six wk post op on my right and four wk on my left. Thank you for writing this. I was looking for a way to.explain others how I was seeing. Good luck to you.

  58. hey all… am ahmed from egypt … am 22 years old … i had a retinal deattachement on october 2011 after an accident …then i noticed that i had the deattachment and fibrosis in the retina after 4 months from the accident as the deattachement was peripheral and coincident with the other eye…so it was difficult to notice it. so after noticing it …i had the scleral buckle and vitrectomy surgery in the left eye on february 2012 and then the doctor inserted silicone oil in the eye.. after one week from the surgery i was able to see with contact lenses ( plus ” +5) and i was able to drive and walk and do everything…. but the problem here after 6 months ( august 2012) the doctor told me that the silicone oil should be removed and a gas bubble should be inserted …so i went on that surgery 3 weeks ago…and the problem here is that my vision didnt return and is very very very blurred and have a feeling that the gas bubble went away but still the vision is blureeed …so is that okay or there is something wrong….plz help me

    • Ahmed,
      I have had a vitrectomy in both eyes but the doctor inserted tha gas bubbles. My latest surgery was just this past July 2012 and I’m still experiencing some blurring. The other eye took about 6 months to heal. I think you will need to give it time but be aware of your doctor he may be skillful yet may not know how to correctly handle your situation. The only reason Ive mentioned your doctor’s choice is because the retinal specialist I initially chose didn’t quite know what to do and has caused some damage. But, be patient, it really will take a while to clear. This is not an over night recovery. More than likely they informed you as to approx how long your recovery may be based on the different procedures you’ve had.

  59. I’m so glad I found this thread, its good people share their experiences, not just negative ones. I just had my second detachment in 2months, in the first of they put in the long lasting gas. (happened a day I was due to migrate to oz) 😦 8weeks on as I went for a routine check up, I was told it’s all good, retina stayed attachment. On that same night I can see a white veil at the corner of the eye. I thought it was the cataract. But it started to grow. By thurs I went to see the doc and had the second op by Friday morning. This time it’s and short gas, only 70% filled? Why? I haven’t managed to talk to the consultant since. That uk NHS system for you. I hopefully be able to see him next Friday and ask him plenty of questions. I managed to delayed my initial flight til aug 1st. Hopefully the gas be gone few days before, if not I just have to miss it. I just wait to reunite with my wife after 2months. 🙂 has any one travel on the place so soon after?

    I also named my bubble, ‘Squeak’ 🙂

    • Sorry last part should have read……. I managed to delayed my initial flight til aug 1st. Hopefully the gas will be gone few days before, if not I just have to miss it. I just cant wait to reunite with my wife after 2months. 🙂 has any one travel on the plane so soon after? Is it safe? How often should you check up with the Ophthalmologist after your surgery?

      • Hi, I had my surgery on July 16, 2012. I had to be face down for approx. one week and than for 4 hours a day for about 2 weeks. I have been thankful for everyone that has shared about their experiences. I see we are all recovering at different rates. Listening to the doctor is of utmost importance especially the face down. I rented equipment and was so glad that I did. It was fun for the first few days however very important to remain face down as directed. I named my bubble,-Beulah. I find it very amusing when some of the bubble breaks off and floats away. Today I have one on the rim off the bubble and I said Beulah had a baby.LOL. I golf and that has been a challenge. It is difficult to close the eye and I am learning to ignore the bouncing bubble when you swing. At least I have really learned how to keep my head down. Patience seems to be in order with the bubble.

  60. It’s been so good to read all these posts since having a Vitrectomy to repair a Macular Hole 10 days ago. I think I am very lucky to be allowed up in moderation after just 7 days flat on my tummy. The gas bubble moving around has caused me to feel quite nauseous at times, though as it slowly diminishes in size, the nausea is easing. I find I feel exhausted if I have been trying to focus to read or use the computer for any more than an hour. I think having 2 very different images to put together has been messing with my brain a bit too, and I have felt pretty anxious and moody at times, and even had a few tears that apparently came out of “nowhere”. I am grateful for the information I found on the internet, so managed to get myself organised pretty much in advance (I had to wait 4 weeks for the surgery). Also lucky that my boyfriend, family and friends have also been very supportive and helpful…the loss of my independance was the worst thing and I am still reliant on someone else driving me until my vision improves. All in all, I am taking the time out to reprioritise my life and to change my line of work (have been a Reg Nurse for over 35 years) to do something MORe fun and LESS stressful! For anyone who is about to have this surgery, my advice is to read, read and read more stories from other people who have had the same OP…..we all have slight differences, but nothing is too difficult to bear for the return of your eyesight…plus it will teach you things about yourself that you never knew before!

  61. I am 51 and I had a scleral buckle with cryo-plexi done on my left eye twelve years ago to repair the detachment. I was told that a small retinal hole was responsible for it. The hole may, or may not have occured due to an injury. I do not recall, if we agreed at the time whether I had an injury or not (I used to do fairly crazy things for our government back then). The scleral buckle surgery went well, the vitreous was not removed. All was perfect with that eye until twelve years later (now). The scleral buckle somehow got infected and I was advised that it should be removed. I was told that the probability of a recurrence of the retinal detachment as a result of removing the buckle was low, however, there were no reliable stats to guarantee anything.

    As luck would have it a few weeks after the buckle was removed (Feb 2012), I started feeling like something was wrong in my left eye again. I was driving abroad for work when I noticed a grey curtain in my upper right corner of the left eye. After returning I went to a retina specialist and he immediately concluded I needed pars plana vitrectomy. The retina had detached in the same spot as it had twelve years ago, and the same retinal hole had opened up again. I was told that the eye’s anatomy can change when the buckle is removed and it was unfortunate that retinal detcahment had recurred in the same eye gain. Lesson 1: Removal of scleral buckle has a decent probability of inducing another retinal detachment.

    I had vitrectomy performed on my left eye this time, this time around. This was about 8 weeks ago. The process involved removing the vitreous, inserting a gas bubble (C3F8 – the long lasting kind) and the retinal hole responsible for the detachment repaired with a laser. The good news is that after eight weeks, the final remnants of the bubble are now gone. It took a lot of patience on my part, but once I started calling the bubble “my buddy”, I started looking at the situation with less stress. My bubble never broke up in to small bubble, like others have experienced. It kept getting smaller, at a slow pace, until finally it disappeared.

    The vision is close to 20/20 in the repaired eye (the other eye was always ok, thankfully), but having gone through two retinal repairs surgeries over twelve years in the same eye for the same retinal hole, I will naver take any aspect of my vision for granted.

    I am not sure if there are more surprises for my eyes lurking in future, especially any serious issues like retinal detachment, but one hopes not. In both cases, being acutely aware, bordering paranoid about my eyes, may have helped. Lesson 2: If you feel anything unusual in your vision please do not hesitate to go immediately to your retinal specialist.

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. They have meant a lot to me during the past eight weeks of recovery. I will keep you posted if anything goes wrong (I am not the world’s biggest optimist, unfortunately).

    • Hi Sander,
      I am 39 years old and have had two vitrectomies in the last 30 days. The first surgery was emergency surgery done at a lower altitude than where I live to repair a detached retina so I had to have the silicone oil instead of the gas bubble. The second surgery was a week ago near my house at a higher altitude where the surgeon was able to but the gas bubble in my eye and take out the silicone oil. I have been face down for 7 days, which really hasn’t been that bad. I appreciate your post so much as it is good to hear a story that the person recovered to 20/20 vision. I like how you called the gas bubble your buddy – that made me laugh. I am now just able to see mine shrinking so I think I will be stuck with “my buddy” for a few more weeks. Thank you for your post and I wish you the best eye health possible in the future!

  62. Hello to all, My eye surgery was done at the nc eye center in durham nc by one of the best doctors in the business they were all so kind and easy going i am now going on my eight week as of this coming Thursday but i still have the round bubble in the bottom of my eye and i too see little bits and pieces breaking off and going away but man that bit that is left there will get on your nerve/s I too have to go back in to have a cadarack removed as soon as the bubble is gone which I am heping will be around 05/16/12 when i go back to see the dr to make a set up for that surgery but over all I really feel like I can say it was well worth it as i came mightly close to not having it done i will keep you all in touch with my progress and if anyone has any information on having crairacks removed please contact me.

    • Hi Michael,
      I had the cataract surgery done the same week as my vitrectomy – last week on May 1st. Since I had to miss work anyway, my surgeon thought that this is the best way to do it so that I just got it all done at the same time. The cataract surgery is so easy compared to the other surgery with the gas bubble- it really was very fast (surgery itself is just 7 minutes total). I was feeling fine within a few hours of coming home. I did notice that my eye felt a bit more scratchy after the cataract surgery, but definitely not sore or achy like it was after the vitrectomy. If you have already had a major surgery with the gas bubble then the cataract surgery should be a snap in comparison! Best of luck and I will pray for a speedy recovery for you on the 16th!

  63. I had a vitrectomy on March 23 after experiencing what I thought were just floaters… started seeing a shadow with it & thank goodness decided to get it checked out sooner & not later. They did Laser surgery on my right eye in the office that Thursday for the beginnings of a detached retina & the vitrectomy on my left eye the next morning. A little over 2 weeks later, I still have the black bubble at the bottom on my eye & the murky blurred vision even with my glasses. My last visit was discouraging as the Dr. found scar tissue and mentioned something about fluid leaking? He gave me a new drop ($200) for the smallest bottle ever… THANK goodness for insurance. But I am hoping and PRAYING that this will clear up? After reading all these comments I didn’t hear anyone mentioning scar tissue? Not sure if anyone is still even using this site, but it sure helped to know thers have gone through this experience. Thanks.

    • Hi Allison,
      Based on the continuous flow of patients in and out of my retinal specialist office (Houston)..we are not alone. I didn’t even think I would find any type of recent comment with feedback either. I experienced scar tissue after several rounds of laser treatments, The scar tissue was removed this July 2012, via a vitrectomy. The bubble took about 4-5 weeks to completely dissipate. I’m not sure why that bubble took so long to fade. As of today approx 6 months later I still have some blurring but the other eye cleared up right @ 6months, I think this one will take longer to heal/clear. By now your bubble has gone and your vision should be much clearer

  64. Had a gas bubble put in 5 weeks and its srinking and is level with my sight. My question is I can faintly see below the line and also faintly see above the line. both are milky. Will the gas bubble have to disolve complete before I can see. Thanks

    • Hi Mike…I think it depends largely on individuals…mine went away completely after about 3 weeks and yours is certainly taking longer. Usually the bubble splits in 2 or more smaller bubbles and floats around but from about now you will slowly regain more vision each day…its annoying but just be patient and you will see that the operation was certainly well worth it!

  65. Thank you for this blog. I am about to undergo a vitrectomy with a gas bubble next week. Ironically I work for the doctor that is doing the surgery. It’s a very large 10 doctor retinal only practice, so needless to say, I have access to the best doctors in this field. I have actually booked this surgery for other patients in our practice, never imagining it would happen to me. I know every patient is different, I am hoping my experience will be helpful to other patients who have to undergo this procedure too.

    • Good Luck Nina, mine was exactly one year ago and a moderate success although there is still some minor distortion. I got addicted to talk radio whilst looking at the floor and as I live in Thailand used internet radio to get all my UK and US stations! Bubble was gone in 5 weeks….but the whole thing is really worth it as you know so well… May it be a big success!

      • Thank you, it will be just 2 weeks tomorrow, I still have a very small bubble in the vitrectomy eye. The hole is closed at the top, however there was a small amount of fluid trapped at the bottom of where the hole was, still causing vision distortion, which my Dr. said happens frequently and should eventuall close. My vision in the operated eye went from 20/70 to 20/30. My doctor has liftes all restrictions, I can now drive, read, go on the computer, however I will remain out on disability the remainder of this week since the remaining small bubble is still a distraction. I want to see how I do with driving and going on the computer at home first before comitting myself to returning to work full time.

      • I am so glad that you gave updates, Nina. I think it is very important that we share our experiences so that others who have vitrectomies or other eye surgeries can have some idea of the things they might experience and some hope that things will go well. I appreciate your comments. Belinda

      • Thank you, for your comment and your kind words to Nina. I am always amazed at the generosity of the community of people who have experienced vision problems. Best wishes to you. Belinda

    • Just an update for anyone else going through this experience. I have returned to work within 3 weeks after the surgery. The bubble is gone, it just got smaller and smaller, became a dot, then disappeared altogether.
      I can see pretty good, no distortions still 20/30 but the vision is not as crisp as it once was. My Dr. Said it should improve in time, but then there is always the chance of developing cataracts. I still need to see the regular ophthamologist. Overall I am pleased I saved the sight in my eye by taking care of this promptly.

      • Hooray! Great to hear that you are doing so well. Thank you so much for the update. I developed my cataract right on schedule after my vitrectomy, but the cataract surgery was a piece of cake and has made a huge difference in my vision. You give a great testimony to having vision problems checked promptly by an eye doctor. Thanks for commenting and I hope you will write again. Belinda

    • Hi Nina, I am sorry that I didn’t respond right away to your comment. I have been thinking of you often since you wrote. I know that you wrote again later with an update, but my goal is to respond to every comment and so I wanted to thank you for this one first. Thank you for sharing your story.

      • I appreciate your concern. Yesterday, I saw my regular ophthamologist for the first time since the surgery. He was simply amazed at the work done by my surgeon. He said my eye looked normal as though it never had a macular hole. When I had my last OCT 10/17, the small opening closed further and vision was 25/20 in the operated eye! The cataract is still small, vision improved but still not crisp, however I am told this can take a year to totally improve. Overall I am quite pleased and impressed by the surgeon’s marvelous talent as was the regular Ophthamologist. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take care of this right away, had I waited, the results may have been quite different.

      • Hooray! That is very good news. Thank you for sharing and for emphasizing the importance of taking care of vision problems right away. Best of luck to you and please keep in touch.

  66. Hi,
    I had a vitrectomy with a non oil gas bubble insertion about 1 month ago, I am 46. The retinal tear and subsequant retinal detachment was caused by an accidental finger in the eye while dancing. The procedure was also accompanied with cryoprexy to seal the tear. I spent 5 days laying on my left side, I also was unable to do any physical activity except walking following the 5days of laying on my side. I am now able to go to the gym use and elliptical, stationary bike and have been cleared to do yoga but I am not allowed to run or anything the would jar the gas bubble.
    The gas bubble is now reduced to a perfect circle which usually looks like it sits at the bottom of the eye and will move when I move my head.
    The eye is light sensitive and sometimes aches usually near the end of the day.
    I began driving abut a week and a half after the procedure apparently it is legal to drive (in Canada) with one 20/20 eye. I have not returned to work as I am a Flight Attendant and cannot fly until the gas bubble disappears. That is why I am searching on the internet looking for others that have a non
    oil gas bubble and trying to find out how much longer this gas bubble will be around. I cannot see clearly out of the eye but have been told that my vision will be back to normal before the accident but how long I am not sure.
    Thanks for all the posts they do help others like me searching for some new info.

    • Hi Barb. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I hope that by now your vision has improved even more and the bubble has diminished. Best of luck and I hope you visit my blog again.

    • glad to hear some one say they could drive in about 1 1/2 to 3 weeks as I am care tender for my husband and need to be able to drive and help him with things this has been a major worrie for me I am haveing my surgery in two weeks I am haveing the gas bubble the dr says I won’t have to ly face down, can move around , read and watch tv and drive soon after surgery I pray he is right because Myself and my husband completly depend on me. Glad to hear some positive things as I was condepleteing canceling

  67. My vitrectomy was a year and a half ago. I still have a large bubble-like object– gray, clear in the center, dark outer ring, which magnifies anything seen through it– that always reorients itself to the top of my vision as I move my head or eyes. It is accompanied by a number of smaller ones that follow its movements and cluster on and around it. They are seen very distinctly when I rest on my back. I can see them with my eyes closed, and they seem to have an errie glow in some lighting conditions.
    I do not know if these are part of the original gas bubble which did not reabsorb– have been told that this is impossible– or remnants of the heavy liquid that were not removed, but they do have the appearance, physical characteristics, and behavior patterns of the original big gas bubble . I have gotten used to this situation, so it is no longer particularly annoying, and I have flown without incident, so it impacts my life only minimally. although somtimes there are strange glints off these floating objects which I momentarily take for flashes of light. My biggest concern, however, is that I might miss an increase in floaters which could signal a new detachment by mistaking them for the smaller bubble-like objects. (The large one is unmistakeable!)
    Everything considered, however, I am grateful for the chance to have had this technique, and would not want another surgery for the sole purpose of removing these residual bubble-like objects.

    • Hi Minette…….you are most wonderfully tolerant. Please teach me how to be so tolerant…as it would have driven me nuts. My bubbles went away relatively quickly, (about 5 weeks), for any more than that I would have been in the loony bin. ! I have so much trouble in general with my eyes , mostly because of corneal erosion but that vitrectomy surgery was welcome and did close the hole and correct the problem although there is still minor distortion. Good luck in removing the remaining bubbles….You have made me think how lucky I was! Bless you for that!

      • Thank you for your comment, Ron. I agree that Minette’s story makes me see how lucky I was to recover from my bubble so quickly. I had taken it for granted before.

    • Thank you so much, MInette, for sharing your experience. I think it is wonderful that you are able to keep a positive attitude through what surely must have been a trial to get accustomed to the bubble. Please write again and keep me updated on your vision.

    • Minette,
      I am not sure you even check this site any more. I have the same problem you are having with the bubble. Please let me know what your outcome was. Thank you.

  68. i’m really sick of my life…i had the silicon oil removal surgeory 10 month ago & at that time doctor inserted gas bubble in my left eye& it still in my left eye..when this gas bubble is going to disappere . i dont want to live my life with this gas bubble,any1 know when it going to disappear..pleas reply

    • Hi. I don’t know anything about your surgery, but I would encourage you to call your doctor’s office and ask them what you should expect regarding your recovery. My own experience was much different than yours, but I have read many different gas bubble stories. The best person you could ask is your own doctor who did the surgery.

  69. I had a vitrectomy and scleral buckle surgery on Nov 18, 2010, and my gas bubble is finally breaking up. Even the simple graphics you made to show the main bubble and the “friend” bubbles, as I call them, is helpful for explaining to others what they look like. Thanks for taking the time to share your story, and good luck to you for a full recovery!

    • Shannan, thank you so much for commenting. I am so happy to add your experience to the others, to help people see that every vitrectomy recovery is unique. Please visit my blog again.

  70. I was so happy to find your site today. I had a vetrectomy and cataract removal last week. The gas bubble changed yesterday from just being a line across the middle of my eye . I could see over top of the line but nothing below. Yesterday it became a black rimmed circle that bounces when I move my head. I was concerned that this might be come kind of complication, but I see in your blog that others have the same problem. Hopefully this will not last too long. My biggest problem is dropping things -my vision is off. No pain, lots of eye drops. I am afraind to walk too far in the snow (I am in Canada) as I an afraind of falling. Trying to keep busy. My saaving grace for the face down period was a massage table and audio books. Thanks everyone for your experiences, very helpful.

    • Oh, Dorothy, I am so glad you found it, too. And I am thankful that people are posting their vitrectomy experiences so that we can all learn that there are many “normal” reactions to the surgery. It’s best to be very careful walking (snow or no snow) until your vision improves. Best of luck to you and I hope you will continue reading. Belinda

  71. Hi
    this is the 7th week with the bubble. It’s the color of tea with a black boarder.
    The boarder is feathery and floaters spin off and disappear. As the bubble shrinks (very slowly) the tea seems to feed the boarder which now has a depth of 1/4 ” like a halo beneath the boarder. The bubble wiggles when I’m trying to eat,but it moves beneath my vision when I’m slightly reclined to watch tv.
    The bubble appears to float in a clear solution that sometimes reflects streamers 0f light from the TV. I’m guessing that fluid will have to dissipate to.
    My Dr. sez I’m doing well, I’ll be very happy when this bubble is gone, I’ll let know. Ti ll then ” God bless us Every one”, Happy New Year.

    • Jean, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I think it will really help people who stumble across this post to see that everyone’s experience is different. You really describe your bubble well. Soon, it will disappear and you will be amazed at how much better your vision will be. it will all be worth it. Happy New Year and thanks, again, for commenting.

  72. Aha you have given me great inspiration! Doctors always say “depends” I had macular hole surgery on Sept 4 which is now about 3 1/2 weeks. The surgery itself was a piece of cake and afterwards I had little problems…postured for about a week and then kept my head down for the most part for another 10 days. I slept well on my side . Although the whole thing was a terrible bore I survived!! However what is annoying is the bubble black rim and grey/clear inside still beep boppin around. Although it has diminished considerably and occasionally produces small off spring, which go away ,I just wonder after all this time when it will disappear…. although I am back working for a few hours a day I cannot and will not drive and that is a burden for others ….Just need some comforting and details….does it get tiny and then go away or even fairly large one day just disappear the next? I see your s was 4 weeks…. How big was your bubble the day before it disappeared? Anyhow how are you these days? How is your vision? Was it all worth it?

    • Ron, have no fear, the bubble will go away. It sounds like yours is doing just what mine did. Mine finally got smaller and smaller and then was just gone. I have heard stories from many people and most have told me mine disappeared relatively quickly. So, don’t give up if you still have yours for a little while longer. For me, the surgery was definitely worth it. My vision has been much improved since the bubble left. I am developing an expected cataract that will have to be removed, so my vision is a little opaque right now. One great benefit of my vitrectomy is that I had a lot of “floaters” in that eye and they are ALL GONE. It is wonderful to be able to see without having to dodge all the garbage in my eye. You are back to work already? Good for you. I was out of work for a month – and then had an additional two weeks before I was able to drive. I am so glad that you found my blog and that you wrote to me. I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and I hope that you will keep in touch.

      • Hi …yes at one point the bubble looked like Mickey Mouse with ears and I was hoping that Minnie would come and take him away but I will be patient as it is getting smaller , sometimes with satellites, sometimes not., and your words are very helpful. I live in Thailand where medical care is extraordinary and my 2 eye surgeons ( I insisted) are both US trained and educated but I always joke with them in my previous frustration, that they are so used to operating on smaller eyes that that might have some effect on their bubbles….and it provokes hilarity but no firm prognosis! I also see much better even over the bubble, sometimes with streaks etc… but not well enough to drive or at least I dont want to tempt fate. I never had a problem with floaters although I had serious corneal problems in both eyes last year which drove me completely bonkers , but that went away over 3 months…. Driving my company crazy now as I am working from my home office and they tell me its worse than when I am there …but thank goodness for technology although wish it could drive my car also instead of waiting for a driver always…. thanks for your kind words. Bless you! Ron

      • The driving issue is a troubling one. I want to drive and began as soon as my doctor gave me permission, but sometimes I don’t feel very safe behind the wheel. I do not drive at all after dark because I have terrible night blindness. I hope that your bubble goes away soon. I wish you good luck in your recovery. Belinda

  73. I have similar problems though in my case the bubble is permanent as it’s due to silicon oil which ‘escaped’ the extraction process. It’s like a globule of oil rolling across a glass bowl base. I also get the smaller fragmentary bubbles. Champagne like. Hic!
    Trying to maintain a positive attitude is a daily struggle and one I don’t always win but I do believe my problems have made me more understanding of other peoples problems if a lot more irritable at times.
    Good luck.

    • I am sorry that your bubble is permanent. Luckily, mine is filled with gas and not oil, so it is going away. I find myself looking at it all the time, since it is the only thing “in focus” in that eye. I also am working hard on having a positive attitude. I am blessed to have a really supportive family. It also helps to keep meeting people online with similar issues. I love writing this blog and working on getting better at photography. Both of these help me to look forward, instead of focusing on what I am now missing. Thanks for writing and peace to you.

      • I just had a vitrectomy done last Friday July 2nd. My eye still aches a lot and Im afraid to ask my doc for a refill on my pain meds. Also how long does it take for the gas bubble to disappear. How long till you are able to drive,

      • Hi, Nancy. Hang in there. As you can read in today’s post, my vitrectomy was well worth it! My surgeon did not give me pain meds, so I lived on Tylenol for a couple of weeks. My eye ached pretty badly for a while. My eye bubble went away faster than I have heard from other people. I think my bubble lasted about four weeks – after three weeks I could see around it fairly well. I was off work a month and then it was another two weeks before I was allowed to drive. I would say do not hesitate to call the doc’s office to ask questions. It is better to know what to expect than to wonder. If you click on the tab “Looking For Something” at the top of my blog, you will find a list of the posts that I have written that relate to my vitrectomy. I hope you will find them helpful. I was frustrated, at times, because it felt like it was taking forever to heal. All in all, it was a great chance for rest and relaxation. I am so thankful that I had the surgery and that it worked so well. I pray you will have similar results.

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