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Retinal Occlusion

March 31st, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Random Stuff | #
For those curious what it's like seeing with retinal occlusion... (aka RVO, RAO, CRVO, etc)

The first time your eye goes out, everything is white.  This happened for my left eye in the spring of 2012.



Sometimes your eye recovers by next morning and things seem normal for a while.  When I visited the doctor several times, each time I was told to just ignore it, that they couldn't find anything wrong with me, and that I was too young to have health issues.  They took a blood test of me which only revealed very normal stats; if anything, my cholesterol, glucose, sodium, etc were below average (although still within normal range) and my risk assessments across the board were low.

After a few weeks, I started seeing flickering in the center of my vision, sort of like broken static or very bright pixelization.  This only got worse and didn't go away no matter how much I tried to sleep it off.



A month after all this started, the doctor finally tells me I have retinal occlusion, which is that the vessels going to the back of my eye burst and flooded the eye with blood.  I end up having to get direct needle injections into my eye to clear the blood and prevent excess blood vessel growth.  This repeats for several consecutive months and then less frequently every few months for about 2 years.  

The best my vision gets after all the injections is constant dark oily swirls as if I always have to rub sleep from my eyes.



Every so often, the flickering static returns and I have to go back for immediate injections again.  The doctor tells me the damage is permanent and irreversible.  They still don't know why it happened and say that they usually only see this in people in their 90s and older.  If I started the injections just a month or two later, I would have lost my left eye completely.

Considerations I've had on my own so far:
1.  Ironically it happened the semester I *stopped* running around between 12 different clubs and taking 8 courses at the same time.  During spring of 2012, I instead only had 1 class left to take and no other activities.  Maybe it means I physically cannot allow myself to have nothing to do. (sarcasm of course, but it goes against the intuition that I was pushing myself too hard or over-exerting)
2.  There was one week where I neglected to eat or drink anything because I was working on code non-stop.  However, this was several weeks after my eye first went out, so it wasn't a cause, although it might have exasperated it.
3.  This was around the time I created Tech Trader.  Although it only took me a few months to code, this might have been the hidden cost.
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