The risk of serious eye disease increases with age

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – One day, out of the blue, Ray Fernandez noticed changes in his eyesight.

“It started out as a bunch of little dots running around like tiny UFOs, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, was that a flock of birds?’ And oh no, it was something else. It’s in my eye,” Fernandez said.

Two weeks later, a shadow appeared in his vision.

“And right away I knew I had a retinal detachment,” Fernandez said.

“A retinal detachment means that the sensory layer at the back of the eye has literally come off. The reason this is important is because it controls our entire vision. So if it’s lost completely, we could potentially go blind,” said Dr. Amanda Nanasy, Optician at the Eye Center of Pembroke Pines.

Nanasy said that’s why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs.

“Most patients have flickering spots, some flashing lights, some ripples in their vision, some curtains in vision, but it’s not painful, it’s painless vision loss, so it would be really easy for a patient to ignore these signs.” , she said.


Nanasy said the condition typically affects patients in their 50s and 60s, particularly if they are myopic.

“The eye is filled with gel, that’s what holds everything together, and the retina is put under pressure by that gel, and as you get older, the vitreous gel starts to contract, which makes it easier to peel off the retina,” she said.

Fernandez underwent emergency eye surgery, but it happened again three months later.

At that point, doctors used a piece of semi-rigid silicone plastic to hold the retina in place permanently.

“Thank God we live in a place and time where they can fix it. You just have to be very, very careful not to wait,” he said.

Annual eye exams can help identify early signs of a potential problem.

Eye specialists use drops to dilate the pupil, along with special imaging equipment and a manual exam to diagnose problems with the retina.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. The risk of serious eye disease increases with age

Sarah Y. Kim

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