Eye Exams and Horseshoes

Jan 26, 2021


Do you ever put off going to the doctor because you hope your problems will clear up on their own?  I think we all cross our fingers and hope for a little luck in that way sometimes.  When it comes to your eyes, there are times when it is very important to see your optometrist right away.  Urgent symptoms include sudden loss of vision, eye pain, new flashing lights or floating spots, or a curtain over your vision.  A patient that I saw a few weeks ago is a great example of one of these time-sensitive situations.  

This patient called to make an appointment at our office for a medical visit, complaining of new spots floating in his vision.  They were different in appearance from the typical floaters he would see.  He described them as falling pieces of ash in the left field of view of his left eye.  He also felt like his vision was blurred in his left eye compared to his right eye.  He mentioned that he had been in a car accident two days prior and that his symptoms had arisen since then.  

We instructed him to come into the office right away.  Often, when there is a trauma such as this, there is the possibility of a retinal tear.  The retina is the layers of tissue that records everything you can see.  Upon examining him, I found that he had 20/20 vision.  It is important to know that even when vision is 20/20, there can still be a serious problem.  I dilated his eyes right away to get a thorough view of his retina.  During this dilated exam, I discovered that he had a horseshoe tear in his retina.  I was also able to verify this with images taken on our state-of-the-art retinal camera.  

A horseshoe tear is aptly named for the horseshoe-shaped tear that forms when the retina has been damaged.  There is a significant risk of these types of tears forming retinal detachments, particularly if they have been caused by a traumatic event.  If retinal detachments are not treated promptly, they can lead to permanent vision loss or blindness.  They are especially worrisome if they are located in the top of the eye since gravity can speed up the process of detaching.  

In this case, I was able to get the patient to a  retinal surgeon who was able to do surgery first thing the next morning.  Since then, he has been recovering well and happily, did not lose his vision!  



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At Optical Centre, Inc you will receive only the highest quality eye exam with our eye doctor in the Longmont, CO and surrounding areas. Call us at 303-772-6650 or schedule an appointment online with our highly trained optometrist in Longmont. The next time you need an eye exam be sure to visit the Optical Centre, Inc where we always put the care of you and your family first.


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