Can computer use be a factor in retinal detachment?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ricardo C, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    A few months ago, I was reading something on my monitor, and realized that part of the text seemed to have "disappeared". It's not that my vision got blurry, it's more like there was something blocking that part of the text. Eventually, that something developed into a rgb-colored "flash". I was afraid I had suffered a permanent burn or something of the sort, so the first thing I did was turn off the monitor. Eventually, the flash shifted positions, became bigger as it moved to the outside of my field of vision, then eventually seemed to go away, but I felt as though my peripheral vision wasn't all there. After a while (an hour or two) the phenomenon had ended, leaving me with a mean headache (not severe enough to be called a migraine, though). After this incident, I started using my monitor at a lower contrast setting, and taking periodical breaks. The flashes reappeared one other time a few days later, and again a couple nights ago, but this time I identified them early and all I needed was to step away from the monitor for a half hour or so. No headache this time, either.

    I had chalked all this up to eyestrain from the hours I spend working at my computer (the flashes have only appeared while using the computer), so I wasn't too worried. However, today I looked up at the clear sky and saw several "floaters", which frightened me, since I'd only had one that I knew of, and it'd been there since I was a child. Looking up, I saw about five, which I can't see at all except when looking at the sky.

    I did some reading on the net, and found that while floaters and flashes are not always symptoms of retinal detachment, they can very well be. I know I should get an eye exam to rule it out, but I won't have the money for it for a few more days. In the meantime, if anyone has experienced this, and could tell me what to expect, I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    As an ophthalmologogist, I would have to advise u to go one of us, not an optometrist. The latter would see the problem but then u would just be referred to an eye surgeon, so its just saving time and going direct.
    As u have said, floaters r quite normal especially for those with myopic or nearsighted eyes. These r made up of debris floating around the "gel" of the eye.But as we always say, once the number suddenly increases, it may be a precursor for something more grave happening inside the eye such that it must be looked at immediately. I am now urging u to go, basically , I'm trying to scare u to go out now! The retina has to have good blood supply in order to function properly, like most eveything else in the body so if it is detached...An increase in floaters could mean a rupture in the blood vessels, tearing of the retina itself, etc.
    As for ur computer use, no, it would have caused the detachment. The most it can do is give ur eyes more work which would cause eye strain, headaches, etc. Now if ur having the symptoms and have been excessively rubbing ur eyes, that's a different story.
    Now, I have to say something to protect myself...a disclaimer of sorts. I have not seen u or ur eyes so I may be off. I only offer advise per ur description of the problem but one always has to play safe with the eyes, right?
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks for the reply, Eric [​IMG] I'll get checked out as soon as possible [​IMG]
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I used to rub my eyes all the time (damn allergies). Would that cause permanent eye damage?
     
  5. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  6. Shane Bos

    Shane Bos Second Unit

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    I see an opthamologist that specializes in detached retinas as I have a family history of such thing. My Dad has had both retinas detach. The first was his right eye back in about 1988 and they did surgery twice but both times it failed so he's blind in that eye. Then in 1998 the retina detached in his left eye and after 3 surgeries they managed to re-attach it.
     
  7. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Max...depends on how u rub them, of course too much roughness could cause damage. Common sense dictates that if it hurts, then maybe it is damaging.

    John....we give a few kinds of medication for the eyes by mouth, most of the time for retinal problems which as u may guess r quite not in our "reach" to treat. There is an eye drop for floaters but sometimes it helps, most of the time not. Some of these medications have clinical studies backing them, some just anecdotal so it anyone's call to take them.
     
  8. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

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    I'v got hundreds of floaters of all shapes and sizes. The first year I noticed them (they all appeared at once it seemed) it was quite alarming and it worried me to no end. However, I eventually just "got used to them...," though I never drive without sunglasses.
     
  9. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    When first reading Ricardo's post, I got thinking that maybe he actually was getting migraines. The same "blind spot" thing happens to me about an hour before I get a migraine. I went to a doctor to see if everything was normal. The doctor told me that what I was seeing was something called "aura", which is usually a precursor to a migraine. For me however, once I see this aura, this nothing I can do to stop it, and I know a migraine is inevitable. There's a strong medicine, I think it's called "Zomig Rapimelt" that works pretty well with migraines.

    Enh, just my $0.02.
     

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