Double Vision After Retinal Detachment Surgery

Double Vision After Retinal Detachment Surgery

Double Vision Can Follow Retinal Detachment

Decreased vision and double vision (aka diplopia) after retinal detachment surgery may occur, yet is not common.  The perception of “double” is more common than actually seeing two of everything.  There are several causes for really seeing two images following retinal detachment surgery.

Scleral Buckle May Cause Diplopia

A common method to fix a retinal detachment involves the use of a “scleral buckle.” This involves placing an element, usually silicone rubber, on the outside of the eye and underneath the eye muscles.  The visual effect of a scleral buckle is an increase in myopia (nearsightedness) and/or astigmatism.

Scleral Buckle for Repair of Retinal Detachment

At times, manipulation of the eye muscles can cause true double vision.  The muscles may get injured or impaired such that the eye does not move in coordinated fashion with the other eye.  Diplopia can occur with this muscle imbalance.

The prescription for glasses will change after scleral buckle surgery.  Large differences between the two eyes leads to a condition called anisometropia.  Basically, this occurs when the prescription change between the two eyes is so large the brain actually does see double.

Why?  Inherent to large changes in prescription is a change in the actual size of the image that we see.  Thus, with large changes, the brain actually sees two images of different sizes.

With anisometropic double vision, one see double because the images are too different for the brain to make into one (this is, in part, why we get depth perception, the two eyes gives us slightly different views of the same image).

This is probably the most common cause of “double vision” after retinal detachment surgery.

Cataracts Can Cause Diplopia

Gas is commonly used to repair a retinal detachment.  A common side effect of intraocular gas is the hastened formation of a cataract.  This, too, can change the prescription of the eye pretty dramatically.  “Double vision ” can result from cataract formation by causing a strong shift in the prescription and by physically altering the light as it comes into the eye.

What Does This Mean? True double vision, where the eyes are misaligned after surgery is quite uncommon after retinal detachment surgery.  There are many causes of decreased vision following retinal detachment surgery and many are described as “double vision.”

Many cases are actually caused by changes in the prescription, either due to physical changes of the due to the scleral buckle, or, due to advancing cataract.

Happily, most cases can be fixed.  If the retina is functioning well enough for the double vision to be “seen,” then it’s likely corrective measures can be taken.

Specifically, eye muscle surgery can help if there are true muscle problems, whereas cataract surgery or correction with a stronger contact lens may be helpful, too.

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  • Steve Oliver
    Posted at 21:58h, 25 January Reply

    I’ve had three surgery’s in the last five months to reattach my retina. The third surgery they place silicone oil in my retina to keep it attached. Do you know when is the best time to remove this oil and can you recmmend someone that can help me with my double vision? I’m located in Central IL. I’m a self employed contractor and having a diffilcult time performing dailey task in my industry. I’m anxious to see again and put this behind me. Can you recommend a specialist close to my area that can help me with my double vision? I’m losing faith in my Doctor and doesn’t seam to be any sense of urgency to help me!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:22h, 26 January Reply

      Dear Steve,

      I am sorry to hear about the past five months.

      Depending upon the “health” of the eye, silicone oil may stay indefinitely. Some docs feel that the oil is toxic to the eye. Anyway, as long as you are attached and your eye seems to be holding up okay, no rush to remove the oil.

      Can you give me a better idea of what central Illinois means? I think I know someone in Springfield, but not sure if that qualifies for central Illinois.

      All the best,


  • Aneuk Nanggroe
    Posted at 10:43h, 05 February Reply

    I have had one surgery to reattach my retina. My eyeseight is better now, but it was not as wide as before and everything looks skewed and blurred. Can I correct my retina again with another surgery ..?
    My doctor don’t say anything about that.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:51h, 07 February Reply

      Dear Aneuk,

      Based on what you have told me, probably another retina operation won’t be helpful. I”d ask your surgeon, as he knows your case best, what options there might be.

      All the best.


  • James L. Jackson
    Posted at 17:36h, 12 February Reply

    FINALLY I have found others that are experiencing the same problem I have. On July 1, 2010 I had a detached retina that was repaired by using the gas bubble method. After the surgery, I experienced the problem of seeing double part of the time. I was diagnosed with a cataract (which I did not have prior the the surgery) and it was repaired in Sep 2010. New glasses were then prescribed in Nov. 2010. Here it is Feb 2011 and I still have the same problem even though my eyes were tested and was told that I have 20/20 in both eyes. Is there any solutions to my problem and if so what doctor would you recommend . I live in middle TN and Birmingham, AL or Nashville, TN would readily be accessible. Thanks…

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:41h, 19 February Reply

      Dear James,

      Hang in there. Don’t get frustrated. Possibilities include cataract, imbalance between your the lens in each eye to correct your vision and muscle problems, to start. Ask your doctor what he/she thinks is the most likely cause.

      Almost always there is a fix.


  • Chris Small
    Posted at 00:41h, 17 February Reply

    I have just had a retinal detachment in my right eye repaired using vitrectomy, 360 buckle and laser. This was 6 days ago. The bubble is descending – it looks like a magnified, tinted fish bowl with a thick black edge – is this normal? In the portion of vision reappearing at the top of my eye it seems to fluctuate with the amount of cludiness

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:51h, 19 February Reply

      Dear Chris,

      As the bubble absorbs, the “shadow” from the bubble will move closer and closer to the floor. The uppermost retina serves vision from below and vice versa. With regard to the cloudiness, wait until the gas is absorbed.


  • Chris Small
    Posted at 00:47h, 17 February Reply

    Sorry struggling with the buttons on iPhone – I meant to ask if the fluctuations of cloudiness are normal, I go from functional to quite opaque? One last question is should I be concerned at the large number of post operative floaters? One is extremely large. My surgeon was quote happy with the progress and seems very proficient but would appreciate some outside input.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:52h, 19 February Reply


      As long as your surgeon is happy…don’t worry.

      Everything you mentioned sounds reasonable.


  • Chris Small
    Posted at 16:47h, 20 February Reply

    Thank you Randall. The large floater appears to be already dissipating and the shadow from the bubble has also decreased somewhat.

    May I ask about 2 other phenomena that I am experiencing the first is a glow or bright spot in my central vision that I can see when my eyes are closed or in darkness. It makes the shadow of the gas bubble appear purple and looks similar to an eclipse when highlighted against the rim, or an imperfect oblong of light towards the centre of the shadow or when my eyes are open in a dark room.

    The second is a reflection, similar to say looking out through a soap bubble in my central vision – when I had an ultrasound the day after surgery the registrar thought he could see a blister, but after consultation with the specialist I was sent home. I think it may be due to the sf6 gas, but I am curious.

    Forgive the lengthy question but this is my only eye (lost the other due to RD at age 15, 22 years ago) so I am doing my utmost to educate myself about the many phenomena I am experiencing to sort the benign from the more serious. Working with graphics and the outdoors industry I really need to protect this eye for my livelihood that I love – and that pays the mortgage.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:04h, 21 February Reply

      Dear Chris,

      I think it best to wait until all the gas has been absorbed before testing your vision. In my experience, the vision is never “normal” with any amount of residual gas.


  • Chris Small
    Posted at 23:01h, 22 February Reply

    Thanks Randy I really appreciate your input, it is great thing you are doing here.I’m glad your pooch is OK – if you ever pass through New Zealand look me me up. Thanks again.

  • Reenie Santoro
    Posted at 12:28h, 24 February Reply

    I had a detached retina in the right eye on Sept 16th, 2011. Vitrectomy, laser and gas bubble were used. I woke up one morning two weeks later, Oct 2, and couldn’t see. The gas bubble had disappeared. I immediately went to the Retina Specialist and was informed that I had another detachment in a different place in the same eye. Once again, I had surgery the next morning, laser and gas bubble again.

    The gas bubble lasted 8 weeks and during that time the doctor informed me that I could do no lifting and nothing that could possibly jar my head. No even a walk around the block (for the eight week recovery). Once the gas bubble was gone, not only was my vision in the right eye distorted, I now have double vision.

    Each eye alone does not see double, but both eyes together I have double vision. On January 21, I again had surgery to remove scar tissue in the hopes that the distortion would be helped and also that it would lessen the possibility of a third detachment. The second detachment was caused by scar tissue from the first surgery.

    The third surgery was somewhat successful in that much of the scar tissue was removed, but the distortion has not changed and I still have severe double vision. The double vision is worse than the distortion.

    This has caused a drastic life style change for me. Driving is difficult at best so I only drive during the day, in familiar surroundings and only in off peak hours.

    My doctor said that perhaps glasses with a prism will help. I asked about eye exercises to strengthen the muscles and he said it would not help me.

    I cannot believe that one day I had 20/20 vision in each eye and the next day I was just about blind and still after 5 months, it is the same.

    Please offer any suggestions that you may have. Thank you.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:12h, 27 February Reply

      Dear Reenie,

      By your description, it sounds as if the double vision is due to misalignment of the eyes due to the fact your doctor is suggesting correction with glasses with prism.

      I would follow his advice, but would do so by seeking an evaluation of a pediatric ophthalmologist. Pediatric ophthalmologists (like mine) specialize in alignment disorders children … and adults. Trust me, they can do wonders!

      All the best,


  • Reenie Santoro
    Posted at 13:00h, 27 February Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong: Thank you for your suggestions. If the professionals can help me, I will let you know the outcome. Best regards, Reenie

  • Constance Dvoretzky
    Posted at 13:08h, 09 March Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    I had a detached retina on Nov. 8, 2010. Since then the recovery has been slow. I want to thank you for this website and for offering patients the opportunity to post their stories. I have seen my doctor for all the follow-ups and told him about my ongoing problems, but he offers very little explanation or commentary. Reading the tesimonials in your site has informed me that I am not the only one having these problems. At my last appointment, my surgeon said, “Well, maybe you can just get used to it.” I told him that I’ll never be able to get used to seeing everything in an hour-glass shape with my operated eye, having double vision (especially driving at night), loss of depth perception, and totally blurred vision with that eye. The glasses have helped me to be able to drive, but it demands extreme concentration. I drive only on the most straight-forward roads that I know well. Not on the freeway for sure. Now, my question: would eye exercises help? I do have an appointment with a pediatric opthalmologist scheduled, but I thought perhaps I could start some exercises before then. Your comments will be most appreciated.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:51h, 10 March Reply

      Dear Constance,

      I would look forward to hearing the advice of the pediatric ophthalmologist. Going out on a limb….not aware that any exercises are needed.


  • manoj
    Posted at 10:56h, 13 May Reply

    after RD surgery my vision is doubled and in close view object waved but seen eye number was high before surgery doctor say that no glass can match now after surgery you have to carry on with one eye there is nothing more that we can do said the there is any solution that i can regain my close to normal vision?please suggest. thanks

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 17:44h, 16 May Reply

      Dear Manoj,

      I really can not even make an educated guess as to what has happened to your eye. If you could supply me with more information, I might be more helpful to you.

      All the best.


  • Michael W. Cook
    Posted at 13:53h, 24 May Reply

    I would greatly appreciate some advice. Briefly: I had a retinal tear repaired April 8, 2011 in my right eye. I got a new lense in my glasses for that eye on May 23, 2011. The new lense has a prism in it because I have experienced dobule vision since the surgery. However, the news lense did not eliminate or even, apparently, reduce the double vision. And, the vision is still blurry in the right eye, even with the new lens. (I had a full-blown retinal detachment in my left eye 15 years ago, and I still have a pseudo hole in the macula of that eye. As a result, my brain is trying to rely more on my right eye to see well.) I believe three months is generally the healing period for a retinal tear, so what I am experiencing may simply be because it’s only been about six weeks since the surgery. However, I have a great deal of fear around this issue, i.e., that additional surgery will be necessary and/or that I may have double vision the rest of my life. I would appreciate any comments from Dr. Wong and others. Thank you very much.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 18:26h, 28 May Reply

      Dear Michael,

      How was the retinal tear repaired? Laser is common and cryotherapy is used at times. I don’t think either would lead to double vision, however. Is it likely that you had double vision prior to the retinal tear?

      Also, ask your doctor why you blurry vision.


  • Michael W. Cook
    Posted at 18:51h, 25 May Reply

    Dr. Wong:
    I should add for clarification that I now have a buckle in each eye. It has been suggested that the buckle in my right eye (the one I had surgery on last month) may be impacting one of the eye muscles, which may also still be swollen from the surgery; and this could be the cause of my double vision. I’m continuing to use Nevanac eyedrops twice a day.
    Thank you.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 18:28h, 28 May Reply

      Ok, this is more understandable.

      I have had only one patient in 18 years result with double vision from a scleral buckle. I would hope that the swelling is temporary and you may not need the prism in the future.

      You could also ask to have the double vision measured to monitor any progress.


  • Troy Evans
    Posted at 19:12h, 25 May Reply

    Dr. Randy,

    I recently had RD with mac-off in my left eye. My surgeon completed a pneumatic retinopexy and vitrectomy. My gas bubble just went away. However, this is not confirmed. My vision in the eye is distorted. My depth perception is off. Things appear far away when they are close. Is this normal after RD surgery? My eye surgeon explained it would take time for the vision to restore, possibly six months. Before the surgery my surgeon explained that my left eye was at 15% after the surgery he expects me to be roughly at 95% – 97%. However, it will take time. Base on your experience will my vision come back to at least 80% – 90%. What is the success rate of vision being retore with mac off RD. Please advise me and keep me in your prayers.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:51h, 29 May Reply


      Your symptoms certainly sound consistent with a mac-off detachment.

      I hate when doctors give % of vision return…I don’t know what that means. However, your biggest prognostic indicators for excellent vision returning are your age (how old are you?) and the duration of the macula-off/macular detachment (if you know)?


  • DavidF
    Posted at 13:15h, 29 May Reply

    Dear Randy,

    I had a laser vitrectomy 10 days ago for a RD and also had a bubble of SF_6 inserted. They didn’t do a scleral buckle. I have more or less the same symptoms as Chris Small above — i.e., a purple glow around the interface of the bubble (which is now receding) plus a sort of purple hotspot visible when my eyes or closed or in darkness. However, in the part of my eye that is clear of the bubble, when I look straight ahead, straight lines seem slightly distorted, i.e., wavy. I didn’t have this before the RD. I’m not sure if this distortion is caused by the bubble (which has, so far, only dispersed about 50% or less I’d guess) or if it’s something else. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 00:04h, 03 June Reply

      Dear David,

      I have learned that there can be a myriad of visual changes/symptoms with gas in the eye. While I can’t be definite in your case, I would bet that your symptoms may be related to the gas in the eye. As long as your doctor continues to see you regularly and you remain attached, you are ahead of the game.


  • Michael W. Cook
    Posted at 13:30h, 31 May Reply

    Dr. Wong:
    Thank you very much. The double vision seems to be going away. I will see my optometrist and my surgeon in the next couple of weeks, and I will follow up per your suggestions.
    Mike Cook

  • Troy Evans
    Posted at 10:18h, 01 June Reply

    Thank you for your response Dr. Randy.

    I’m 40 years old and I’m guessing my mac was off 7 to 10 days.

  • Troy Evans
    Posted at 10:22h, 01 June Reply

    Dr. Randy,

    I had a follow up visit last week, Thursday. I’m seeing 20/40 out of my left eye, where the RD occurred. I increased one line since my surgery on May 10, 2011. Again, I’m 40 years old and my mac was off 7 to 10 days. The gas bubble is completely gone. What are your thoughts of my vision improving more.

  • DavidF
    Posted at 11:23h, 03 June Reply

    Thanks Dr. Randy,

    As the gas bubble reduces the symptoms are slowly diminishing but I suspect that there will remain a bit of distortion — I’ll post what happens just for reference. The purple “light” is going too but it was a strange phenomenon. It looks exactly like the central image in the link below, but uniformly purple and glowing — and the peak oscillates up and down. It has almost vanished at this point. I’ve only found one other reference to this phenomenon which is that of Chris Small on this thread!

    Again, thanks so much for the insight.


  • Mohan
    Posted at 13:42h, 11 June Reply

    Dr. Randy,
    I had a macular off retina surgery with gas bubble about seven weeks ago and have been visiting my doctor every three weeks. I have been told that everything is going well, but I still see wavy, objects distorted, pictures, door frames etc look wavy. My doctor says this may go away or I may have to live with this. I still have gas bubble about 20 percent. I am thinking of getting to see other doctor for second opinion. Is this something normal and would go away with time.? I am 60 years old.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:50h, 14 June Reply

      Dear Mohan,

      I have never paid attention to any visual complaints as long as gas is still in the eye.

      I’d wait until the gas has completely resolved before moving forward or making plans of finding another doctor.


  • D.D.
    Posted at 01:27h, 12 June Reply

    After 5 attempts over the past 18 months to keep the retina in my left eye attached, my doctor has said he can do nothing more. I have had gas and oil bubbles and have a complete buckle but the retina continued to scar and pull loose. What can I expect to have happen now to my eye? Is is going to shrivel up? What might the timeline be like? My doctor said that putting oil back in my eye might prolong the normal appearance. I am trying to decide if having another surgery is worthwhile.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:54h, 14 June Reply

      Dear D.D.,

      I am sorry.

      If the retina can be reattached with oil in place then you might be able to avoid the eye “dying.” Regardless, you have had many surgeries with repeated detachments and the eye may be slowly “dying.”

      Phthisis bulbi is the clinical term for this situation.

      Get more surgery if you can’t face losing the eye. It may be worth the effort, but again, no guarantee.

      If the eye is lost, eventually, plastic surgery is possible to preserve a perfect cosmetic appearance. An oculoplastic surgeon can recreate an eye…even with movement.

      If the eye is turning phthisical, it will be a slow, but progressive process and may take several years.

      Take care,


  • Mario
    Posted at 01:52h, 21 June Reply

    When I was about 12 years old I had an accident in my left eye. An antenna, from a vehicle, hit my left eye scratching it and detaching my retina… for the next three years I had from three to five surgeries if not more. Now I’m 19 and the truth, I don’t really know if my left eye is getting better but I have some days in which I feel I see better than others… They used many methods to re-attach my retina, the bubbles inside the eye, heavy liquid, silicone, and a few other. I haven’t seen any ophtamologist in a while and I’m still doing what I used to do before. This is just something I wanted to share.

  • Mario
    Posted at 01:53h, 21 June Reply

    I also forgot to mention, with the little vision I have in my left eye, I just see as if i was under water, everything wavy… but I dont really have double vision… I feel that if that water wasn’t there, i would see better…

  • B.V.Venkatesha
    Posted at 13:22h, 11 July Reply

    Hi Doctor,
    I’m venkatesh 26 year old from India. I had Ca-tract in both eyes by birth it has been operated twice first time when i was 5 year old & interact lens has been placed when I was 10 year old. I had also been treated by yag laser twice. But when I was 15 year old i was diagnosed retina detachment in my right eye. It was operated that time only but operation was not successful. I have no vision in my right eye now. Is there any technology now that I can get back my vision. Please tell me if it is possible. How much it may cost.

    Desperately waiting for your reply,

  • B.V.Venkatesha
    Posted at 13:27h, 11 July Reply

    Hi Doctor,
    I forgot to inform they had used some gas in my retina detachment operation.

  • Mohan
    Posted at 00:14h, 23 July Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    Now it is almost twelve weeks since I had macular off retina surgery and gas bubble in eye has dispersed, but I still see wavy distorted objects. The vertical and horizontal wall edges look wavy, all picture frames look distorted. My doctor says that I need to wait few months for this to go away, but I have not noticed any improvement. I wonder if this would go away or I would have to live with this.
    Do you recommend going to another doctor for check up?


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:05h, 24 July Reply

      Dear Mohan,

      If you were to have swelling of the macula from a retinal detachment, it can sometimes take months for the vision to return…if at all. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have someone else take a look at you…at least you get peace of mind.

      Good luck. Keep us informed.


  • Lou
    Posted at 02:37h, 24 July Reply

    I had retinal detachment surgery May 26, 2011, scleral buckle, gas bubble and 10 days of positioning, I am 58. Everything was going fine until a check up afew days ago detected scar tissue. My doctor recommended that the resulting cataract to be removed on Sept 14th. The reason for this he stated is that in the event that the scar tissue causes another detachment which he said is possible in the 20-30% probability range, a second detachment surgery would be less complicated. A few questions? Does this sound like the correct order of events? Once the cataract is removed, is it possible to remove the scar tissue instead of waiting for another detachment to occur? Waiting for another detachment to occur is unnerving to say the least. How is scar tissue prevented from forming? Thank you kindly. One more question, what time period after surgery would be a window where you know that there will be no scar tissue develop?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:09h, 24 July Reply

      Dear Lou,

      The order of things is okay, but the term “scar tissue” is used too general. Your doctor might be referring to “scar tissue” as an epiretinal membrane and this would be quite common and it may make sense to wait until Sept. for any further intervention, including cataract surgery.

      Epiretinal membranes do not, by themselves, usually cause retinal detachments.

      I wonder if your doctor is worried that you have developed PVR (proliferative vitreoretinopathy). In my experience, this leads to retinal detachments rather quickly and waiting until September seems excessive.

      Don’t be hard on your doc. I really am guessing and need more information…it may be more plausible to think that if you DON”T detach, then remove the cataract in September.

      All the best.


  • Susie Gillespie
    Posted at 06:15h, 26 July Reply

    I am 47 years old, female, mother of two elementry age children, and married to the most generous compassionate man on the planet. The only thing he requires of me is to breath! 🙂 It’s been ten days since RD-gas bubble surgery. My second follow-up visit yesterday reported a major setback because of “bleeding out”. Dr said from day one to sleep on my left side, sit only in a complete up right position, don’t bend over, nor lift anything. In these ten days it’s been hard to remember to follow these instructions with perfection as some things can not be prevented, heaven forbid I sneeze or vomit. (I’m not being gross but it has been a fear of mine…. I imagine that it true for most gas bubble patients.) I found this thread this early morn as I was concerned about this spectacular purple glow just under the edge of the gas bubble, visible even in darkness. I understand from reading some of these other questions and comments that this is normal. (Thanks!! That’s encouraging. I am so thankful for your page!)

    I am trying to be careful but life happens everyday and some things are unavoidable. I’m not sure I have what it takes to recover successfully. The time frame is incredibly long for a homeschooling, animal loving, mother of two children and pampered wife. Outside of staying in bed with the blankets over my head, I don’t know how I could take better care not to injure the eye. The doctor, whom I trust greatly, says this is a major setback for recovery. My question is, just how careful do I have to be to have a good follow-up result?? Seriously, do I need to stay in bed? I can’t imagine how I could have been much more careful although friends and family would argue that fact. I’m frustrated, fighting depression (bi-polar) and pretty much scared to death I will never have use of this eye again. AND I feel guilty for these emotions as it’s “just another day in paradise” for me, compared to what many people around me are going thru in life. (pressure in eye measured 26. Dr. added NEW DROP and a follow-up visit in a couple days to re-check.) Would complete bed-rest for six weeks bring the most favorable results? Can you feel the frustration?? And it’s only been ten days!! Long long journey ahead. You’re the best Dr. Randy! Again, thank-you so much for this site.

    Delaware, USA

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:41h, 29 July Reply

      Dear Susie,

      Wow! Lots to consider.

      1. I usually recommend you don’t stay in bed any longer than usual.
      2. Face down positioning equipment can make you more mindful of the head positioning.
      3. I can’t really remark about the need for the extended face down, as I don’t really know your case, but I tend to use a short acting gas mandating face down for about 5-7 days. Your doctor probably uses a different gas and mixture.
      4. I don’t understand the “bleeding out,” I wonder if you could be a bit more specific? (I wonder why this would be a set-back – depends upon what the heck your doctor meant.)

      Hang in there, but keep us up to date.


  • Sagar
    Posted at 10:23h, 19 August Reply

    Dear Randall,

    My father got a Scleral buckle surgery done 5 weeks ago. The detachment was in the lower part of his retina so his upper vision was affected. Now after 5 weeks, his upper vision has improved but is still a bit hazy. The doctor has recommended a change in his lens power for his spectacles. But the biggest worry is that, he cannot see clearly anything which comes in the centre of his eye. His side vision has improved but centre vision is still hazy and distorted. He cannot recognise and read the letters.
    Could you please advise if there are chances of further recovery under these conditions ??

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:43h, 19 August Reply

      Dear Sagar,

      No way of telling because I can NOT tell why he does not see…it could be from any number of reasons.


  • Lori
    Posted at 01:13h, 20 August Reply

    Hello Randy I have had several complications to the eye I am 29 yrs old have had cataract surgery when I was 5 yrs old have glucoama take 2 eye drops for that and have been pretty happy with my left eye other than the sun was always making my eyes feel really tired and weak just with a glance so it’s very hard to be outside w/out having to always cover my eyes , recently had retinal detachment surgery couple months ago and my left eye feels worse off to me I got the buckle and oil in my eye and doctor told me to be on my right side all times as they did surgery on left my eye gets really red at times feels like it’s twiching and or moving a little bit and I told the doctor today and they never give me a explanation for any questions just kinda rush me out the door, so doctor is ther any advice you can give me for the problems and conncerns. One more thing I am very tired of wearing glasses connot wear a contact in the right good eye because it turns the left eye really red and irratated so would I be able to consider laser surgery and or ever be able to get the oculoplastic surgery done in my left eye as I do not see out of this eye since the cataract surgery as a chid and sight has not changed just in more set backs with the eye being really careful and stressing the fact that the doctors did mention the fact that I would have to take out the oil soon even though they said the eye looked fine today including that I am taking two more glucoama drops after the retinal surgery in June because my eye pressure has went up and down so I possibly need glucoama surgery if this keeps up. thank you for listening and please give some and any advice!! Thanks

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:27h, 22 August Reply

      Dear Lori,

      Am I correct in my understanding that you received retinal detachment surgery in your already bad, left eye?

      You are tired of wearing glasses on your right, good eye?

      Please let me know if I am correct.



  • Chris Small
    Posted at 00:32h, 22 August Reply

    Hi Randy

    Just wanted to say thank you for your thoughts on my recovery ‘in the thick of it’ post op a few months ago. My eyesight seems to be fairly good (anxiety has disappeared), many of the distortions and abnormalities post operative have declined or disappeared. Just the flashes (which I attribute to scarring – not nearly as severe as pre-detachment) and floaters. I would guess I have hard darn near every visual phenomena possible due to PVD, RD and surgery. If anyone wants to touch base with any questions or concerns I am happy to correspond with them. Catch me on twitter @Psyklopskiwi or on Facebook. Take care Randy.

    Kind regards


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:43h, 22 August Reply

      Dear Chris,

      Congrats. I am glad you are doing well. Thanks for providing ways to contact you!


  • Duane
    Posted at 19:27h, 20 September Reply

    I’m 10 weeks post-retinal detachment surgery on my left eye. Apparently there was some delay from the onset to discovering the partial detachment. Surgery occurred the day after discovery and included a scleral buckle, some removal of vitreous, a gas bubble, some laser work and perhaps cryogenics. At about 9 weeks, the bubble appeared to disappear. At that point, double vision, which had appeared earlier, became more obvious. On a computer screen with text, the affected eye produces an image that seems slightly elevated at the left side of the screen, and slopes upward at about 15 degrees toward the right. Riding in a car, the road ahead slopes upward. Watching TV, sometimes the images are overlapped, but given enough time, the blurred left-eye image will rise above the right-eye image, which helps get a more clear picture to view. The surgeon only says the double vision is a “separate issue” … and seems to be hoping that simple corrective glasses and time will resolve the issue. I will try that, but wonder if there are other things that I should be pursuing now. Feedback would be good. Thanks.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:52h, 21 September Reply

      Dear Duane,

      Sounds like the double vision may be due to the retinal detachment surgery, either;

      1. You have muscle problems from the scleral buckle


      2. Your retina shifted a little during reattachment.

      In either case surgical correction or glasses with prism should be helpful.

      Listen to your doc, be patient…most of these cases are fixable.


  • Duane
    Posted at 12:28h, 21 September Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    Thanks very much for the feedback. What you say certainly fits with things I have read elsewhere. Sounds like I should discuss glasses with a prism (don’t know what that is, yet) when I see my regular eye doctor later this week. My sense from the surgeon is I should try that first, and move slowly to give the recovery more time.


  • Duane
    Posted at 17:31h, 21 September Reply

    Dr. Wong,
    To follow up a little more… after quick research on glasses with prisms, I want to clarify something. I had been thinking my first action would be to replace the left lens of my glasses (currently a progressive lens) with a new prescription that’s still a progressive lens, but adjusts for the changes in visual acuity that came from the surgery. That would allow for more recovery time, and let me explore whether the eyes can adjust enough to eliminate the double vision without resorting to a prism lens. I’ll discuss this later this week witht my eye doctor, but I’m wondering if what I’ve described so far suggests very low odds for success (without a prism) to you. Some things I’ve seen on line suggest that exercises, perhaps together with a new prescription, might work if the difference in visual acuity (e.g. 20/40 vs 20/30) is not large between my eyes. I’m willing to be patient if there’s a real chance I might avoid glasses with prisms. I know I’m asking a tough question for you, but I’d like your honest opinion. If it isn’t going to work, it just prolongs real progress.

    For others who have asked about the “purple glow” with a gas bubble… yes, I’ve seen it several times too, before the bubble was finally absorbed. The descriptions all matched my experiences and it was striking. I have not seen it since the bubble disappeared.

  • Duane
    Posted at 16:23h, 23 September Reply

    Dear Dr Wong,

    I want to thank you for your feedback, and for the service you provide with this blog. Your approach is great, and you follow it very well.

    I do have a significant misalignment of my eyes following surgery, and that is a separate issue from the change in vision. I had expected to become more short-sighted because of the buckle, but I learned today that there has also been a significant change in a cataract in the eye with the detachment. My regular eye Dr suggested that I get that fixed as soon as practical. He thinks that will go a long way toward making visual acuity more equal between the eyes.

    Meantime, I’ll be switching from progressive lens glasses to bifocals with a line, and added prism to correct for the misalignment. Turns out the prism change is large enough that it’s going to be split between both lenses (+3.5 for each). I was told the new glasses will require “some getting used to,” which I’m guessing is an understatement.

    So if you have any further comments or suggestions, I’d appreciate them. Regardless, I really do appreciate what you do, and wish you the best in the future. If there’s an interest, I’ll do follow up posts. I’m still wondering whether it might be possible to combine cataract removal with some kind of realignment procedure in the next 3 to 6 months?

  • Duane
    Posted at 19:16h, 01 October Reply

    I’m looking for advice on where from here. I now have glasses with prism lenses, and they offset the eye misalignment to the point I can once again drive, watch TV, and even do some computer work. It’s a much better spot than before glasses, and I’m grateful for that.

    There are a couple decisions that lie ahead. I want to deal with the cataract in the eye that had retinal surgery, but I’d like advice on how long I should wait. I’m also wondering whether a surgical repair of the eye misalignment is realistic? I can’t really address the latter question on my own. The two questions are not unrelated, so I wonder what you would suggest?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:59h, 03 October Reply


      Not sure I understand why you need to wait unless you absolutely can not fathom another eye surgery. I, personally, would fix the cataract situation and then the misalignment. The best person to ask for both the timing and about the misalignment is a pediatric ophthalmologist.

      All the best,


  • Duane
    Posted at 22:48h, 03 October Reply

    Dr Wong, Thanks! I now realize that dealing with my detached retina problem is a work in progress. I also know that I’d like to keep moving toward the best possible outcome. The only reason I had the idea of waiting was that my surgeon set me up for my next appointment in December. Your comments have helped me decide to contact a different ophthalmologist I know and trust. The group he’s in does some pediatric work. He could be a good choice for my cataract surgery, and I hope he could suggest someone who could evaluate the prospects for surgery to realign my eye. Obviously, I realize this may not be easy, and I want to find a well-qualified Doctor. If you have further suggestions on how wide ranging a search I should do, they would be appreciated. Thanks for your response!

  • Maribel
    Posted at 21:00h, 15 October Reply

    Duane, I am relieved to hear that the prism lenses helped your double/misaligned vision. Now I have hope. I also had a scleral buckle surgery but it was only three weeks ago and my vision is exactly how you describe it (except, it’s my right eye where my vision slopes upward at about 15 degrees). It is such a challenge to carry out regular activities; I had to even drop all my classes this semester at grad school. My doctor also recommended prism lenses as a temporary solution (I see her in a week). I am told that only 3% of people have permanent double vision as a result of the surgery. I was told that if in 3 months, my eye sight has not gone back to normal (apparently our brains are supposed to align the vision on both eyes again after 3 months). If this doesn’t happen, I might consider surgery on the eye muscle. But this will not happen for another 6 months or year. There is no way I want to put my through all that again this year. I will be content with prism lenses (btw i’m told that contact prism lenses are far more effective on the eye sight and in actually correcting our double vision !) so there is hope 🙂 Good luck to you.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:10h, 18 October Reply

      Dear Maribel,

      Thanks for connecting with Duane!

      Best of luck to you, too!


  • Chip
    Posted at 19:00h, 19 October Reply

    Binocular diplopia following two vitrectomies about five months apart. One was emergent and the other was elective to correct an ERM. After 22 months, I am soon to undergo cataract surgery in hopes of returning to my post operative (20/30) vision. Should I expect this to correct or, in the least, decrease the diplopia I am currently experiencing? Retina specialist suggests the retina is “flat.” To note, when I pull on my lower eyelid the images appear to fuse. Suggestions?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 00:26h, 26 October Reply


      Why did you have the emergent vitrectomy. Retinal detachment? Was the second vitrectomy on the same eye?

      Wondering how old you are and if the vitrectomy (2), ERM and cataract are all in the same eye?


  • JulieW
    Posted at 11:28h, 27 October Reply

    Dr Wong,
    I am 51 and have had Type1 dm for 28 yrs. I have always had yearly eye exams. In 10 months time, I went from having only a very few tiny microaneurysms to Proliferative diabetic retinopathy, requiring laser surgery for neovascularization and the beginings of retinal detachment. That was a year ago.

    Two weeks ago had surgery for traction retinal detachment. My understanding is that he removed the vitreous, removed scar tissue (ERM), did some laser, and put in the longer lasting gas bubble.
    I was positioned face down for the 1st week…..only getting up every 3-4 hours to use bathroom, eat, or walk thru the house. Second week, I was face down at least 50% of the time.

    I had been wearing the patch most of the time, just to protect my eye. Last few days noticed, I am having issues with some double vision at times. Feels like my eyes don’t want to work together. I have a “haze” in the vision above the bubble (reminds me of the 911 Twin Towers memorial where they have the 2 columns of light rising from the ground, where the twin towers once stood) . Straight lines have a curvature in the middle and objects appear farther away and smaller than they actually are.

    1. Would IOP cause these changes? My pressure was on the low side day after surgery and was 28 at my one week follow-up. Dr didn’t want to tx yet. See dr again in 5 more days.
    2. What can be causing the vision changes and is this something to be concerned with? Is this something that requires immediate attention?
    3. Do the Prednisolone drops affect blood sugars? Blood sugars were good before surgery and excellent during surgery, but since starting the Pred they have been consistently high, even though I am increasing my insulin pump settings. Not sure if it is from the Pred or “trauma” of surgery.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:32h, 05 November Reply

      Dear JulieW,

      1. No. While IOP can cause problems with the eye, not typically visual changes and especially not at 28.
      2. My experience says that vision is usually effected by residual gas in the eye. However, if these changes are new, please let your doctor know. My personal feeling is that the quality of the vision is usually poor and distorted as long as gas remains in the eye. You also have other reasons, bleeding and possible re-detachment….ask your doc.
      3. Probably neither Pred nor trauma of surgery… physical activity is probably significantly decreased compared to normal….you are spending much of the day with your head down!


  • Lisa
    Posted at 18:27h, 08 November Reply

    In mid August I had scleral buckle surgery and the placement of a gas bubble in my right eye. I have noticed in the past week that the vision in the right eye seems to be getting more blurry. Is this common?

  • Duane
    Posted at 23:23h, 08 November Reply

    Maribel, I’m glad my words helped you feel relieved. Hope the prism lenses work for you too. I discussed my situation today with another ophthalmologist. The good news was he verified an excellent outcome for my retina. He thinks the double vision is probably a result of the buckle’s effect on the eye muscles. I have another month to wait to see the surgeon. At that point I’m hopeful he will find the eye is stable enough for cataract surgery. Apparently it’s not uncommon to have a cataract that’s exposed to a gas bubble begin to get worse. I’m told the cataract surgery should improve my vision in the affected eye, but my best option may be to give up on surgery to align the eyes (probably would involve having to remove the buckle), so long as the lenses fix the problem. Like you, I’m not anxious to have more surgery, and I really want to know the risks and benefits likely before I make a decision.
    Best of luck to you in your recovery.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:11h, 15 November Reply

      Best of luck to both you!

      Duane, thanks for your supportive and kind words.


  • Bobby
    Posted at 20:35h, 13 November Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,

    I’m 17 years old and in June of 2010 I had a “giant” retinal tear from a lacrosse ball to my left eye. I had scleral buckling and a gas bubble to re-attach my retina and it was successfully re-attached. They also had a second surgery with laser to ensure it stayed in place. The problem I am facing is that my vision, as well as appearance of my left eye is still in a bad state. I have several floaters and it is a bit foggy. Lights create an aura-like affect around the source, especially at night. It’s kind of like looking through a slightly fogged window at light. I’m guessing a vitrectomy may help the floaters followed by a cataract surgery (because cataracts are common after vitrectomies and it may also help with the foggy problem).
    The other problem I’m having has to do with appearance of my eye, rather than actual vision. The scleral buckle has caused a redness to show on my eye, and it never goes away. It looks really weird, and can be quite embarrassing for me. I have tried eye drops, but they don’t really work, because you can always see some redness, and they’re only temporary, which means after an hour, my problem will be right back full-on. The buckle also gives my eye an awkward feeling, so I feel somewhat uncomfortable all the time with it even existing in my eye. It (of course) limits my range of view and also has caused a decrease in farsightedness.
    I don’t know if my reasons are good enough, but do you think my surgeon (or any to that purpose) would perform a vitrectomy and, or a scleral buckle removal?
    I’ve read that scleral buckle removal is uncommon, so it’s caused a feeling of discouragement and worry. It’s really been bothering me since it was put in, and I don’t want to have to deal with this for the rest of my life.
    It’s been over one year since the surgery, and my vision is about the same. Floaters and cloudiness. Can you give me your opinion? Just thinking about it makes me depressed sometimes. Thanks.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:44h, 15 November Reply


      Tough situation. I would say that overall, your comments are correct. Removing scleral buckles is uncommon, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t causing a problem. Your vision may indeed be due to cataract, but as you are aware, there can be other causes, too.

      I would ask your doctor about an opinion regarding removal, that is, will it help? Buckles generally can be removed, if needed, just a few short weeks to months after the detachment surgery.

      I think at the very least you deserve to get a second opinion and voice the same concerns that you wrote about here.


  • Marla
    Posted at 00:03h, 18 November Reply

    Dear Dr Wong
    Six weeks ago, I had a RD surgery with the gas bubble and the buckle and mascula still on in my right eye. The bubble disappeared out of my vision after about 2-3 weeks. The recovery appears to be good. Both the eye doctor and eye surgeon say that the reattachment and recovery looks good. But since the bubble disappeared I have had double vision. My eye doctor prescribed a new contact perscription for the right eye and suggested that it would help. It has not improved the double vision issue. With the contacts in – I can see better, I can read print at a distance and at arms length .He tried correcting the vision but I am getting older so I now need to use reading glasses (since I am 50 yrs). I still have alot of floaters and the vision in that eye is like looking through a vaseline smear. I have a little bit of a depth perception issue. But its the double vision that is most annoying. Its especially evident when looking straight ahead in center vision. I can function because the left eye is the stronger one and compensates. Several Questions: what is “normal here with double vision”? will the double vision most likely clear up ? in 1 -5 months? at what point do I worry more? when do I give up and switch to prism glasses/lens? Do I weaken the RD eye by waiting to change the glasses perscription for when eye has settled down & double vision perhaps disappears? I cannot see any print with my right eye with my old pre-RD glasses – just blurry shapes. I dont feel comfortable driving now with the double vision but the driving responsibilities has put huge pressure on my traveling businessman husband to get the kids to functions etc. So we are anxious to sort this out. My eye doctor has not offered much information on this double vision situation. I get the feeling that my situation is unusual with him. what questions do I need to ask him? Do I need to go to the eye surgeon on this? I appreciate any guidance on how to progress here.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 00:26h, 18 November Reply

      Dear Marla,

      You are in luck, I was working on the site tonight when you queried.

      1. Double vision is not normal.
      2. I wonder if your double vision is due to unequal refractions between the two eyes (ask your doctor about “anisometropia”)
      3. No you do NOT weaken the RD eye… no such thing.
      4. If your eye doctor isn’t helpful, seek the opinion of a pediatric ophthalmologist. They make a living of correcting “double vision” and crossed eyes. They are also superb at refracting (determining glasses prescriptions) and can give you a solid idea of what’s going on.

      Stay in touch.


  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 22:27h, 20 November Reply

    Hi Dr Wong,
    I had a retinal tear three years ago following a routine yag surgery. Shortly after the tear, my retina detached. My doctor reattached the retina along with a scleral buckle and a gas bubble. At that time, he thought I should get most or all of my vision back. I developed scar tissue that started pulling on the retina, so he replaced the gas with oil and removed the scar tissue then later removed the oil. It has been about a year and a half ago since the last surgery and for the last year I have been dealing with fluid, inflammation and more scar tissue. I have been getting injections in my eye for over a year and the fluid is a lot better but there is still a lot of scar tissue. What little bit of vision I have in that eye is distorted and I have a ghost image that sits at an angle which makes it very difficult to see. My night vision is especially bad – the things that are normally going by in my periperal vision are now running across the middle of my vision. It is awful!!! When I try to read things on the computer, there is a duplicate ghost image that sits at an angle over the normal image. My retina doctor wants to continue with the injections in my eye and says that he can go in and remove the scar tissue again and take a chance that it won’t grow back, which should help the distortion in my vision, or I can try the prism. I’m not sure if the scar tissue is causing the problem or if it is the scleral buckle. My doctor says that he doesn’t want to take the scleral buckle off. He doesn’t want to take a chance on having the retina detach again. I’m not sure what the difference is….I can’t see now, but if I could just get rid of the ghost image it would make my life so much easier. Do you think the scar tissue is causing the ghost image or is it the scleral buckle? The surgery is expensive and since I ‘ve been laid off my job, I don’t have any insurance. I’m not sure what to do. I’m not sure if the prism will help but I guess I will just try that first. What are your thoughts as far as the cause of the ghost image? Also, in your experience, have you had any success with the scar tissue not grow back after being removed a couple of times? Not that any experience applies to me….my doctor says that I’m the exception to every rule when it comes to retinal problems. Its too bad that I can’t be exceptional in a good way :/ Thanks for your input.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:06h, 26 November Reply

      Dear Margee,

      A small percentage of patients end up with a condition called PVR…proliferative vitreoretinopathy. By the sounds of it, this is what you are dealing with and in my experience, the prognosis is not good. I can’t say more because I don’t have the opportunity to examine you. In these cases where vision has been poor due to PVR, the chances of getting significant visual improvement is slim….as I believe you know.

      The ghosting or double vision could be due to so many things, that I’d be guessing. I would ask your doctor this exact question.

      Best of luck,


  • Harold Espy
    Posted at 22:47h, 22 November Reply

    Dr. Wong,
    Your web site helps me to understand a little better of what i’am seeing and feeling after i was reading some of the comments posted here on your site.
    I had floatters about two weeks before my detachment. The bad part that i’am now feeling is i
    may have waited to long and not seeing a doctor sooner. I went to a eye doctor after i had the
    detach retrina and had the surgery the naxt day,but now this time frame is like 14-15 days from the
    floatters to surgery. Then i was suppose to have slept on three pillows and the head tilted to the left,
    when i woke up i was on my right side almost face down,my nose was a little swollen,my eye was still
    some what red and i felt some pressure there. I’ve been to the doctors now four times after the surgery
    of the scleral buckle and the gas bubble to get the eye ball in place and have used the eye drops that
    had been given. The double vision has been ever since the the surgery,the gas ball is gone and i keep
    the right eye closed from sun and bright lights for now. hopefully, prayfully that will change.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:21h, 26 November Reply

      Dear Harold,

      I wish you the best. Recovery from retinal detachment can be very difficult.

      Stay in touch.


  • Bobby
    Posted at 02:25h, 23 November Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,

    I have seen my retina specialist today and I realized they hadn’t quite answered what I wanted to ask them. She said that the buckles weren’t really designed to be removed (which I knew) and that they could be removed only if there is a problem. I was scared to ask her if my problems are worth removing it, and she seemed rushed. My next appointment is in six months, so I’ll either wait or schedule one sooner so I can finally know if I’m capable of having it removed. Ill ask about the vitrectomy too. Do you personally think my reasons are good enough for removal?


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:26h, 26 November Reply


      I think you need to get that second opinion I suggested.

      You should be able to find someone who is not rushed and with whom you can feel comfortable asking questions.


  • Alison
    Posted at 14:39h, 25 November Reply

    Hi there ,
    I had retinal detachment surgery done almost 3 weeks ago , I had a buckle put in on the bottom half of my eye.
    I was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on some of this for me please, My problems are i have extreme blurry vision from that eye now , and the eye is still very painful and also around the eye, since my operation i am suffering with nausea and headaches is that normal?
    Should i be doing something maybe im not doing to help or should i be seeking more advice or going to see somebody maybe…thanks so much

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:34h, 26 November Reply

      Dear Alison,

      The blurriness can be from so many things, but certainly a buckle will change the prescription in your glasses…but you could have a cataract, swelling in your macula and other reasons.

      In my experience, scleral buckle surgery is almost painless. I would let your doctor know about these other symptoms.


  • Marla
    Posted at 06:08h, 28 November Reply

    Hello Dr. Wong.
    I wanted to update you on my double vision progress. I saw the eye doctor again. He determined that my right eye (with the RD surgery) has been the weaker of the 2 eyes. It now slightly drifts. He called it: Latent esotropia. It was probably there before the surgery but my brain compensated and thus not an issue before surgery. But with the recent lack of input to the brain through the right eye – my brain lost the connection and now I have double vision since my eyes are not working in conjunction. We both agreed that trying to retrain the eye would be optimal and if not then there is the prism lens and worse case: surgery. He gave me an eye exercise to do. I also try to patch up my good eye to help make my weak eye stronger. I read up on the condition on the American Optometric Association website- which was very comprehensive. So I am now trying see if retraining will work but not sure how long it takes to retrain the eye – especially since the vision in it poor even with contact lens in it (-9 prescription). Thanks for your feedback.

  • Brian Dixon
    Posted at 14:27h, 28 November Reply

    I had detached retina surgery 6 months ago and I still have a shadow in the bottom right hand side. I now also have a very droopy eye . Will the shadow every go away ?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:55h, 06 December Reply

      Dear Brian,

      It is obviously hard for me to say without the luxury of examination, but if the retina is attached (you’ll have to ask your doctor) and it has been six months, it may very well be permanent. It really depends upon the cause of the shadow.

      Good luck. Write back if you have more information.


  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 09:29h, 01 December Reply

    Dr Wong,
    Thanks for your response. At this point I am wondering if the prism will make any difference at all; I’ve heard it is very expensive and as I said, I don’t have any insurance. If there was a chance that it would eliminate the ghost image, it would be worth a try, but if it is not likely that it will fix the problem, then I really don’t think I should do it. Thanks again for your input.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:01h, 06 December Reply

      During the examination, your doctor should be able to give you some prism and should be able to tell if it helps the “double” or not…all before you pay.


  • Sean
    Posted at 01:44h, 10 December Reply


    Dr Wong
    THanks so much for providing this information and support.
    I had retina reattachment surgery with Buckle about 7 weeks ago. My issue is that the eye has not returned to a normal appearance. It appears that the top eye lid has come down over the eye more and all round the eye looks a lot more closed than my other eye. It was improving up until about 3 weeks ago and hasn’t changed since. Is it likely to return to normal of its own accord in the longer term? Is there anything I can do to improve it?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:10h, 12 December Reply

      Dear Sean,

      I really don’t know as I can’t examine you. In most cases (at least in my experience), there is a time when both eyes look the same, that is, you can’t tell when talking to a patient which eye had the surgery.


  • Kenni
    Posted at 05:13h, 11 December Reply

    Hi Dr Wong! Im a 25 year old nurse student from Norway who had surgery for a long standing retinal detachment that covered 3 clock hours, 4,5 weeks ago. I had the scleral buckle, cryopexy for 3 tears, and a 7mm sclerage plomb (is that what its called in english?) 🙂 over the detached area. The reason the doctor believe it had been longstanding, was because of the thin and schisis-looking retina where it had detached. I was at a checkup with my surgeon 4 days ago, and he could confirm that the retina was reattached, but i still had som fluid underneath, but it wasn’t too much and we agreed that it should only be observed. Im still experiencing flashes of light, wavy vision and a shadow in the periphery (where i had my detachment) when there is little light. My right eye looked good and had no problems. I have no prior sickness, but i am myopic (- 4,5 on my right eye w/ astigmatism, and – 5,5 (now – 8,0 because of the scleral buckle) on my left eye w/ astigmatism). Im have been using tobradex since the operation, and will continue to gradualy dose down over the next couple of weeks as instructed. Here are my questions:

    1. Will a longstanding retinal detachment like mine, ever heal properly, and will the retina have been weakened in that spot? I am a healthy individual and try to eat properly (get vitamins, minerals, lutein) and excercise regularly.

    2. Are the flashes of light and wavy (like water) in my peripheral vision normal post-surgery, and whats causing this? I cant believe its still traction that can pull my retina off again. Im a little worried about that.

    3. Will i ever be able to run again, do skydiving and ride rollercoaster? I have read some articles on the net that say you cant, and some that say you can, so i dont know what to believe.

    4. Will the scleral buckle and increased refraction weaken my retina in other areas? I believe my surgeon said that the refraction caused by the scleral buckle is “artificial” and will NOT weaken my retina in other areas, but in fact strengthen it, but im not sure what i heard exactly.

    If you could answer these questions doc i would be happy! 🙂


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:14h, 12 December Reply

      Dear Kenni,

      1. Retina is likely, and can, heal and attach properly, regardless of your diet and exercise.
      2. Hard to say, but it may simply be due to a reattaching retina. I have patients who still “see” something though I know the retina is attached. Ask your doctor.
      3. Yes. Look up REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movements). The forces generated every night inside your eye supercede what you experience while you are awake.
      4. No. I agree with your doc.


  • Kenni
    Posted at 12:08h, 12 December Reply

    Thank you so much for the answers Dr. Wong! This website is great by the way, and a good place for many people to come and find answers! I just hope that everything turns out well. Im glad it was caught no matter how long i went around with it. The alternative would be worse. Thanks! 🙂

  • Kenni
    Posted at 15:47h, 12 December Reply

    Could you just answer me one more question about medication/eye drops and PVR, please? Im using TobraDex at the moment. The first 2 weeks i used them 5 times a day, the 3rd week 3 times a day, and now for week 4 & 5 i use them 2 times a day, and for week 6 i use them 1 time a day. Does this sound correct? Is this to prevent PVR? What are the risk factors for PVR and when does it usually break out, is it something the doctors would have noticed on inspection? It sounds really scary!

    Thanks Dr. Wong!

    Cheers from Norway! 🙂

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:07h, 19 December Reply


      Not sure if I replied. The drops are to control inflammation. Doubt there is any impact on the PVR. We don’t know what controls or excites PVR.


  • Adrian Twomey
    Posted at 16:40h, 13 December Reply

    Dear Dr Wong,
    I would welcome your advice. I am 52 year old, male, othwerise in good health. My case of a retinal detachment, I think, is unusual. In my left eye, I have a chronic inferior retinal detachment with a round retinal hole, which I think has been there since around 2004 (but cannot be sure). The RD was only picked up via an OCT examination in Feb 2008. My acuity now is 6/18+2 (Nov 2011) and was also 6/18 in Feb 2008. I have had OCT photos + Humphrey Tests done in Feb 2009 and Oct 2011 to allow me to monitor the eye’s progress and create a timeseries. I am very myopic (-10.50, both eyes) which, i suppose, made it difficult myself to spot the RD back in 2004 (as, I suppose, I thought my myopia was just getting worse for the glasses prescription I had, and I had no conventional RD symptoms (eg black curtain, floaters etc)). I have seen 3 RD specialist surgeons since 2008, and 2 have recommended surgery (scleral buckle), while 1 surgeon supported my preferred option (to monitor the eye’s progress, and react if there is a major change). I wonder if you have come across this type of RD before, and have any advice to offer. My preference for monitoring my eye is, partly, conditioned by the surgical aspect to correct an RD and the risks that can happen with the surgery. The surgeons have said that the surgery will at least maintain the eye to where it is now (although an improvement can of course happen with surgery). I was told and have seen from the OCT photos that there is profound pigment epithelial atrophy in my left eye so a re-attachment may not be possible with only 1 operation. In my right eye I also had an inferior RD (again, probably 7-10 years ago (although it was never noticed by me)) and it, fortunately, spontaneously reattached itself. According to the surgeons there is a low probablity that the right eye (which has 6/6 vision) will have another RD as the re-attachment process has resulted in a scar and I suppose a stronger adhesion to the RPE. This also guides me as I can exist with 1 eye at 6/6 and 1 eye on 6/18+2. But I would welcome any advice you could have on this situation.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:00h, 21 December Reply

      Dear Adrian,

      Yes, your situation is not unique. Most of the patients I have had with undetected bilateral retinal detachments are located inferiorly such as yours….all due to gravity.

      Regardless, it is difficult to advise you as I would side with your retinal surgeons and suggest operating…at least in one eye. “Monitoring” does nothing to prevent the eventual sudden enlargement of the detachment.

      Yes there are complications to surgery, but very, very few.

      Best of luck,


  • Chet Fontenot
    Posted at 21:10h, 16 December Reply

    Dear Doc. Wong,

    I recently had a vitrectomy done for the removal of floaters. I’m 33 yrs. old and I’ve been dealing with them since I was 28. I had the left eye done 3 yrs. ago with no complications. However, the right eye has been giving me fits since I had the surgery. The surgery was done on November 30th. I’ve been noticing a swirling of lights it seems in my peripheral vision. My doctor said that he had to laser the retina due to blood build up during the vitrectomy. He also said that I had swelling around the retina as if I had trauma before the vitrectomy. He was very surprised at how my retina reacted to the surgery. My question is, “Is the swirling of lights I’m seeing due to the retina being stimulated by the laser and will they eventually go away.” I only notice it when I’m in a dark or dim room, such as, a bathroom, bedroom, etc. I never notice it when I’m outside in bright lighted conditions. This seems very weird to me and I’m hoping you could give me some answers. Thanks!!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:13h, 21 December Reply

      Dear Chet,

      Yes, sounds weird to me, too. Certainly the laser can give some symptoms, but usually they subside after a while. Swelling around the retina seems curious to me, though. Maybe ask your doc to explain more in detail.

      As long as the retina is attached, however, not much to worry about.


      Sorry I am not too helpful.

  • Zoya
    Posted at 01:29h, 18 December Reply

    Dear dr. Wong! reading all the comments and advice been very helpful. I had a scleral buckle surgery 4 months ago. laser treatment also. my retina was partially detached in left eye. now I have double vision. Would wearing a patch over my good eye help to diminish double vision? What exactly do prism lenses do to make a difference in double vision? Thank you very much for creating this website!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:15h, 21 December Reply

      Dear Zoya,

      Wearing a patch won’t fix your double vision. Prisms may be very helpful and I’d ask your doc to see if it is recommended.


  • Adrian Twomey
    Posted at 13:11h, 22 December Reply

    Dear Dr Wong
    Thank you very much for your advice. I suppose my major concern is that even with a technically perfect operation by a surgeon the eye’s reaction can still be unpredictable (eg double vision)… but I suppose one has to take the risk if the alternative is going to be complete vision loss. People with problems after sugery unfortunately are more vocal than those where everything went fine – so one always reads more of the former’s stories than the latter !. In the future (eg next 10 years), can one expect any options to repair RDs in less surgically-invasive ways -eg avoiding a SB? Hope so!. It is so very helpful to find a blog / forum like this. Thanks again.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:47h, 30 December Reply

      Dear Adrian,

      In the next 10 years, I don’t foresee any significant changes to the way we fix retinal detachments….vitrectomy alone is pretty great compared to the “state of the art” for the past 150 years where all we had was a scleral buckle.

      Stay in touch.


  • Kenni
    Posted at 10:16h, 03 January Reply

    Hi Dr Wong! I have written to you before (a few posts back), and I just wanted to update you on my situation. I had my RD surgery on the 8th of November, as I have said before, and I was doing pretty well. Every checkup i went to were positive, but here in mid christmas i suddenly felt a disimprovement in my symptoms (metamorphopsia, and light flashes) so i went to the hospital again on december 27th. They couldn’t find any holes or tears, but suspected i had a ‘microhole’ because of an increase in subretinal fluid, so they went in again, and did some cryo and a gas bubble, and laser the day after to try and seal this hole that they couldn’t spot with the opthalmascope. (I guess they were shooting a bit in the dark). My recovery this time havent been so tough as the first 6 weeks with almost no swelling or discomfort. I also only had to sit/stand straight with my head for the gas bubble to work at the upper part of the retina where they suspected that the leakage came from. I was at my 1 week postop today, and the doctor said the amount of subretinal fluid had went down a little, but that they needed to monitor me often, to see if its only the gas bubble that does it or the laser and cryo. I sure hope they hit the spot, because im feeling nervous that there can be holes so small they cant even spot them, and im afraid of being overtreated. :-/ But I do trust my doctors, I have to since there is little i can do myself to help the situation. 🙂

    Have a nice day!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:12h, 09 January Reply

      Dear Kenni,

      Hang in there! It is important that you trust your docs…this stuff, as you are experiencing, is not intuitive.

      Keep us up to date.


    Posted at 08:35h, 12 February Reply

    Dear Dr Wong

    I live in Portugal and I am experiencing a problem for the last week, which is deeply affecting me.
    I had a retinal detachment 18 years ago, when I was 17. It happened to my right eye, the dominant one. Prior to the surgery, both my eyes had astygmatism. After the procedure, the affected eye became, of course, miopic. The left eye also presented a danger of RD, so I had it reinforced with laser.
    I moved to another city afterwards and changed my surgeon, who is now following me for the last 14 years. He kept advising me during the years that my scleral buckle was so tight I should consider cutting/enlarging (am I being accurate? Sorry, but English is not my native language). Last november he told me that some of my cells near the buckle were in risk of necrosis and that surgery should take place. Therefore, I had this surgery done on January 3rd. Everything apparently went fine and the doctor even said that I would probably lose some of my miopia, because the eye format would change to its near original appearance.
    The vision remained the same. Until one week ago. But it hasn’t improved – it worsened!
    Very worried, I had an appointment with another doctor (mine is in a town rather far away, although I did email him). My retina was examined and eveything is ok, but it was verified that both my myopia and my astigmatism largely increased. And that they may alter even more!
    My dear doctor, what is happening to my eye? I am so so worried.

    Kind regards,

    Luís Tomaz – Portugal

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:29h, 14 February Reply

      Dear Tomaz,

      This all sounds a bit unusual. What is your age and do you have a cataract?

      I am assuming that the retina remains attached?

      Perhaps the vision change is noticed only when wearing your glasses? In theory, removing the buckle should indeed change your prescription.


    Posted at 14:00h, 14 February Reply

    Thank you so much for your reply.
    I’m 35 and I do not have a cataract. And yes, the exams indicated my retina is ok.
    I only notice the change when using both my glasses (for the astigmatism in the left and right eyes) and contact lens (for the miopia in the right eye, the one with the buckle). I have to use them simultaneously. Without them, my right eye sees only big patches of color – and therefore, without them I would never notice the difference. Only when I wear them did I verify they were adapted no more, since prescription has largely changed – not immediately after the January erd surgery but only for a week or so… dramatically. Is this normal?
    Thank you.

  • Zuber Daud
    Posted at 10:50h, 17 February Reply

    Three weeks back, I went through retinal detachment surgery of my left eye. Within 7 days of finding, surgery was performed. SF6 gas was used to put back the retina. After 3 three weeks, gas absored and vision restored. With the help of glasses, my vision is 6/9 that as per doctor’s is around 80 – 90% recovery. Thanks to God, my vision is back. However, I am observing following problems:
    1. Eye makes small image. As compared to right eye (good one). Image is formed far away.
    2. Outline of the any object formed, is weavy. If I see a person walking, head looks lot smaller than body (wave pressing both sides of the head). Also, straight bar look un even.
    3. Back groung is smoky
    Due to small and far distance figure, when I open both eyes, far distance figure image is imposed on correct distance image thus causing sort of double effect. Due to double visoin/effect, I cannot judge correct distance – while driving or walking.
    My question is:
    i. would it get better over the time and ultimately become normal
    ii. If not then what is the treatmen for this problem
    Please note that, some 8 years ago I went through cataract surgey of my both eyes. Laser was done before performaing the surgery. I was wearing glasses since school age (with high power glasses, end up with minus 6)
    I will appreciate your help in this regard.
    Please send answer to my address as well:

    Kind Regards
    Zuber Daud

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:24h, 22 February Reply

      Dear Zuber,

      1. Could be cataract or effects of a scleral buckle…if it were used. Either way, could be caused by large change in refraction.
      2. May be from macular swelling, was the macula detached? Could also be from #1.
      3. Could be from retinal detachment, bleeding, cataract.

      i. have no idea, only guessing what could be wrong without exam.
      ii. no way to know.

      I wish I had the luxury of examining you to give you more help.


  • mustafa tanveer
    Posted at 16:14h, 22 February Reply

    My name is Mustafa Tanveer. I am 25 years old, living in Dublin, Ireland. On the 14th of August 2011 I had an operation on my right eye to treat cataract and then on the 8th of October 2011 I received an operation on the same eye for retina detachment, the doctor using gas bubble treatment. My next appointment the doctor briefly told me that my eye needs to heal after I had complaints about my vision. Now nearly 7 months after the operation, my vision is extremely blurred so much that if my other eye is closed I cant see. Also on my eye where the stitches were is still very scarred. I am extremely worried and my doctor just keeps referring me but still no answers. I would be very grateful if you would be able to give me a diagnosis or even help me put my mind at ease that it is not a serious problem.
    Kindest Regards,
    Mustafa Tanverr

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:17h, 23 February Reply

      Dear Mustafa,

      There are so many reasons why you may not be seeing well; type of detachment, macular involvement, etc. It would be impossible for me, or anyone, to give you a diagnosis without the ability to examine you.


  • Zuber Daud
    Posted at 09:37h, 24 February Reply

    Dear Dr. Randall
    Thank you for your response.
    In view of your comments, please note the following:
    i. Scrleral Buckle was not used. Please let me know if cataract can occur second time as well (as I have already had the cataract and its treatment – I wonder if it can come back again)
    ii. Probably yes, as I was told that detachment was in the center
    iii. There hadn’t been any complication during and after the surgery
    I am seeing my doctor next week. I will update you once I see him and get his comments/findings. In the meantime I want to know:
    a: Can cataract get back second time
    b: If detachment is from the center and this is the cause of the problems, can it be treated somehow
    Thank you for paying attention to my problem
    Kind Regards
    Zuber Daud

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:59h, 24 February Reply


      Most likely culprit is that the macula was detached (i.e. center).

      Cataracts, per se, don’t come back. Let me know if your doctor agrees.


  • shahid sachawala
    Posted at 05:39h, 14 March Reply

    Dear Dr Randall,

    My name is shahid. 26 year old recently I found Retinal Detachment in my eyes. my doctor suggest buckle surgery for that but i want to know. buckle surgery is worth in this case. right now my vision is perfect. i see everything in glasses clearly but after surgery the vision i have right now its remain or not?.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:25h, 19 March Reply

      Dear Sahid,

      Very tough situation. You have a retinal detachment without symptoms. It is difficult to recommend surgery when the patient has absolutely no symptoms.

      I would, however, encourage the scleral buckle as it is a better fix over the long term. If your vision is excellent prior to surgery, you should expect to see well after surgery though you will have to change your glasses.


  • Bonnie Kaiser
    Posted at 15:01h, 26 April Reply

    I had retina detachment surgery Jan 11 – viteretomy, buckle and repair of retina. Had cataract surgery 3 months later, April 11 – I continue to have double vision, seeing a specialist in May. Compounding my eye issues, is wet macular degeneration in that eye, treatment last two years with Avastin. I’m told now Avastin won’t last more than 2 days since surgery (viteretomy). I’m assuming this means my WMD is going to be out of control, and I will go blind. I’m seeing specialist about that at our local unversity end of May. Any ideas about the WMD treatment? Thanks for your website, very helpful

  • Fred Palmer
    Posted at 09:05h, 14 June Reply

    I am 41 years old. In December 2011 my retina detached in my left eye. In less than 24 hours a RD surgery was performed but I was advised that my macula had detached as part of the RD which was a more severe situation. Surgery #1 a gas bubble was inserted. After the bubble dissipated, I had bug vision (seeing multiple images of everything) in my left eye. A few weeks later the same eye detached again. Surgery #2 a scleral buckle was implanted with an oil bubble. Vision was still not good after that surgery. Surgery #3 removed the oil bubble and it has been five weeks since that surgery and I still can’t see anything from the center of my eye (can kind of see things around the edges if I look up top, down low, etc.). My doctor says that he believes I still have inflammation from the surgery but it’s been five weeks. I’m at my wits end and am thinking I won’t get sight back at this point. I don’t know if there’s anything else that can be done. Please advise.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:04h, 18 June Reply

      Dear Fred,

      I don’t blame you for being scared and frustrated. Your doctor hasn’t given you an adequate explanation as to why you don’t see. “Inflammation” doesn’t tell me anything and certainly you can’t be blamed for not understanding this incomplete explanation.

      I would ask him/her directly as to the reasons for not seeing. Perhaps he/she is not sure or not comfortable telling you that you’ve permanently lost vision.

      5 weeks, on the other hand, is not unreasonably “too soon” to tell either.

      Stay in touch.


  • Duane
    Posted at 05:04h, 15 June Reply

    Dr Wong,

    I’m touching base again, 10 months after my retinal surgery on my left eye, to update my experiences. Six months after my RD surgery, I had cataract surgery on the same eye. I was told the increased problem with the cataract may have been caused by the gas bubble. Regardless of the cause, I was also asked to decide whether I wanted the intra-ocular lens to be set up to help match vision with my other eye. Apparently the buckle changed the shape of my left eye, making me much more near-sighted in that eye. I opted for a lens that would equalize the eyes. The cataract surgery was successful, but of course I needed new lenses for my glasses. I was told that I could get a new prescription 2 weeks after the surgery (things should be settled enough at that point). Meantime, I wore the old glasses. In effect, I might as well have had a patch on the eye, and I wonder if that might have been a better choice. When I got the new glasses 3 weeks after the cataract surgery, my overall vision was not as good as before, even though the “slab off” prism could be removed from the prescription. In the next 3 months, I was diagnosed with a retinal pucker. I discovered that because my left eye vision changed from seeing both vertical and horizontal lines (e.g. on wall paneling) as straight lines to wavy lines. In the last month, I had my glasses prescription checked, and found my vision had improved in the left eye, so once again I needed new lenses for my glasses. This time, I also got new lenses for my sunglasses and went from progressive lenses back to bifocal lenses (the progressives don’t work with the prisms) with prisms. The new glasses are great! I also bought “computer glasses” (single focal length) because using the bifocal glasses was giving me a stiff neck.

    My bottom line is that I am once again able to see pretty well with prism glasses, but I found that I did not want to be without any glasses while waiting for a new prescription. It’s a bit expensive, but I thought it was better to get a complete new set of glasses than to go without any glasses for a week or more. I’m hopeful that when I need cataract surgery on the other eye, I won’t need to change again. I don’t think I’m willing to risk further surgery on my left eye to try to correct the eye misalignment.

    I was glad to see your web site is still going strong. I found it to be very helpful to learn about what others have experienced, and I hope I’ve helped a few others. Thanks for your good work!


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:13h, 18 June Reply

      Dear Duane,

      Thank you for taking time to share your story.

      As my website has matured, I have found that while my articles are helpful, the comments made are just as important and relevant to other readers.

      Glad you are doing so well and continue to have a positive outlook.


  • Janis B
    Posted at 10:33h, 19 June Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong, I had a RD from an automobile accident in March 2012. I had a 2nd surgery in April just 3 weeks after the 1st and now I have double vision and wavy vision. My surgeon said that the occular cells in the retina have to realign themselves and the brain has to “figure out” the double vision. I went to my cornea specialist and he said he wasn’t sure why the surgeon explained it that way; he said I only had about a 50/50 chance that the double vision would get better (or worse) and that the wavy vision only had a 20% of getting better. I now have a temporary plastic prism sheet attached to my current Rx glasses but it only helps about 90% with double vision and nothing for the wavy vision. Is there any chance that my double vision and wavy vision will get any better or not? Thank you for your response.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:32h, 26 June Reply

      Dear Janis,

      I would have to side with the cornea specialist. First, determine why the double vision? There are so many reasons, but if indeed related to the retinal detachment itself….I would think it may be permanent. On the other hand, most cases of double vision are NOT related to the retinal detachment.


  • Randy
    Posted at 14:35h, 29 June Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong:
    I has a RD repaired by vitrectory six weeks after capsulotomy in my minus 12.0 left eye, followed by buckle a month later for second detachment. I was originally very near sighted (minus 12.0 and minus 15.0) but had great vision with Crystalens IOLs until the detachment.

    I had normal central vision prior to the surguries and vision was crisp post surgury once the swelling resided. I did experience some CME and had small central vision related to macular swelling but that resolved with injections.

    My issue and question is this: Ever since the buckle, my lengthened eye sees everything smaller, as if it is farther away. Most doctors have said “after a RD, that’s just the way the retina lays” and you are stuck with it. I’d like to believe otherwise and here is why: The eye sees pretty much constant size throughout the visual field. A stretched retina would never be consistently stretched and so would not yield consistency. Also, I can correct to 20/20 with a 1.5 d contact, even though the test letters are extremely small to read. In other words, with vision so crisp, how could I see so well with a stretched retina? Also, my Amsler grid is close to normal. One retinal specialist once told me “your problem is that now that you have a longer eye your IOL is too strong” and I believe that might be the problem. Everything I see appears slightly ‘drawn in’ which might be the optical effect of too much convergence in light ray bending by the lens system. With a constant Amsler grid and crisp vision might this be just an optical issue?

    I think most doctors are afraid of my situation but I read on one of your other blogs that repaired retinas are stronger than before. I am wondering if IOL replacement to a weaker lens could possibly expand the projected light rays and bring my image size to match the other eye. This could then correct my double vision. The other thought I had was possibility of a slightly tilted or tweaked IOL from the buckle itself. Does my explanation seem plausible?

    Thank you for considering my theory.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:23h, 10 July Reply

      Dear Randy,

      I am on your side on this one.

      The explanation you’ve described doesn’t really make sense, but here is my take…

      1. The buckle elongated your eye, increasing the distance from the surface of your cornea to the surface of your macula. There is a definite increase in myopia…3 Diopters per millimeter increase in length. This increase in myopia is the most likely cause of the “minification.”

      2. The distortion that you describe may be due to several factors, including the retina not laying/reattaching properly…but I don’t know the details of your case.

      3. The explanation about the “eye too long” and a lens exchange might be beneficial.


  • Steve
    Posted at 13:12h, 02 July Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,

    I have a question to ask you about my vision. A little over four weeks ago I had surgery for a detached retina in my left eye (after a number of laser and cryo treatments to address a growing number of tears). I had a buckle and six week gas. I also have a cataract at this point but do not know how dense it is. The gas is about 50 percent gone and I can see over it . My question is about my vision – I am not sure whether I have double vision, but when I was at the movies I noticed that I would see the printed title twice (higher up from my dominant right eye and lower down from my surgery/buckled left eye). If I look out the window at an the object I can see that it is lower (and also angles down from the right to left) than the same object from my left eye. Is this due to the gas, the buckle, the cataract, or something elese? Also, the quality of the vision out of my left eye is very poor (hazy and grainy) compared to my right eye and I am much more near sighted in that eye (as I expected). Is all of this to be expected, to early to tell, or is there an issue with my left eye?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:37h, 10 July Reply

      Dear Steve,

      All of your visual troubles may be explained by the gas, buckle or cataract. First, I’d wait for the gas to absorb and then determine what symptoms are left.


  • Zoya
    Posted at 12:07h, 05 July Reply

    Hello! I have a question. Thank you for answering my question, doctor. It was very helpful. I have a double vision as a result of scleral buckle. I went to the optometrist and we tried prisms. He tried the thickest ones and they did not bring the images together. So he suggested going for a surgery to correct it. I want to know before I agree to it how dangerous or safe it is and how effective can it be to fix my problem. What are you thoughts? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Respectfully, Zoya

  • Michelle
    Posted at 19:45h, 13 August Reply

    My thirteen year old daughter had surgery 2 months ago to repair a torn retina after what we thought was a minor blow to the side of the face in a ballgame. The surgery was deemed a success and we’ve been dealing with slow increase in vision as she wears a contact for school and sports. Now that school is back in session and she is reading at a computer, she is complaining of double vision and extreme headaches…only when looking at a computer screen though. I think I understand why: her eyes are seeing images of different sizes and her brain is trying to process the two. How long can we expect this to last? Is there anything we can do to improve the situation while we wait for healing? I have a meeting with the principal and teachers this week and wanted to go with more information. Can you advise?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:46h, 17 August Reply

      Dear Michelle,

      Without a doubt, have her see a pediatric ophthalmologist. They are experts in refracting kids/babies. They also deal with strabismus/double vision.


  • Jennifer
    Posted at 12:50h, 28 August Reply

    How often is a lens “destroyed” in a vitrectomy procedure?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:38h, 03 September Reply


      Usually it’s not “destroyed” or removed unless the surgeon can’t see through it to operate effectively. Sometimes, with complicated retinal detachments, the lens is removed to allow better visualization of the retina (as above) or to simply get the lens physically out of the way.


  • Pingback:Eye Buckles for Detached Retina : Improve Eyesight Without Glasses
    Posted at 05:28h, 02 September Reply

    […] 3.Causes of Double Vision Following Retinal Detachment Surgery Jan 21, 2011 … Scleral Buckle for Repair of Retinal Detachment. At times, manipulation of the eye muscles can cause true double vision. The muscles may get … […]

  • elvis
    Posted at 04:21h, 08 October Reply

    Please Dr i had an eye surgery to the right due to retinal/choroidal detachment as it was termed but i noticed 3 weeks after that i had an eye shift and double vision.
    Please can it be treated and how long do i still have to wait to get my full vision back.
    thank you as i look forward to your response.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:32h, 14 October Reply

      Dear Elvis,

      I can not possibly understand your exact situation from my seat….that is, I can’t examine you and determine the exact cause.


  • Andrew
    Posted at 15:36h, 10 October Reply

    Hi Doctor,

    I’m hoping I can get some advice/help..

    I’m 24 years young from London – over a week ago I had surgery to fix a retinal tear. I was put to sleep under GA an the surgeon used a explant and cyrotherapy.

    Now as soon as I took the patch off the next day I have severe double vision/images piling on top of eachother. It’s been 9 days now and still not sign of improvement – I am freaking out big time! I try to take my each patch off to get used to it but it’s impossible, I feel sick/off-balance. I wasn’t told to adopt any special head position either.

    I work as an Editorial Assistant for a well established magazine – my eyes are my life and I can’t believe what’s happened!

    Will this double vision go away? My doctor keeps saying this is a result of swelling and it should settle, I get the feeling I’m being fobbed off.

    My vision was actually fine before all of this! I got the tear fixed as this was strongly advised – I feel worse off now and haven’t been back to work since. My eye also looks a little lazy.

    Can someone please give some guidance as to where I go from here?

    Thanks in advance


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:56h, 14 October Reply

      Dear Andrew,

      Sounds like there might be more to your story than you know?

      Was the surgery only cryotherapy?

      Perhaps it has settled.


  • anson
    Posted at 19:21h, 16 December Reply

    The patient has retinal detachment 5 years now on both eyes. She did the laser surgery on the left eye when same was much younger. The eye vision is great after doing routine check ups by
    the eye surgeon. Now the patient has a very big problem on the right eye, “same is seeing half vision and half dark”. When she went to the surgeon today for check ups, same advice her that the retinal detachment is huge and surgery can be perform, but chances are the vision will be the “same half vision and half dark” on the right eye. Can you please advice me properly! If she have this surgery in 2 or 3 months from now, can this still help her eye from getting that lost of vision for life

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:25h, 25 December Reply

      Dear anson,

      The reason for operating is to give her a chance to get some improvement, but really to prevent complete blindness in the right eye.


  • Deena
    Posted at 16:49h, 01 January Reply

    Hello Dr.Randy,

    My 21 year-old brother is having the double-vision problem and it is causing headaches especially when he studies ,reads or concentrates . I feel sad because if someone with normal vision tries to look at a blurry image for a second , they can’t tolerate it . It is annoying both physically and mentally.

    You have mentioned that : “Happily, most cases can be fixed. If the retina is functioning well enough for the double vision to be “seen,” then it’s likely corrective measures can be taken.

    Specifically, eye muscle surgery can help if there are true muscle problems, whereas cataract surgery or correction with a stronger contact lens may be helpful, too.”

    How is that possible? could you give examples please?

    *Isn’t there anything like a lens that helps make an image smaller before it transfers to the brain so that the scale of those two images can become somewhat understandable or comparable for the brain to deal with and produce a normal image afterwards?

    * My brother had cataract surgery after the Scleral buckle and the Gas operations. All operations were done on one eye only; the other is normal.
    Doctors say we have to wait until the brain finally adjusts to the fact .. but wouldn’t this cause the normal eye to be stressed and eventually need a higher prescription. Also, wouldn’t this cause the eye with surgeries to become weaker and eventually the muscles would be so idle to work??

    Also,aren’t there any mental exercises that can help the brain to adjust and train it to “understand the problem and work on its potentials for better sight and life”?

    I would very much appreciate your feedback as would many others.

    Thank you

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:13h, 02 January Reply

      Dear Deena,

      One cause of double vision is mis-alignment of the eyes. Sometimes, eye muscle surgery can correct this mis-alignment.

      Other reasons of “double vision” include large differences in refraction, a strong lens or contact lens may correct the vision, but this type of double vision may persist though each eye sees well independently.

      There is no such thing as straining the other eye.

      Mental exercises, too, are not proven to be effective.

      Hope this is helpful.


  • Shannon
    Posted at 14:03h, 13 January Reply

    My retinal detachment symptoms occurred on Oct 21, 2012. Large floater with flashing in my peripheral vision of the right eye. My diagnosis was 2 small retinal holes with a suspected spontaneous retinal detachment based on symptoms. Macula was intact. Scleral buckle, cryotherapy, vitrectomy, and laser therapy with air bubble was performed on Oct 24.
    My sclera remains red and irritated. The buckle still feels as if it is strangulating my eye which is causing pain. The suture sites still have a pulling sensation and are also painful. I was evaluated this past week by my retinal surgeon and by a cataract surgeon as I have developed a striated cataract post op and my vision is rapidly deteriorating. The retina remains healthy and attached.
    I want the buckle removed and, also, a lens implant. The retinal MD prefers the lens placement prior to buckle removal as she feels that the chance of detachment is less. She acknowledges this will alter the refraction post buckle removal which is not acceptable to me. Why have a lens implant that will be far less than optimal? The cataract surgeon states it is ok to remove the buckle but to wait until it is healed prior to placing the lens.
    My preference is to seek out a center in Canada that will place a light adjustable lens, then have the buckle removed. Laser adjustment of the lens after the eye shape is stable. My reasoning for this conclusion is I want the best possible outcome, and, to avoid further surgeries on this eye in the future.
    I am 53 and have no other health issues. My other eye is healthy and without issue according to the retinal surgeon. Please advise.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:14h, 22 January Reply

      Dear Shannon,

      I would vote for buckle removal and then IOL….should not really increase your chances of detachment…in my opinion. Though the risk is low, I think the chance is equal in either scenario.

      Sorry to muddy the waters.


  • Monika Mukherjee
    Posted at 09:49h, 24 February Reply


    I am 28, had gone through the RD surgery two weeks back in my right eye.The left eye was treated through laser (to cover retina holes). I had two post operative visits and the doc says everything looks fine. But, I feel a lot of discomfort in my right eye. I can see floaters in my right eye ( my doc syas its all psychological , he says my retina looks good so there are no chance of floaters to appear), I have blurred vision & see lines forming at the side of every object , the size of my right eye is still not normal. Due to this vision problem, I’m unable to go back to my work. I’m extremly worried about my eye. Request you to please advice if there are any chances of my vision to become normal as before and the floaetrs i see is normal post surgery?

    Please advice.

    Monika Mukherjee

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:23h, 02 March Reply

      Dear Monika,

      I am so sorry, but I simply can’t advise you as I’m unable to examine you. Your doctor should be the best source of information…I”d just be guessing.


  • Mike
    Posted at 21:12h, 27 February Reply

    Hello Dr,
    I had scleral buckle surgery on the 29th of Janurary. My Dr. said my detactment was due to a vitrectomy that was done about 2 yrs earlier to remove large floaters that developed following cataract surgery. A buckie was placed and a bubble was inserted as well, I think he said it was a gas bubble, and a laser was used for reattachment. A day after surgery I could only make out large shapes, no reading of the chart. One week later I was reading 20/60.
    The eye before surgery was 20/20. 3 weeks post surgery I was reading still 20/60. He had told me that presription glasses would probably be needed and that is fine. I am in my fifth week of healing and I am able to look through both eyes somewhat and not have a form of motion sickness.My questions are:

    1) why does figures look smaller and futher away in the surgery eye.
    2) why straight lines have a wavy appearence
    3) why is the eye very itchy and feels as though it is heavier than the other eye
    4) will these symptoms get better with time
    5) is it possible to tighten the buckle to much
    6) is it safe to remove the buckle and if these symptoms are due to the buckle will they go away
    7) can prescription lens correct these problems

    Thank you for your help,
    At the 1 week and 3 week checkup my surgeon said everything looked great.

  • Paula Vern
    Posted at 10:25h, 16 April Reply

    I was diagnosed with (pretty bad) retina detachment in Jan, 2012, had successful schleral buckle (Wills Retina Specialists in Philly). Eye healed but vision is still not recovered.

    My question is this: two months before the dx/surgery I began having increase in migraines (from 1/year in my 20s to 2-3x/week during month before RD dx). Had complete neurological workup with nothing found. My doctors discounted the theory that the migraines were related to the retinal detachment, but my migraines continue 1-3x/week now 15 months post surgery, and are exacerbated by too much screen time, and other light-related situations. There just has to be a connection! Thoughts?

    Sidebar: I’ve recently relocated to Chicago-area and plan to see new opthamologists and optometrists so will get 2nd opinions. But I appreciate your insights on this. I’ve researched it online and have not found anything connecting the two.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:13h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Paula,

      I’d have to agree with the advice given so far…which also explains why you can’t find any answers online.


  • Jonah Javier
    Posted at 10:53h, 16 April Reply

    Dear Dr,

    My 1 year and 5 months son had scleral buckle for both eyes due to RD caused by ROP. After 1 year, his doctor cut the buckle of the right eye (the good eye) as it was getting myopic, and did not remove the buckle. I read a lot about RD happening again even when it’s attached already–
    1. will it happen again to my son?
    2. What will happen to the buckle in his left eye?As this was diagnosed as zero vision eye(too scarred and a potion still detached) — if the buckle stays there, the eye will not grow?
    3. What post buckle care should be do at home?
    4. Generally, what care should we give him– one buckle cut, one remains?
    5. What can i expect to happen with the buckle in left eye–will there be another procedure to cut or remove this?)–sorry i know i should have asked our doc this but these are the questions i keep forgetting to ask

    Thanks much,
    Jhong Javier, Philippines

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:00h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Jonah Javier,

      In general, ROP is NOT a surgically correctable disease, that is, do what ever you can to ensure your kid grows up with some vision. I wouldn’t worry about the buckle. Without it, you might risk complete detachment.

      Most of the time, the buckle is intended to be permanent.


    Posted at 08:34h, 17 April Reply


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:58h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Gopal,

      Most likely due to bubble. Best is to keep in touch with your doctor. I can’t tell if you’d redetach just from the symptoms you describe.


  • Robert Gilchrist Huenemann
    Posted at 16:11h, 06 May Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong;

    I have a detached retina in my left eye, with a scleral buckle. I had mild astigmatism before the RD, and my optometrists attempted to improve my vision in my left eye by treating the RD like it was astigmatism. This meant I wound up with a very large amount of cylinder in the left lens. It took me years to figure out that this was causing eye strain. As you know, differences in spherical correction can cause strain due to different image sizes. Cylinder can do the same thing by causing different image aspect ratios, if you will.

    I am no doctor, but I have two degrees in electrical engineering with a physics minor. So I have studied a bit of optics. It seems obvious that after RD, it becomes extremely difficult to measure astigmatism with simple refractions. My optometrist has removed the cylinder from my left lens and optimized the spherical correction only, at my request. As a result, the eye strain is gone and my overall vision is better than it has been for years. My depth perception is much improved.

    I would caution optometrists to be extremely cautious about trying to correct astigmatism in an eye that has suffered RD. In this case, what looks better on an eye chart bears little relation to images of real world objects.

  • Gopal Gupts
    Posted at 10:47h, 11 May Reply

    Dr Randall

    After retina detachment surgery using C3H8 gas
    After seven weeks the gas bubble is still there
    Please tell me when bubble will get dissolved
    My doctor has told that every thing is fine recovery is good
    That I can also see

    Please tell me when bubble will get dissolved and I ma be free from its shadow

    Gopal Gupta

  • T J Van
    Posted at 11:14h, 09 June Reply

    How long after surgery for retinal detachment with a 180 degree giant tear can cataract surgery be performed?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:02h, 12 June Reply

      Dear T J Van,

      I don’t think cataract surgery really affects the outcome of giant retinal tear surgery….6 weeks is probably a decent amount of time.


  • joseph vigliaturo
    Posted at 04:18h, 29 June Reply

    its been almost a year since the scleral buckle Vetrictomy surgeruy was done for my Detached retina.
    1 Dr did the surgery and another doctor replaced the lens. I have noticed a difference everyday in the surgery I but I am scene double vision. I read something about that 1 Eye prescription is very different from the other that can cause double visionI have had seven different prescriptions for glasses the last 2 include prisims still seeing that double vision unless i tilt the glasses one way or another to make them come together.
    Any ideas, the surgery eye also has kind if a distorted wiggle when i look at straight lines ,but crystal clear. Any eye exercies i can do to maybe get this fixed, ? Can anyone refer me to someone. I am thankfull for regaining myy sight ,just would. Like to be independent enough to drive again i am 57

  • Riaz
    Posted at 03:03h, 30 August Reply

    Thank you very much for all these necessary information, I also had an eye surgery followed by Retina Detachment and currently I am facing cataract which is confirmed by doctor. My vision is so much blur and cloudy from that eye.

    Is my vision is blur only due to Cataract? or surgical part may take more time to recover?

    I had retina detachment surgery on 25 July 2013

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:26h, 25 September Reply


      Really hard to know. If your doctor is recommending cataract surgery, it may be worthwhile to consider having the cataract removed and then you can figure how much vision is lost from the retinal detachment…if any.

      All the best.


  • Randy
    Posted at 00:27h, 30 November Reply

    I had a 45% tear in the left eye and 25% tear in the right eye repaired. At about the 6 week point after the gas bubbles were small, I started noticing that I was seeing double for any distance further than about 15 feet. I did have Scleral buckles put in both eyes, but my vision only changed from 20/30 to 20/60 in one eye and 20/70 in the other. I obtained glasses from my optometrist, but this did not help the double vision. Now, a week later, it seems the double vision is a bit worse. Going into the doctor this Thursday. How long will this double vision last and should I be concerned? Worried.

  • Marie L.
    Posted at 21:36h, 06 December Reply

    Dear Dr Wong,
    A year ago I developed ARN following an attack of shingles. Acyclovir via picc line, oral prednisone, and intravitreal injections, prevented bilateral involvement, but the retina in the affected eye eventually detached. I had scleral buckle surgery to reattach it. Silicone oil removal followed 3 months later, and cataract surgery 2 months after that. I suffered muscle damage during the buckle surgery, to an extent that is not correctable through PT or optometry. The neurophtalmologist consulted, told me that surgery was my only option and would have to be performed in both eyes. Having recently lost functional vision in one of my 20/20 eyes, I am reluctant to have the other potentially compromised. On the other hand, living with loss of peripheral vision as well as pretty disruptive diplopia is at time overwhelming. There is also the lingering issue of macular edema which followed cataract surgery, and is showing little response to usual local treatment (injection and drops). I am otherwise healthy and active, but at a loss as to how to proceed from here. I see an acupuncturist to help with inflammatory response. Have I reached biomedicine”s limits?

  • Pingback:Double Vision Caused by Anisometropia
    Posted at 11:14h, 07 January Reply

    […] Anisometropia is an imbalance in the prescription needed between your two eyes.  There are several causes of anisometropia, but the most common for a retinal surgeon is a result of a scleral buckle used to repair a retinal detachment. […]

  • J Kelly
    Posted at 19:30h, 30 January Reply

    Dear Mr Wong,
    I had a retina detachment in my left eye nearly 3 years ago. The retina was successfully reattached but the sight in the eye became very short sighted due to the buckle. Before the detachment I was short sighted and wore glasses. After the operation because my left eye was much more short sighted than the right eye I was told that I couldn’t wear glasses if I wanted binocular vision. Eventually I got contact lenses and my vision is nearly perfect which is great and I’m delighted with. The only problem is that I used to play golf and my golf game has deteriorated significantly from what it was before the operation. From what I can tell my depth perception is as good as it was before. My vision in my left eye is nearly 20/20. I have tried everything to figure out what the problem is. I have some theories about what could be the problem but I don’t know enough about vision and hand/eye coordination to be sure. The problem isn’t with putting or near the greens. It’s with my full swing. I have a feeling that at impact with the ball my right eye is now where my left eye used to be. I have found out that golfers with dominant right eyes can’t turn their heads as much on the backswing as golfers with dominant left eyes (due to their nose causing them to lose sight of the ball). All in all my sight is nearly perfect but something has happened to cause my golf swing to change dramatically. Before the operation my handicap was 5 and the way I hit the ball now it would probably be over 20 even though my vision is nearly perfect. I’m 99% certain that something has changed in my hand eye coordination due to the operation. If you could maybe enlighten my as to what could be the problem I would greatly appreciate it.

  • deborhonestly ah
    Posted at 15:37h, 10 February Reply

    Hi I had a pneumatic rex something or other with vitrectomy. Gas bubble lasted fifteen days (left eye). Never considered my eyesight that bad just short sightedness and glasses for tv driving etc (to see better). Anyhow retinal detachment macula off (yes the worst) but it actually detached over a matter of hours waiting at hospital a and e. Previously it presented as two tears. However it was seen to asap.

    I had suffered a pvd apparently a year earlier and had thought it was the same eye but no it was the good eye that suffered the pvd. Anyhow now I am worried as have a floater that is annoying me from the pvd eye but I think it is because I am anxious and notice it more!!! No flashing lights though and sight is as clear as ever. I find if I keep busy I don’t notice it. Bright and lightened rooms, screens etc, are worst for this to occur though. However was told at hospital that pvd did leave a wrinke and hole!!!! Help! They don’t seem particularly worried about this! They said sight is good in that eye and I think I heard doctor say no vitreous left now?

  • craig thomas
    Posted at 22:57h, 07 March Reply

    I had retinal reattachment surgery in October of 2013. a scalera buckle was used as well as a gas bubble. after the sgas bubble disappeared and the eye had a little time to heal I had cataract surgery in the same eye. after the cataract surgery there was some tissue behind the new lens and that has been recently removed via laser surgery. I have some double or ghost vision as well has seeing wavy lines instead of straight lines. I have to close my eye in order to read or use this computer due to the double vision using my other eye. will this heal on its own or is more surgery required?.

  • Fred Samuels
    Posted at 11:29h, 26 March Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    Thanks for providing this resource, extremely helpful to read others conditions and what you recommend.

    My family has a history of retinal detachments and I’m a +5 or on the myopia chart so I took preventative action and had a ophthalmologist do regular exams for this condition. Unfortunately, I never fully understood what a detached retina was until after I had pneumatic retinopexy for a central detachment with some macular tear about five weeks ago in the specialist’s office on an emergency basis. Hind sight indeed is 20/20 and I wish I took some time to understand the condition before hand and had not waited to make my appointment, for the now obvious symptoms I had. Even after I had the curtain come down on the lower left quadrant I did not want to think it was an emergency. When the doctors office asked me what my symptoms were I did not know to say it was an emergency. Two or three days past, from the time I noticed the curtain, to the time I sat in the specialist’s chair getting it fixed. Another costly case of old too soon, smart too late.

    Now that my gas bubble is almost gone I’m wondering how long there may be improvement happening in my eye? There still is significant change in my ability to see what I’m writing and reading. My thought is to wait until the bubble is gone and then wait for things to quiet down in the affected eye, only then getting a new prescription. How long do you suggest waiting before getting new lenses to address the up close distortion?

    On a different note, do you think there is any way that limiting head/body movements could help prevent detached retina for persons with a higher probability of occurrence, such as PVD, or previous detachments? Would trampoline use, slackline activity, or jumpy jump fun, increase the likelihood of a detachment? Could sleeping positions or yoga positions use gravity to somehow help prevent the problem? Lastly, with PVD the vitreous moves away from the retina, what then goes into that open space?

    I enjoyed your welcome video and had no idea it took 50 some takes to do, seemed natural.


    Fred Samuels

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:16h, 02 April Reply

      Dear Fred,

      Thanks for you comments.

      Sorry about your retinal detachment. As long as your retina remains attached, wait and ask your doc about getting new glasses. I usually wait a few months in patients with a macula off detachment. You’ll also want to ask about cataract.

      Head positioning and body movements have no effect on retinal tears or retinal detachments. Think of REM sleep – your eyes beat back and forth so hard and fast that it is unlikely you can reproduce these forces while awake – short of getting sucker punched. Even with that, I’ve only had a handful of patients with retinal detachment who’ve had a history of boxing.


      Randall Wong, M.D.
      Retina Specialist
      Fairfax, Virginia 22030

  • Fred Samuels
    Posted at 15:10h, 29 March Reply


    Wanted to add a few more details and corrections. My vision was -3 to -4 or somewhere in that range not the +5 I put in the previous comment. My one year younger sister, at 55 or so, had two tears corrected and another tear fixed a year or so later. Her eyes are in the -11 to -12 range. The right eye is the one with tears, and it also has some tricky floaters. Would she be a FOV ready patient? My 49 year old brother whose vision is about the same, had a cataract removed and suffered a subsequent retina detachment missed by the cataract surgeon in his right eye. He complained of detachment symptoms but after looking at the eye the surgeon said it was ok. He later got a retina guy to look at it and had the correct diagnosis made then.

    One of my cousins who also has poor vision, had a retina detached while on a carnival ride at the tender age of 17. Could the forces exerted during jogging, trampoline, and gymnastics induce a weak retina to tear and/or detach? When I slackline, by that I mean just walking across the line without doing tricks, my sense of balance and equilibrium go into the alarm mode. Sort of a post-bounce slackline sickness, like what I imagine seasickness would be like. I can make a comparison between walking across a 2 inch diameter 10 foot black iron pole only six inches off the ground and a ten foot slackline, 12 inches off the ground. The unyielding black pipe has less after effects than the slackrack.

    Again thanks for your site and I hope I did not over do it here.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:26h, 02 April Reply

      Dear Fred,

      Very interesting history about your family.

      I think your sister would be an excellent candidate for FOV based upon your statement. Sorry to hear about your brother.

      Forces exerted during jogging, trampoline, etc. are probably negligible with regard to causing retinal detachment.

      Not sure if your slackline comments are related.

      Thanks for the kind remarks about the site….it’s a lot of work, but rewarding.


  • nilesh
    Posted at 10:19h, 30 March Reply

    Dear Dr. Randy,

    First of all I want to thank you for the excellent service u have been providing to all eye patients.

    I am 47 yrs los male and had cataract surgery in my right eye about 1.5 yrs back, my visión was excellent after cataract, 20/20. I was doing mini mono visión with using contact in left eye.

    I had RD in my eye 7 days back with scleral Buckle in my right eye, as per surgeon, my surgery went as best it can go. Have few questions for you and would appericiate if u can answer those:

    1. I was on cyclopentalote for a week , 4 times a Day, which was stopped a Day back, is this my double visión because of That?

    2. Since I had IOL in my right eye, with distance and with astigmatism, with RD it is Still possible that my visión will be changed in my right eye ?

    3. What would be the healing time, when will I be able to see better again, I am Very much anxious and frustated ?

    Hoping for your reply.

    Thx again for the great service you been providing to all eye parients.



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:28h, 02 April Reply


      1. Doubtful
      2. Not sure I understand about your using the term “vision” – do you mean presciption? do you mean permanent loss of vision?

      3. I can’t tell you because I can NOT examine you and I don’t know the details of your case before and during surgery.

      Sorry I can’t be more helful.

      All the best,


  • nilesh
    Posted at 11:12h, 03 April Reply

    Hello Dr. Rand,

    Thx for the reply.

    I meant prescription.

    Due to IOL, i had 20/20 distance vision, will
    I get That visión back ?

    How Long does it take to wear off the effects of cyclopentolate on pupil, which was 4 times for a week, as pupil Still seems



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:11h, 13 April Reply


      Cyclopentolate is relatively short acting and should wear off in a matter of days.

      Pupil dilation may be due to something other than the drops.


  • nilesh
    Posted at 09:13h, 18 April Reply

    Hello Dr. Randy,

    Thx for the reply. Have 2 more question:

    1. My visión Still seems blurry after 4 weeks, from operated eye, as though looking from Transperent film, is this
    Due to Vitrous Gel or something else ? When will it go away ?

    2. Eye Still feels glare from light, when should I expect to get better.



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:46h, 20 April Reply


      Sorry, but I can’t answer you because I can’t examine you.



  • nilesh
    Posted at 10:04h, 04 May Reply

    Hello Dr. Randy,

    It has been six weeks Since my Retina Detachment surgery, I have following questions about my on going recovery.

    1.when I blink my eye, My visión looks better when looking at any object or reading text, why ? When this will get better ?

    2. I can see better in more lighted área than low light area, why ?when it will getbetter.



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:42h, 10 May Reply

      Dear nilesh,

      I wonder if blinking causes you to use more of your peripheral vision? Don’t know. Blinking could also cause your cornea to get moist which, if dried, could clear.

      Too many possibilities re: light, cataract?

      Most often, people see better in lighted areas than low light.


  • Andrew Showering
    Posted at 03:59h, 17 June Reply

    Hi Dr Randy

    I have had a retina reatachment, with gas.
    I have been told that I have a very dense cateract forming.
    Q. I have double vision out of the one repaired eye but if I look through my galasses, the wrong way, out of the other eyes lense the double vision disapears and the sight is very good, so do I just need a new lens or is something else happening?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:26h, 12 July Reply


      Cant’ really say for sure. The prescription of the edge of the lens is different than looking through the center. I’ like to believe that cataract surgery may be very helpful; it may improve your vision and may reduce/eliminate the double vision.


  • Zafar
    Posted at 23:37h, 10 July Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong

    I had vitrectomy and scleral buckle surgeries to fix retinal detachment in the left eye eighteen months ago. These surgeries have been successful and the retina remains flat and attached with excellent vision in the left eye. Both eyes are pseudo-phakic with IOLs of same strength. The left eye needs refractive correction after the surgery due to myopic shift and astigmatism. So, I wear glasses with left lens Sph -1.25 ,Cyl -1.75×071, and right lens plain.
    I have two lingering problems:

    1. Residual drops of heavy liquid (PFCL) have been left in the left eye. I can see them by looking up. When I look straight down the left eye vision is blocked by a fog. This is causing significant visual problem. The left eye is perfect for close vision without glasses. But, most close work requires looking down. I can raise reading material to the eye level but cannot raise to eye level writing material, desktop, kitchen counters, dinner plate, work-bench etc. Is there an effective way of removing/reducing the residual heavy liquid from the eye? Will the presence of residual drops harm any part of the eye in the long run?

    2. Still struggling with double imaging. Started with severe diplopia after the surgery, which has gradually improved until recent three or four months. Does not seem to be improving much lately. It changes from time to time, sometimes better, sometimes worse. I lose binocular vision looking sideways or down. There is a narrow cone of binocular vision around the axis lop-sided toward upper right quadrant (worst double imaging toward lower left quadrant). Within the cone I am fine shifting my gaze from point to point gently. But if I need to quickly scan my field of vision, keeping a single image requires effort and strains the eyes. Should I continue to wait longer for further spontaneous improvement? What can be done to correct this problem? Will switching to a contact lens in the left I help?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:53h, 12 July Reply


      1. I’d investigate the possibility of removing the PFO. It can usually be done quite simply. Residual PFO can cause some inflammation which will vary from patient to patient.

      2. I have no idea without trying a contact lens. I’d ask your doctor about this.


  • Jaco
    Posted at 13:19h, 29 July Reply


    My dad has detached and torn his retina. After his surgery he went yesterday for the cleaning and lense replacement, but today he is still seeing wiggles and can’t see things as straight. Please help.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:59h, 05 August Reply


      Need some clarification. The “Wiggles” are new?

      If he has new symptoms, make sure his doctor is aware.


  • Elaine
    Posted at 20:19h, 21 August Reply

    Hello Dr. Wong,

    In February, I had cataract surgery on my right eye and had a Restor Multifocal IOL put in. The vision was great until three weeks later I had a vitreous hemorrhage and about two weeks later my retina detached. I had a vitrectomy with a gas bubble. Since the retina surgery, I have had double vision in the right eye only and a numbing, tingling feeling outside the eye and at the temple. I also see some flickering out the corner of my eye. I notice the double vision mostly when reading. I see a second ghosted image of text slightly above the actual text. The second image is always there, unless I close the right eye. My vision in the right eye is 20/25. At first the tingling feeling occurred off and on and was more annoying, but now it is more frequent and hurts at time. It sometimes feels like a throbbing or burning sensation. My left eye has a cataract but isn’t bad enough for surgery.

    The retina surgeon says my retina is fine and the double vision and tingling aren’t related to the retina surgery. The cataract surgeon said the IOL is centered and the power is correct. He said the tingling feeling is nothing to worry about. The optometrist said it was possible a nerve was injured during the retina surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon told me the Restor IOL was giving him a challenge but I don’t know if it caused any problems. I’ve read articles that an injury to the trochlear nerve can cause double vision. I’m concerned about what is causing the tingling and I would like to see if it’s possible to treat the double vision. I want to get another opinion but I don’t know if I should see an ophthalmologist or neurologist. Do you have any advice on what type of doctor I should see or what could be causing the double vision and tingling feeling?

    Thank you,

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:41h, 25 August Reply


      I’d seek the opinion of a pediatric ophthalmologist (they deal with kids with crossed eyes and adults with double vision).

      Injury to any nerve, including the trochlear nerve, can cause double vision – I’d check the pediatric person – they are experts with the muscles which move the eye, too.


  • Don M.
    Posted at 11:22h, 01 September Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,
    Three years ago I had cataract surgery in both eyes and had crystal lense impants to provide monovision. For the last three years I have had almost perfect vision with absolutely no need for corrective lenses.
    Then in May, 2014 I had a totally detached retina accompanied by several tears in my left eye. On May 16th my surgeon performed vitrectomy surgery and placed a long lasting intaocular gas bubble. The bubble lasted for 12 weeks to the day (Aug 15th) to completely dissipate. I now have very complete vision, including peripheral vision and at my last exam vision in the left eye was 20/30. My problem is that objects viewed with my right eye are much bigger and appear much closer than with my left eye. I do not have double vision at all times, but when I try to focus on something far away (like a golf flag on a green) I see two of them. And my depth preception (even at distances of 3 to 4 feet is very distorted. After the bubble dissipated my surgeon cleared my to fly and I will be away from home and my surgeon for 8 weeks. What are my options for regaining a better focal balance between my two eyes? Also, can crystal lenses be replaced to achieve that balance? Thank you!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:10h, 02 September Reply

      Don M.,

      The first thing I’d do is get refracted, that is, get examined for glasses. It may also be due to your macula, but I can’t tell without examining you.

      The most ominous part of the story is that the retina was totally detached…including your macula.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:10h, 02 September Reply

      The first thing I’d do is get refracted, that is, get examined for glasses. It may also be due to your macula, but I can’t tell without examining you.

      The most ominous part of the story is that the retina was totally detached…including your macula.


  • Don M.
    Posted at 14:22h, 02 September Reply

    Thanks Doc,
    I will do that and report back with the results.

  • Vinay N. Mane
    Posted at 16:52h, 11 October Reply

    Hi after 1week before I had Retinal detachment surgery
    After surgery doctor said rentina detach and macula just off..
    My question is
    Doctor said retina is attach
    But but vision some blurry and central vision is not proper ..
    2) can recover my vision ?
    Doctor said wait gas in your eye

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:29h, 20 August Reply

      Sorry for late response. Gas in the can decrease your vision.


  • jeff Hayward
    Posted at 00:18h, 02 December Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,

    First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the questions posted on this site. Speaking from personal experience, these eyesight issues are serious, can be traumatic and downright scary. Your efforts to respond are truly appreciated by us all.

    In my case, I am 54 years old and very near sighted since youth. I had Lasik in 2000, and my doctors have been monitoring some retinal holes for several years.

    Last year, I had a Yag in my left eye to reduce pressure, followed by cataract surgery. A little over two weeks ago, my retina detached, but not fully. I had “successful” surgery and am in my 3rd week of recovery. I had a vitrectomy with gas bubble. All was going well until about 4 days ago when I noticed a marked reduction in peripheral vision (opposite side of where i was able to first visualize the detachment). At the same time, I started to have trouble with double vision. The double vision is very bad in the morning when I first wake up, but after about an hour of focusing “exercises”, it is mostly gone…although if I quickly shift my focus between near and far things double up for a bit.

    I visited my Doc yesterday and he played it down, saying that at this point our focus is the healing from the detachment surgery and with so many variables from this type of surgery, he didn’t want to worry about the peripheral issue or double vision at this time.

    My questions to you:
    Have you experienced this type of diplopia and peripheral loss as a temporary complication from retinal detahment, or is it probably here to stay unless addressed medically?
    Is this ok to ignore these issues now and then revisit them later? Or is it a complication that should best be addressed now?

    Thanks again for your time and responses.


    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:46h, 31 December Reply

      Sorry for the delay. By now I hope your issues have resolved, but I don’t usually have complaints of double vision after successful retinal detachment surgery. Again, sorry I took so long to respond.


  • Kim Fenske
    Posted at 04:03h, 03 August Reply

    From January through June, 2019, I had two detachment surgeries, cataract surgery, and IOL replacement surgery. I have double-vision. The buckle and silicone oil remain. Change in prescription does not correct the problem. How can I achieve a better result?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 17:52h, 20 August Reply

      Tough question. Double vision can be from 1: the buckle affecting the eye muscles and/or 2: the oil causing a huge change in prescription compared to the other eye. If the prescription between the two eyes is too different, it can result in double vision from “anisometropia.”


  • lENA
    Posted at 22:53h, 16 August Reply


    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 17:47h, 20 August Reply

      If you were my patient, I’d leave on for the first night of surgery, but listen to your own doctor.


  • B Donald
    Posted at 23:53h, 06 September Reply

    I had a victrectomy with gas and at the same time cataract surgery to prevent potential future cataracts.

    This was 12 days ago. The gas is going down. I probably should and do feel guardedly cautious but I had do have some concerns.

    At present above the gas line I have glare that would certainly prevent me from driving.

    Also my depth perception is poor. Pouring things into a cup, unless I close the bad eye, leads to me spilling it . Again driving would be difficult I feel.

    I am actually assuming that I’m doing well so far but am a little anxious as I’m an expat and dealing with the doctor in my non-native language.

    As an aside it seems to be the norm here that after this surgery you are kept in hospital for about 2 weeks (I was 10 days). I was happy to get such care.

    Posturing is also limited. I only postured immediately after the op for 2 hours. Then for 2 hours 3 times the next day and finally the day after that for 2 hours 2 times. Then I was done. Though sleeping on my back is still forbidden.

    My doctor, whom I feel is excellent, claims to have a 98.9% success rate in cases like mine.

    Any thoughts to reassure me

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:21h, 09 September Reply

      Ok. Have no idea what you are telling me with regard to your location. If you have gas, you can expect lots of glare and blurred vision until the gas completely absorbs. The length of time the gas leaves your eye depends upon the type of gas and the concentration. I’d follow your docs advice closely. All the best…wherever you are.


  • Vishal Shah
    Posted at 09:30h, 02 October Reply

    Hi i underwent buckle surgery for retina detachment and then vitrectomy as retina opened within 3 weeks. after surgery i had high ocular pressure which was controlled with drops now even though i jave normal pressure i experience blackout in my operated eye for 5-10 sec when i get up after sleeping or sitting. is it something for me to worry ?

    Thanking you in Advance

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:58h, 20 May Reply

      As I said in the other comment, high IOP can cause these symptoms. Make sure your doctor is aware.


  • Vishal Shah
    Posted at 06:08h, 03 October Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,

    I went retina detachment correction surgery Buckle method and then Vitrectomy
    and laser with silicon oil after it got re-detached after three weeks.
    After Vitrectomy my eye pressure was high 35 which was controlled with drops.
    I am experiencing dark moments of 5-10 sec in front of my operated eye each time i get up.
    Is there anything i have to worry about.
    Please suggest any medication which can help me .
    Thanking in advance

    Vishal Shah

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:59h, 20 May Reply

      As I said in the other two comments, high eye pressure can do this. All the best. Make sure your doctor is aware.


  • Jodi Grey
    Posted at 05:08h, 06 January Reply

    Hi , I have a question for my husband he had a lower detached retina on August 7th 2019 and had the gas bubble all that went well doc said every time we went everything was looking great and the bubble is completely gone but then he was seeing everything cloudy so then they cleaned his lens he did have Cataract surgery in both eyes 4 yrs prior, but they cleaned it and things seemed clearer he said just give it more time cause he was seeing waves like everything looks wavy like even lines in the road all seem to wave together so now he doesn’t go back until June 2020 giving it more time do you think we should get a second opinion he drives for a living he has a cdl and can’t even drive a car because of this he also said something about the macula not getting as thick as it should yet . He had 20/20 vision before all this happened and is just getting anxious to get back to work do you think anything else can be done for him ?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:38h, 09 May Reply

      Wow. There’s a lot going on here and I really can’t advise you as I can’t examine your husband. I apologize for the long delay, but hope he’ll be able to get some answers when he is able to reconnect with his retina specialist. All the best, Randy.

  • Prerna
    Posted at 14:18h, 20 February Reply

    My eye became smaller after ratinal detachment surgery… it will be fine or remain thd same

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:27h, 01 March Reply

      Don’t know. Could actually only appear to be smaller. Either could happen. Randy

  • Prerna
    Posted at 14:46h, 20 February Reply

    I had retina reattachment surgery with about 12 weeks ago. My issue is that the eye has not returned to a normal appearance. It appears that the top eye lid has come down over the eye more and all round the eye looks a lot more closed than my other eye. It was improving up until about 5 weeks ago and hasn’t changed since. Is it likely to return to normal of its own accord in the longer term? Is there anything I can do to improve it?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:26h, 01 March Reply

      Not sure there is anything to do but let your doctor know about your concerns. I obviously can’t lend my opinion without an exam. Randy

  • Anthony Moreno
    Posted at 15:48h, 03 April Reply

    My brother had a Retinal re-attachment a month ago I noticed him trying to use a magnifying glass to see things such as the T V
    I’ve told him not a good idea and I wondering if this will mess up anything. He only has the one eye that works Please let me know if a real bad idea. Thanks

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:29h, 20 April Reply

      Use of a magnifier is not a bad idea. Not to worry. Randy

  • Patric crigler
    Posted at 00:13h, 21 May Reply

    I had buckle ,vitrectomy about a year ago, my eye still looks smaller then before my surgery, the buckle irritates my eye, and also when I look either direction I feel it in there , my vision has decreased from it, are these good enough reasons to explore removal, my doctor doesn’t like the idea of removal, and doesn’t seem to be worried about the symptoms I’m having

  • Brad Butts
    Posted at 16:13h, 26 February Reply


    My name is Brad, and I had a vitrectomy back in 2016. I had a sclera buckle at the same time. I spent a couple years trying to find glasses that worked until my optometrist decided to try prisms. It was a very difficult time for me as I could not wear any othe non-prism glasses for more than 5 minutes without getting a headache yet I could not work without the glasses. Anyway, the prisms in my glasses improved my vision, but I still have a bit of double vision which is frustrating. I now have progressive computer lenses for close work, and bifocal glasses to drive. I originally tried to have only one pair of progressive lenses for close and distance work, but then decided to try the bifocal lenses for distance. They seemed to give me better vision than the progressives. Do you feel like bifocal computer lenses would work better than progressive computer lenses? Also, I have had a floater in my right eye for 2-3 years that continues to bother me. My retinal specialist is hesitant to do another vitrectomy (this time on my right eye) to take care of the floater, but it really does bother me. Any thoughts? Finally, if prisms do not totally help with my double vision do you have any other suggestions. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Brad

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 18:21h, 11 March Reply

      Hello Brad, thanks for writing in,

      Regarding bifocal lenses vs. progressives for the computer, that is all up to the wearer. Some prefer progressives while others cannot tolerate them and rely on bifocals. There is no right answer – it’s just something you have to discover for yourself.

      In respect to the floater in your right eye, I realize it is bothering you and reducing your visual quality of life. I am not your physician and cannot make any recommendations, but I would say for someone in your situation with a history of retinal detachment in the other eye, I would be VERY CAUTIOUS about planning ANY intraocular surgery on the fellow eye. You already have a predisposition for retinal detachments and you don’t want to increase the risk of another.

      Warm regards,

      Mike Rosco, MD

  • Gretchen Z Gersonde
    Posted at 09:49h, 08 October Reply

    Hello there. Last winter I had a retinal detachment (including the macula) which went untreated for probably two weeks, so it was pretty bad. (I noticed my vision worsening so I made an appointment with the eye doctor. Thought I needed new glasses. Did not realize it was an emergency.) Had the vitrectomy at the end of February. Rather than a gas bubble, the doctor put silicone oil in there to keep the retina in place while it healed. It wasn’t until July that the second vitrectomy took place. The doctor removed some scar tissue as well as the silicone oil. I went home with a gas bubble which was frankly a delight compared to the oil. I could more or less watch the bubble disappearing. Vision is still not great, but improving I think. I can walk the dog without glasses. My good eye is very good. I do see double most of the time, and I’m holding onto hope that glasses will correct that. It is October now. My doctor still has not given me the go-ahead to visit the optician. I have an appointment with my surgeon on October 20, and I hope it’s the last one. I just want to point out to anybody and everybody that the healing process takes time, it really does. It is not quick like the treatment for cataracts. When people ask me about my vision, I describe it like being in a swimming pool wearing cheap swim goggles. While I had the oil in my eye, it was like having your eyes open under water.

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 02:12h, 09 October Reply

      Hello Gretchen!

      Thank you for sharing your journey through retinal detachment and recovery. Your vivid descriptions, like feeling underwater, powerfully convey the challenges and sensations experienced.

      Your point about the healing process being a gradual one is crucial for others to understand. It’s indeed not a swift path like the majority of routine cataract surgeries. Patience and understanding during recovery, especially when navigating visual disturbances and awaiting improvements, are paramount.

      I hope your upcoming appointment brings encouraging news and that you continue to see improvements in your vision. Your story is enlightening for others on similar paths.

      Mike Rosco, MD

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