Why is Eye Sight Blurry in Center? Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) and Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Beautiful Life

Happy New Year!

I like to share about a personal experience of mine as my first blog of 2014, to encourage specifically those few who have experienced an eye sight disorder - central serous retinopathy (CSR) and/or wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Without health, it is no fun to earn credit card sign-up bonuses for discounted luxury travels, right?

Imagine the feeling of standing within 12 inches of your husband /wife /kids /parents /boyfriend /girlfriend, and seeing only slurry faces with facial features non-distinguishable.  That was my experience for 2 months in 2012.  It puts my life into better perspective.

Blurry Eye Sight in the Center - CSR

Causes:  I am nearsighted, as my eye balls are elongated in shape that they are more prone to CSR.  In 2002, I played a SimCity computer game for five straight nights until my PC graphics card crashed.

Symptoms:  Several days after that sleep-deprived gaming activity,
  • Words on my computer monitor seemed slanted.
  • Building line was not seen as straight line.
  • Squinting my left eye lids would see a circular shadow in the center.
  • Dizziness due to my left eye which was the dominant eye had CSR, with my right eye now trying hard to visualize the object.  Driving became more difficult.
Diagnosis: My left eye was inspected by an opthalmologist from my Kaiser HMO.  The conclusion was that stress and no-rest caused my weaker left eye to have inner fluid detachment.  From Wikipedia,

CSR is a fluid detachment of macula layers from their supporting tissue. This allows choroidal fluid to leak into the subretinal space. The build-up of fluid seems to occur because of small breaks in the retinal pigment epithelium.

Treatment: The doctor recommendation was to rest and relax, take vitamin A to strengthen the one-cell layer (retinal pigment epithelium) so it would less likely to rupture.  Whenever I felt stressed or line started to look crooked, I would step away from the computer and relax.

Result:  My left eye recovered within 14 days.

The "Comeback" of CSR + AMD in 2012

For the next 10 years, I did not experience CSR.  I thought it would not come back.  In late September 2012, the discovery of another (more serious) disorder caused significant sleeplessness and anxiety.  CSR soon re-appeared in my left eye, as confirmed by my opthalmologist.  He also added seeing something looked like blood vessels, therefore my left vision center was a little opaque.   The same recovery routine of last time did not help my left eye this time.  The dark center area did not go away.

In October 2012, the "blind spot" in the center of my left eye seemed to turn darker and unchanged in size.  My opthalmologist said there is no medication guarantee to work with an eye surgery option as a possible remediation.  Eye surgery sounds scary; I preferred to wait.

When closing my right eye, my left eye could not see Isa's facial features (eyes, nose, lips) even I was sitting within 12 inches from her.  

On Nov 20, 2012, the dark shadow significantly grew in size, such that I could no longer read a single English word.  I left work immediately to see my opthalmologist.

November 20, 2012
It was related to wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).   The doctor did not believe I would have wet AMD; he would not call it wet AMD.  The discomfort from not able to see is greater than the fear of an eye surgery.  I asked for an eye surgery.  It was not easy.  He responded calmly that he was ready to perform in his office, right on the chair where I was sitting !

The eye surgery which he referred to, I soon learned, is a simple one and quite painless.  He injected one shot (Bevacizumab = Avastin) into the rear side of my left eye with some anesthetic applied around my left area.  The dark center circle immediately shrinked into a tiny black spot within a few days.

I took this photo in my last office visit, as Dr always had it ready

The injection was a magic wand to wipe off the blood inside my eyes

On Feb 8, 2013, I requested for a second shot.  A follow-up on March 20, 2013 showed good results. Additional shot would not help to heal the scarred area which was previously covered by blood.  Those scarred areas needed to be naturally healed.

March 22, 2013

For the next 6 months, I stayed relax, had faith that my left eye that it would recover by itself, took vitamin A to boost up my eye condition.  Since March 2013, I was much less bothered by the other disorder discovered in September 2012.  I was just grateful that my left eye could see again.

September 20, 2013
On September 20, 2013, my final eye exam confirmed that my left eye was indeed on the path of self-healing.  This is one major reason why we had French Laundry dinner in November 2013.

  • No long-hours computer game playing.  (The energy is used more pleasantly to learn and earn credit card sign-up bonuses instead)
  • Kaiser or any HMO would be a good choice to stick with if you have recurring CSR and do not want to pay much.  I was informed by the doctor that some patients would need the eye shot monthly.  Each eye shot and visit together costs USD $70 which is a co-payment.
  • If you experience CSR or AMD, first relax, relax, relax (N times).  Stress would only worsen the condition.
  • I stopped wearing contact lens since September 2012.  Contact lens tend to dry out eye quickly.
  • PreserVision Vitamin (available on Amazon $25 for 120 gels, or Costco $30 for 180 gels, where Costco membership is required) seems to help. I have been taking since February 8, 2013.
  • Most importantly, none of the above recommendations guarantee eye recovery.  I relied the recovery mostly on my Faith.
I am very grateful that my left eye could see again.

Because of this left eye recovery, I am able to continue my blog writing.

Ordered 4 bottles of Baush+Lomb PreserVision Vitamins from Costco.

With $5 off, Costco's price is the lowest. Costco membership is required

Vision loss can be due to various causes.   This post is about only my experience with CSR and Wet AMD.  If you try to view an object close or far, and vision is blurry in the center of your eye (right or left or both eyes), or straight line appears crooked, consult your opthalmologist ASAP.

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