The Blurry Twenty-Year-Olds
This past year, I had two urgent walk-ins. Both young men in their twenties complaining of a slight decrease in vision. During visual acuity assessment both were 20/20, however, they both came in complaining that their vision has changed.
The first patient was a truck driver and felt that driving was getting harder. I checked for a glasses prescription and there was none. Once we moved on to the front eye evaluation, I realized he had moderate to severe dry eye. The front of the eye had dry patches that were so severe that his functional vision was declining. He had recently had a baby and changed his work schedule to help his wife. This decrease in sleep and increase in stress caused his dry eyes. We treated his dry eye aggressively! He was an excellent patient following the treatment plan diligently. Within one month, his vision was back to normal and he was comfortable driving again. We recommended night time driving glasses, they have a special coating to enhance vision. He absolutely loved the clarity and comfort!
Dry patches in green on the cornea/front part of the eye
The other was 23-year-old university student, he came in complaining of a blurry spot in his vision. When, I checked his vision and prescription, it came back as 20/20 in each eye and not requiring any visual correction. The front part of the eye looked pristine. However, when I looked inside the left eye, he had changes in his macular area. He had edema that was subtle to observe. Using our 3-D imaging (or OCT for the professionals), I noted Central Serous Retinopathy or edema in the macular area. It is the black bump in the picture in 2018, while in the picture of 2019 it has resolved. After educating the patient on the condition, we created a treatment plan. The patient was followed closely and slowly his vision returned to normal with “smudge” slowly going away.
Vision is not simply your prescription but the overall health of your eyes! Many eye conditions slowly develop over time, however, regular eye exams (like regular physicals) can help catch and mitigate the long term negative effects of various eye conditions.