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Unexpected Vision Changes of the Aging Eye

Vision changes often come subtly, but recently I experienced a drastic change to my vision. In May of this year, I was working at my desk and noticed what appeared to be a blind spot in my central vision. Being a regular contact wearer, I thought perhaps this was a defect with my contact lenses. I changed them over the weekend, thinking it would solve the problem, but my vision was still disrupted.It took me about a week before I scheduled an eye exam. The optometrist did some testing and promptly referred me to a retinal specialist. This retinal specialist performed more tests and diagnosed this change in my vision as Vitreomacular Traction (commonly referred to as VMT).

What is VMT?

As the eye ages, it is natural for the vitreous gel, which fills our eye and helps keep its shape, to pull away from the back of the eye. The macula, which controls our ability to perform detailed tasks like reading, is centrally located the back of the eye (retina).  Sometimes complications occur during this transition.  VMT occurs when the vitreous gel shrinks away from the macula at different rates. This causes pulling in the areas of adhesion that distort central vision.

In some cases people won’t experience any symptoms, but in cases like mine, it can distort one’s central vision.

When I heard the diagnosis, questions raced through my mind. Will I ever have my vision back? Can this be treated? Will I need to undergo surgery?


The retinal specialist gave me three treatment options:

  1. Injection called Jetrea
  2. Vitrectomy surgery
  3. “Wait and See” (for 2 months)

I decided on door number three! And while this seems an easy route to take, my changed vision still was affecting my work. I was having trouble seeing both the words on my computer screen and in print. It was so bad that I thought that I was going to have to go on medical leave.

I contacted my eye doctor again hoping there was something he could do while I wait things out, and luckily he came up with temporary solution that makes a world of difference! He prescribed contacts for long distance combined with special glasses that I wear over my contacts. These glasses are intended for short-term use and are designed both for reading and close up vision. They are truly amazing!

I am hopeful that my vision will again be restored naturally, but I will continue to have to wait and see. Stay tuned for progress updates.

This is a guest blog from VSP Global employee, Marsha C.

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