Russell's Blog

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Central serous retinopathy

Posted by Russell on January 08, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
The eye doctor in Davis confirmed that my magical eye bubble is central serous retinopathy. Here's a much better picture (now also on Wikimedia Commons).

That volcano-shaped thing is supposed to be a little pit (that's what "fovea" means).

I'm a bit pissed off that the Zeiss optical coherence tomography machine that the doctor used to take this image evidently keeps the data locked up in a proprietary format, and can only exchange data with other Zeiss products. The doctor says he can't even save a screenshot. The only way I could get this picture was by snapping a photo of the display with my phone.

I'm impressed with the technology, and I'm happy to pay for it. It's much better than the machine used to take the image in my first post about this, and allowed for a quick and unambiguous diagnosis. I just don't want to pay more for it than it actually costs. Ziess is taking a page out of Microsoft's playbook here by leveraging proprietary data formats and locked-down data sharing to coerce doctors into buying their equipment instead of someone else's. Except, the stakes are higher for medical products.

Update -- On February 9, 2011, I had Photodynamic therapy at the UC Davis Medical Center, under the care of Professor Susanna Park and her clinical staff. The surgery itself seems to have been completely successful -- the "bubble" is gone. However, because I had it for so long (more than a year), there was some damage to the retina, probably due to oxygen deprivation. This is taking longer to heal.

The result is that he distortion, blurriness and discoloration are gone, but dimness is taking much longer to go away.

I'm not a medical doctor, of course, but I suspect that waiting makes the recovery take longer. My hypothesis is that the longer the retina is under pressure and loosing part of its blood supply to leakage, the longer it will take to recover.

Usually, CSR will go away by itself, but if it doesn't, don't be complacent about it. Listen to your doctor about how long to wait, and then stop waiting.

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