Look only in my good eye...
May 15, 2013 9:14 AM   Subscribe

So I have retinal vein occlusion in my right eye and I have seen the previous question here. My problem is that I have been to an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and my primary dr. Everything seems good.

YANMD, I have normal bp (117/72), I'm not diabetic, I'm not a smoker, I have the occasional glass of wine on the weekend (or book club), I exercise pretty regularly. Other mildly high cholesterol, I'm pretty healthy. I'm 46 but I'm not menopausal or on hormones. I do have mitral valve prolapse. I was checked for clotting and my results came back negative. Now the dr. wants me to go to a hematologist. I'm pretty fed up at this point. I haven't suffered any significant loss of vision except for a few days, now I do "see" a shadow to the right but it is felt that this might be a clot impeding my vision. What's next? Is it possible that this could just be stress? Is a hematologist really necessary and what exactly will they do that my primary can't? I am now taking a full strength aspirin daily as recommended. So far all I've gotten is this isn't common in someone like me.
posted by lasamana to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
The answer's right there in the other thread, from an ophthalmologist no less:
"If you really do have a CRVO, the most important thing is to do a hypercoaguable workup, which means looking to see if there's any reason that you have a propensity to clot. This could be very important to identify, and I would typically involve a hematologist."

In case these terms are too technical, what it means is that they run a battery of tests to see if your blood has a higher risk for clotting - precisely to find out why something like this would happen in someone like you.

If you have a blood clotting disorder that caused this to happen it would be important to know that fact. Hematologists do these workups because they involve specialized hematology tests and rare hematology diagnoses. Was there something else you wanted to know about this?
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:23 AM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Hi Lasamana, I am the OP from the previous question. I did go see a hematologist, and glad I did so. I was found to have a blood-related auto-immune disorder called Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome that causes coagulation problems, and is likely the reason for my CRVO. That actually led to the discovery of another auto-immune disorder that I would have taken years to discover had I not gone originally to the hematologist. Early treatment has been key to my ongoing good health, and it all started with some simple exams carefully chosen by my very awesome hematologist.
I understand your reluctance, but please understand that doctors need to understand the underlying cause of your CRVO, and potentially treat a more serious condition that could cause you larger problems in the future. Memail me if you have any additional questions.
posted by msali at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]

Coagulation problems - blood clots - are nothing to underestimate. In place they can cause trouble. If they get loose and travel to your heart or brain, they cause major trouble. If the ophthalmologist recommended seeing a hematologist, please see one at the earliest.
posted by Cranberry at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not a doctor of any kind, but my job revolves around retina-related research. If I've learned anything, it's never, ever, ever ignore anything serious going on in your retina. Things can go from fine to extremely not fine without a lot of warning. Please follow your doctor's advice to the letter.
posted by fairfax at 6:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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