Torn retina

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Balrog, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I just thought I would bring this to the attention of my fellow shooters. I am 50 yrs old and have been nearsighted since about the age of 20. I developed a torn retina in my right eye about a week ago. I am not sure if it was related to shooting or not, but about 2 days earlier had done a great deal of shooting with a 12 gauge shotgun using 00 Buckshot.

    Maybe it was related or maybe it wasnt. Retinal specialist wasnt sure either and said that retinal tears can develop spontaneously in near sighted people over 50.

    In any case, specialist told me no shotgun shooting for 2 months, and I am not sure I am going to do much 12 gauge 00 shooting anymore. I had to have emergency surgery 4 days ago, and vision is making progress but a long way from normal right now.

    Anyone else had a torn or detached retina? Were you able to resume shooting? I will be asking my doctor more about this in the coming visits.
     
  2. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I had a detached retina about 20 yes ago told the same from my opthomolgist had it repaired with a silicone buckle and haven't had any problems since. Did have a reduction in visual acuity but I have had eye problems from birth. Cataract surgery at 5 years old I'm 67 now. Had the previous cataract surgery corrected with lense inplants still need glasses but beats needed a white cane or a seeing eye dog. BTW I still shoot a big bore rifle 45/70 with heavy loads .
     
  3. sbwaters
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    sbwaters Contributing Member

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    Have always been significantly nearsighted. Wear contacts. Never get into a snowball fight with baseball players. 1980. Cryogenic reattachment at periphery of eye. Early on saw golden globes of light occasionally. don’t anymore. Have been shooting skeet for 2 years - 12 gauge. No problems. Never even think of it as an issue until seeing this post.
     
  4. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    ‘Merica!
    I am an ocularist - I make artificial eyes. I am also very nearsighted (myopic); nearsighted people's eyes elongate, which stretches the retina and tears/detachments are more common in folks like us. I have had tears in both eyes, and thanks be to God that I still have pretty good vision...with the right contacts and/or glasses.

    After the 1st tear (cryogenically repaired), no one ever advised me against heavy recoiling guns and about 3 weeks later I was duck hunting...7-10 days after that, I had the 2nd tear, essentially an extension of the 1st one and received laser surgery for its repair (and all of the others).

    I have been advised by my retina specialist to NOT shoot heavy recoiling guns like 12 gauges, .300 magnums, etc., as well as to avoid roller coasters & other amusement park rides that have a lot of centrifugal force. This is why I sold off my .358 Norma Magnum, and my 2 .356's and why I now only shoot .260 Remington's, .223's, 28 gauges, etc. Handguns are not an issue as the recoil is not jarring to the shoulder, neck, head, etc.

    And although bungee jumping has never appealed to me, it is now permanently out-of-the-question. BTW, I do have 1 patient who was very myopic and had bi-lateral RD's from bungee jumping and ended up losing 1 of his eyes; while he still has vision in the other eye, he is now legally blind.

    Unless there is another ocularist on this forum (and if there is, I'm sure we know each other) I most certainly know more people who have lost an eye/vision due to RD's/tears than anyone else on here, and so my advice to you is to accept the fact that the heavy hitters are no longer in your best interests, and embrace the smaller caliber/gauges so you may continue to enjoy seeing and shooting.

    Everyone know the old saying "It's all fun-and-games until someone loses an eye"....I always add to that "and then it's business."

    Sam
     
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  5. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    -WARNINGProtect your visionWARNING.

    -A full Opthalmic (Opthamologist) dialated eye exam is aproximately $200 out of pocket, or covered with insurance copay around $30-$50.
    -Anyone and everyone regardless of health status, excellent family history etc. should have an Optham. exam once Happy Birthday-40 hits.
    -$200 or even slightly more is Mere PENNIES compared to losing vision or NOT knowing about an undiagnosed but easily treated condition!!
     
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  6. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    As someone who enjoys shooting heavy recoil firearms, I found this thread interesting and something to think about. I'm still fairly young but will keep this in the back of my mind, heaven forbid the day I can't turn pumpkins into applesauce! :)
     
  7. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    I got a detached retina last Sept., a couple of weeks after breaking in my wife's 12ga for her. We shortened the stock 2" for her, so it didn't fit me at all and kicked like a mule. The two doctors I saw disagreed as to whether that was a factor or not. It's all healed now, and the doctor cleared me to shoot. My 12 ga, is a Beretta A400 with the Kick Off, so it feels like I'm shooting an AR. I sold my larger caliber rifles, to be on the safe side, keeping my 5.56/.223 and .300 BLK.
    I've also had tears repaired in my other eye twice this year already, but we suspect they are diabetes related more than from shooting.
     
  8. D Rudd

    D Rudd Member

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    Had a detached retina fifty years ago. All I shot at time was 12ga 3" magnums. Happened in early summer and was back bird hunting in October, never even gave it a thought. That eye was never correctable to 20/20 but never really phased me. The reason for the detachment was being hit in the face with a baseball. Lot different procedure for repairs back in those days.

    Dana
     
  9. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I've had cataract surgery in both eyes, and my dad had an (undiagnosed) detached retina (which he actually lost his eye from)...and both of those things put me at a higher risk for a detached retina. I've been blessed by the surgery I've had on my eyes because of the improvement in vision that resulted, so I'm not willing to risk it for anything.

    The problem, according to my eye surgeon, is that there's no clear formula for what will give you a detached retina and what won't. He said that you could fall of the roof of your single story home and not hurt your retina...or step off of a curb abruptly and suffer a retinal tear.

    I was surprised to run into a big game hunter who always waited 10 minutes between shots when sighting in his .458 in order to avoid hurting his retinas. I have no idea if this is a legit way of protecting your eyes, but it made me think about my most powerful guns. I rarely shoot rifles or shotguns, but I do like my Marlin .45/70, and I'd hate to never shoot it again. The issue is compounded because I've also injured my shoulder before, and that rifle can give a serious jolt to my shoulder, as well. I found some Cowboy Loads from Black Hills ammo that push a 405 gr. bullet at 1250 fps, so I'm hoping that - and a Limb-Saver on the stock - will make things less intense. I've also bought some lower recoiling rifles, like a .243 and a .32 Special. Limb-Savers will go on those, too.
     
  10. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    *Crosses .50 bmg off Christmas list*
     
  11. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    I'll stick with the .308, yup.
     
  12. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    Happened to a friend of mine, just driving down the road and felt something funny in his eye...hurt, things fuzzy....wife finally gets him to go to the eye dr. You know he is a man, it will fix itself.

    He was in surgery that day, said he could have gone blind.

    He had qualified the day before, is in his upper 50's, always wore glasses as long as I knew him. He is back to normal vision now, but it was nothing to mess with. I am not sure if his glasses had to change after he was healed up...I know he had a patch on for about 2 months.

    He asked the doc about shooting and was told it is likely just an old age thing.

    Hopefully this thread and post will not get deleted like the other real good eyesight discussion we had going on.
     
  13. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    My mother-in-law suffered a partially detached retina in her seventies. Nothing in her life would have generated a shock to her head. It was successfully reattached and she lived into her nineties without further problems.
     
  14. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I'm at risk, but have never enjoyed high recoil rifles and my shot gun business is limited to skeet loads (with a Kick Eaze pad) so not really a big deal.

    One's vision is not to be taken lightly.
     
  15. equin

    equin Member

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    Wow. First I've heard about this and glad I read this thread. Had no idea about RD, much less that recoil could cause a retinal tear. I'm highly myopic (badly nearsighted), with an eyeglass prescription of -9.75. Also in my early 50's, so I guess I fit the risk category.

    I'm relatively new to shooting, so forgive my dumb questions, but aside from recoil pads, anything else to reduce recoil? Muzzle brakes? Add weight to the stock? Switch from 12 ga pump to semi-auto? Shoulder pad inserts?

    As for the dialated eye exam, my ophthalmologist recently performed some kind of exam using a machine that can supposedly look at the inside of the retina without dialating the pupil. I should have asked more about it at the time, but am wondering if this is a new technology that can take the place of pupil dialation exams?
     
  16. equin

    equin Member

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  17. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    if it was the "poof of air" machine those are not as accurate as the other tests from what I have been told.
     
  18. equin

    equin Member

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    No, it wasn't the "poof of air" machine. It was a different one that was in addition to that one. The digital imaging exam required me to stick my eyeball as close as possible to some kind of lens. My eyelashes were mashing up against the thing, and it was a bit unnerving getting my eyeball that close to an object without actually touching it. The doc later showed me an onscreen image of the back of my eye and pointed out the retina. But like I said, I should have paid more attention to it all now that this subject (retinal tears) has come up as part of our discussion of the shooting sports. The digital imaging exam cost about $25 more if I remember correctly. I think it's well worth it if it can detect more than the pupil dilation exam as that article claims in the link I posted above.
     
  19. 19&41

    19&41 Member

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    Learn something new every day. Sometimes valuable things like these. Thanks.
     
  20. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    People who shoot 50's regularly have to be careful about things like retina detatchment...but I think it's more from the repeated concussion back from the brake than the actual recoil which isn't all that much if the brake is working as it should. One of the top 50 shooters actually died from what they said were complications from all of the abuse his body took shooting enough to break records and hold titles. I know about 40 rounds and I'm going to feel bad afterwards, and believe that the Military guys who shoot them are limited in their round counts per day or week as the punishment accumulates and it wouldn't surprise me at all if some have suffered eye problems from shooting the 50's in rifles. M2's...no problem.:)
     
  21. jhb

    jhb Member

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    my mother has had detached and torn retinas. also in her later 50s. she has had terrible eyesight her whole life and near sightedness like the op does. never shot more than a .22lr rifle in her life. hers did it while not shooting. that isnt science though just like the two or so cases here arent science.

    its genetic from the eye setup as you also mentioned more than repeat heavy recoiling firearm use. now maybe it was almost torn loose and that helped finish it, but would have happened anyways. dont worry folks...shooting shotguns and large calibers isnt going to make your retinas tear loose.
     
  22. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    You may be right but it would be easier to believe if I hadn't torn my retina shortly after shooting a lot of 12 gauge OO buckshot shortly before it happened. Ophthalmologist was not committal as to whether it was related. I had near sightedness as a risk factor. Anyway, I would rather not shoot heavy recoiling guns anymore. I like seeing better than shooting.
     
  23. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    ‘Merica!
    The poof of air is a test for glaucoma (the pressure inside of the eye) not a retinal test.

    jhb, yes, genetics are a major factor; however, this:
    is kinda like saying "Hey, if it ain't in your genetics, heavy drinking won't ever harm your liver.." I will stand by what I stated in my 1st post in this thread: If someone is at risk for retinal tears/detachments, shooting large caliber rifles and/or large gauge shotguns is NOT in their best interests; been there, done that, got the T-shirt and continue to make prosthetic eyes for those who lose their eye or vision due to retinal detachments.

    Sam
     
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  24. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    I had cataract surgery on both eyes and shortly afterward had my first retinal detachment in the right eye. Shortly afterward, the same thing in the left eye. Emergency laser surgery went well and I recovered most of my vision. 5 years later, another detachment in the right eye, again fast emergency surgery worked well.
    The real problem I have now is huge great floaters that block my vision. These are the remnants of the blood that leaked from the broken blood vessels in my eye.. Despite this I can still see well enough to shoot very respectable scores, the only concession I had to make is that I now have to shoot using my left eye. Took some work to get used to this but it can be done. My retinal specialist tells me I am really lucky to be able to shoot and do all the other things I do.
    One thing I want to say its this, of you are over 45 and are short sighted, be alert and if you see bright flashes in your eye, get help immediately! there usually is no pain, just the really bright flashes and some loss of vision in a small part of the visual field. If, as in my case the blood vessel tears, it has to be re-attached within 45 mind to an hour or there could be a permanent loss of vision in that area!
    Please heed the warning,
    from one who's been there
     
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  25. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    Am I wrong that the "poof of air" test and not as "good" of a test as the other? I thought it was a pressure test but not sure.
     
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