I’ve had some trouble with my eyes over the last month with a condition known as Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). It happened with my right eye when I was washing my eyes out while taking a shower. There was an explosion of sudden sharp floaters and flashes of light, and it was evident my sight in that eye immediately degraded… I liken it to peering through dirty glasses with a bit of glare to boot. I made an appointment with my optometrist two days later. I was relieved to find out that this is something that happens to folks as they age, usually ranging from ages 50-80… after age 80, it’s pretty much expected. A week later, I was reading an article about PVD that stated if it occurs in one eye, you can expect it in the other eye within a year. I told myself, “Alright! More good news. Bring it on!” And 3-hours later, it did.
While relieved that I wasn’t going blind, I was resigned to the fact that I am at that stage in life… I’ll be 64 at the end of December. That said, I didn’t let it keep me down long… my personality is more Tigger than Eeyore, so I continue bouncing toward what makes me better function as the person I am as opposed to dwelling on things I can’t change.
One of the things I look forward to is putting my camera in front of interesting places. While color in the mountains didn’t work out too well for the upper elevations, the lower elevations worked out well with autumn showing itself well beyond what it normally does. I took advantage of that this past Sunday and Monday on a waterfall excursion around the western end of North Carolina Highway 64… I walked off with some images I’m happy with that I’m still sorting through. This one of Crabtree Falls, however, is from 2015… and there’s a reason I’m posting it first.
I had to go back for a visit yesterday for my one-month check since the diagnosis with my eyes to make certain there were no further problems, such as tears in the iris or back at the optic nerve. All is good with that. While I was there, the assistant prepping me for the optometrist had mentioned that she, too, had just come back from the mountains and had hiked a waterfall near Ashville that was quite strenuous for her. I asked what waterfall… it was Crabtree Falls off the Blue Ridge Parkway near to Burnsville. It’s not a long hike, about a mile down, but “down” is the key word there… it’s steep, though so worth the effort if you find conditions like this.
Waterfalls can be described as anything from cascades to plunge falls… this one finds itself in a different category, as Crabtree Creek winds itself down to the chute above the falls, then spreads across the 70+ foot near vertical rock face into what appears as a delicate lace veil.
My vision has improved over the last month. One particularly well-defined “floater” is known as Weise’s Ring, material left over as the vitreous loosens from around the optic nerve… it was so well-defined that for the first few days, it made me think that something was flying around me that warranted swatting! There are also clouds of other material that appear as swarms of tiny zeros with a dot in the middle of them… go figure! This material is likely causing the glare I see. Things are settling down now. The brain actually cancels out the sharpness of the floaters to the point they are quite a lot less noticeable. The optometrist informs me the “zeroes” will likely go back to solution within the eyes in the coming year. The ebullient Tigger in me is confident that my sharp vision will return, assuming I make it through the year… even Tigger needs to see well enough not to bounce into the oncoming bus!