Retinal Detachment with “Macula Off”
Nearly eight weeks ago my younger brother Graham, early fifties, phoned me with some distressing news that he had been diagnosed with a seriously detached retina and that his macula had also detached. He was facing an uncertain future and was looking for advice and reassurance. Being a glass half full personality he was struggling to contain all the questions arising from this situation. Was his future as a lecturer in doubt now? What about his ability to drive? You get the sense of worry he was going through. Huge uncertainty had entered his life and therefore that of his family's
With hindsight a bizarre incident while on holiday 5 weeks earlier, sliding down a water slide into a large swimming pool had led to the water pushing into his eye in such a way as to produce a seconds long trauma that had probably started this process. The water had held his right eyelids open while water pushed into his eye as he moved into and through the water of the pool. He was disoriented for a full ten minutes before he could leave the pool. Yet as is the nature of these events, you recover and move on not realising that adverse events are in motion.
He had experienced a lifting black veil and flashing lights several days earlier, but not realising the seriousness of these symptoms had waited another day and a half before seeking help. The result of this delay had made things worse and the delay was enough for his macula to detach, worsening his prognosis.
He was also singing the praises of the NHS who had recognised his need for urgent treatment, and performed a vitrectomy, whereby a small hole is made in his eye wall through which the vitreous gel is removed and in his case replaced with a long lasting gas bubble to hold the detached retina and macula in place. This will be slowly absorbed by the eye over the next two months or so. The final outcome is most likely months in the future as your body needs to heal and regrow the attachments that have been damaged, reform new blood vessels and restore their function, all of this is dependent on a continuous circulation to deliver the oxygen necessary for energy metabolism.
Thankfully Graham was already a veteran of sleeping inclined, but it is interesting to note that both he and his wife immediately felt that they should revert back to horizontal sleeping because the patient needs to “posture” their head position, looking down and where possible sleeping face down in order that the gas bubble keeps holding the retina and macula in position. No this is wrong, your circulation is paramount and sleeping at 90 degrees or 85 degrees from the vertical won't compromise the gas bubble and it's ability to hold the retina and macula, but sleeping flat negates our circulation and forces it to tick over as gravity is effectively “switched off”.
As I tell people about Andrew's ideas I always emphasise that circulation is gravity first, our heart's action secondary to this. The heart is helical in nature and spinning the blood into a vortex. This is such an eloquent method of moving a fluid. Then taking into account the relative humidity, we have a neat yet thorough explanation of bodily circulation and our blood transport system in action.
So I advised Graham to focus on optimising his circulation, removing all or nearly all the added sugar from his diet in order to lower his levels of glycation (HbA1C). Additionally to replace some of the starchy carbohydrates in his diet with more fats, saturated fats wherever possible. Diabetes has shown us that our eyesight is reliant on a continuous supply of oxygen, which in turn requires the red blood cells to pass through the eye's blood vessels in single file and be flexible enough to fold upon themselves if required. Doctors are always wary when a patient is diabetic and worry about their eyesight.
Glycation is defined as the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation. Try to imagine two red blood cells in the shape of a dumbbell held together by a glucose molecule. This is too big to pass through the eye's vessels and deliver the necessary oxygen. So in short improve his glycation rates, increase his antioxidant levels using lypospheric vitamin C supplement alongside good amounts of krill oil and a B complex vitamin capsule to support his healing. In addition I gave him an electrolyser with instructions to breath hydrogen for 25 minutes per day, most days as time allowed.
His half glass empty anxiety came to a head yesterday, (November 2019) as he was back at Manchester Eye Hospital to see his consultant. His pupils had been dilated, as clear images had been taken of both his eyes and then analysed by the consultant's software taking measurements to try to create 3D information for the doctor. The consultant was amazed at the outcome, a delightful result, the eye test and the images confirmed a remarkable healing of Graham's macula and retina and that a minor cataract of his lens would soon be resolved leaving Graham with easily correctable eyesight through the wearing of spectacles. Macula off and yet this image after 52 days is remarkable. Just a few black dots on the edge of the macula and a perfect retina.
It is really lovely and such a nice feeling to say to Andrew that his ideas and my trust in them, has helped my brother move on from this event.
Our circulation is paramount to everything and something as simple as sleeping inclined can be so profound.
Jim & Latha x