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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Have trauma on back of eye and berlin's edema causing swelling. How long it takes to get cured?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 10558 Questions

Posted on Sat, 16 Feb 2013 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Question: Im after a little reassurance. I got hit in the eye 48 hours ago,classed as a blunt eye trauma. I have been left with very poor night vision and a brown spot that I can see through in the centre of my eye, only noticeable in the evening as it gets dark. I have been seen twice by the opththalmologist and both have said that my eye is structually ok with a trauma to the back of the eye, that should heal itself and a Berlin Odema which is causing blurred vision. I'm so worried my sight will not return, how long should I expect before I start to see some improvements please and is it the XXXXXXX swelling that would be causing the brown spot. My eye feels generally weird as I'm guessing its pretty inflamed in there. I've had an eye ultrasound and all the pressure tests done plus two dilation exams all looked ok but I can't stop worrying Thanks
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 41 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is understandable to be concerned.

Berlin's edema is also called commotio retinae, it is an area of whitening in the retina caused by blunt trauma. Though the name has the word edema, there is no actual edema or bleeding. It is due to disruption of the photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial damage. The changes resolve spontaneously.
The retinal pigment epithelial part of the eye has alot of different functions including the absorption of light, defends the retina against free radicals and transport of various substances.
The photoreceptors are nerve cells found in the retina, there are two types and damage to one of these types can lead to decrease in night vision which you are experiencing.

In most cases normal vision returns after 1 to 3 months.
The fact that you have been seen at least twice and various investigations have been normal is reassuring.
It may take up to and beyond a month but your vision will return.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 minutes later
Thank you so much for explaining this in full. The specialists tell you its ok but don't explain the process. Now I will not expect an overnight miracle!
Many Thanks
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 18 minutes later
No problem , wish you all the best

If you need to ask any additional questions, feel free to do so
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Sorry may I just ask one other question, would the retinal pigment also be a reason why I have ocassional flashing in the bottom of my eye, it only occurs if I rapidly blink or keep moving the eye around with the odd floater. Sorry to be a nuisance, I keep trying to reassure myself that they have looked at my retina but cant help but think the worse.
Thanks in advance
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 8 hours later
Hi, sorry about the late reply.
You are not being a nuisance, it is natural to be concerned about your vision.

The flashes that you are experiencing are part of the disturbance of the retina and should resolve as well.

Feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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