The Blind Spot – Part 2

Lin found about the best article on scotomata that I have seen thus far. It has some basic information. Stuff that I had inferred from other articles but had never been defined.

Scotomata are areas of vision loss surrounded by intact vision. Scotoma, as I said, is Greek for ‘darkness’. Again, not a happy thought.

A scotoma can be in one eye or two. It can be physiological. Everyone has a natural blind spot where your optic nerve is connected to the retina. We don’t realize it because our brain just fills in. No need to worry about physiological scotomata.

Scotomata can also be pathological. Because these are the result of a disease process, these are the ones we get to worry about.

Relative scotomata are the kind you can ‘see through’. You no longer have a full complement of cones but enough remain to sort of get the job done. I have relative scotomata in my eyes. Unfortunately, one of them probably just had a massive die off because it has gotten several shades darker.

When the scotomata go black you have something called absolute scotomata. Those are the areas in which the photoreceptors – in our case, cone cells – have pretty much all died.

A positive scotoma is one that is obvious to the owner of the eye. I KNOW – I am in fact positive! – I have blurry spots and I am aware one of them just darkened.

We had a comment from a reader who has a negative scotoma (maybe two). She wrote she quit driving when cars on the road would disappear and reappear. Her brain was ‘filling in’ the blank spot with a vision of an empty road.

Aren’t brains just amazing? Scary, but amazing. After all, that little trick could kill both the brain and its owner! (Or would that be its servant? Hmmmm….)

And that, my dears, is what I know about scotomata. Not much considering I am the ‘proud’ owner of two of them! Will they all progress to black? Dunno. I keep looking and asking and continuing to feel like a mushroom. You remember: keep me in the dark and feed me bullshit.

What I was told was it was not a conversion to wet. Reassuring but I never thought it was. I was told there was no obvious difference between my last OCT scan and this one. I guess that means the die off was not severely massive, only mildly massive (but I can still see the difference!!!).

I was also praised for being proactive with my vision care. Important for us all.

So, darkening of your scotomata apparently may occur. It probably means things are dying in there. That is my interpretation, though. I was told it was progression of the disease, but if you have a disease in which cells die, would not progressing be cells dying? Stands to reason; yes?

If you perceive a significant change in the density of your scotomata, call your doctor and go in for an OCT just to be on the safe side. Not much can be done for the progression of the dry, but on the off chance you are converting to wet, you need to catch it quickly.

Thus we end another ‘adventure’ in AMD. Anyone else having these problems? Sigh.

Next: Islands of damage

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The Blind Spot – Part 2
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