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Is windsurfing a risk for someone with retinoschisis?

 
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sasussman



Joined: 18 Feb 1997
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Is windsurfing a risk for someone with retinoschisis? Reply with quote

I just got diagnosed with acquired retinoschisis at the age of 51.

This is a disorder in which the layers of the retina split apart. The retina is the part of the eye that is stimulated by light and then sends a signal through the optic nerve to the brain. There are many neural layers to the retina and as people age the layers can split apart. This affects about 5% of the population, is usually harmless, and doesn’t affect vision since it typically occurs at the edge of the retina, an area that is not important in vision. Mine was found during a routine eye examination.

Retinoschisis is not the same as a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment involves all layers of the retina separating from the back of the eye and is often more visually threatening than retinoschisis.

I saw a retina specialist and he said there is nothing I need to do, but that I should avoid sports where like boxing or ones involving lots of “bouncing,” like motocross, to keep the split in my retina from extending into an area where it can affect vision. I asked him about windsurfing and he wasn’t too helpful. I did internet research and found nothing much. I looked up other “bouncing” sports like skiing, motocross, and mountain biking without success. A lot of the advice to avoid “contact sports” seems to relate more to congenital retinoschisis and not acquired retinoschisis. It seems to me that a congenital form would have different risks because the person was born with a retina that is weaker and prone to split.

So I’m wondering if any of you have any experience with this issue. I’m wondering if I need to change my style of windsurfing. I live on Maui and primarily sail waves and bump and jump. I have always enjoyed high jumps and also do forward loops. Do I need to stop the jumps? How about the loops?

thanks for any advice.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4344

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope Gronk sees this. He could advise. He's an ophthalmologist and hardcore wave sailor.
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retinal detachments may be treated by laser spot-welding, at least if not too bad a situation. I had it done two years ago for one eye, maybe 15 short "zaps", and all is fine as of exam this month.

Did you discuss potential for that process in your case - maybe to weld the layers back together or minimize further separation?

I windsurf a lot in SF Bay, all B&J though. Good Luck and hope you get more definitive advice.

David
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gronquist



Joined: 12 May 2000
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bard, for the distinction between the Gronk vs wimpy eye doc. I much prefer the alter ego. (I thought as an eye doc I could ws all the time, instead I just battle insurance companies, obamacare, and the new gen of employees..)

Anyhow, I'll pm this question but in a nutshell, RD/RT (detachments and tears of the retina) are usually well addressed by a skilled retina specialist with laser, cryo, or scleral buckles with a gas bubble, or a combination of the aforementioned. These essentially are a acute and urgent 'mechanical' retinal emergencies/urgencies.

Retinoschisis is an acquired X-linked hereditary dystrophy. Hence it is much less 'mechanical' in nature. Unfortunately, no definitive treatments. In this aspect, it saddens me, for anyone. But, FORTUNATELY, no restrictions to physical activities at all. If the patient were a boxer or soccer player with frequent head blows, I would defer the question to a retina specialist. But in all of my training and 17 years of practice, retinoschisis will essentially proceed in it's normal course, depending upon the individual...I will ask my fellow retina MD to confirm, but this is where I would stand right now, in the exam room, with 99.9% conviction...essentially more of a degenerative condition, not acute or traumatic. No treatments, but no restrictions to physical activities: so GO SHRED THE SHIT OUT OF EVERY SESSION YOU GET AND ENJOY IT.

Regards,
The Gronk

ps. I just found a retinal detachment on a young father of two: professional surfer, never had his eyes checked, got it from bouncing off the reef 10 YEARS AGO, asymptomatic. He was about to go blind. He went into the surgery room the next day. .. and he is still a proud, functional father of two beautiful children, running his own business, and his wife is happy. He came to the office b/c I told his wife to tell him to have his eyes checked..first exam ever. ...I guess that takes away all of my insurance/obamacare headaches.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4344

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I weren't 80 miles from your office, I'd be there once a year, and wouldn't book an appointment when Jalama was going off!!! Aloha.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14627

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gronquist wrote:
He was about to go blind. He went into the surgery room the next day. .. and he is still a proud, functional father of two beautiful children, and his wife is happy.

Are we still talking about eyes? Very Happy
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sasussman



Joined: 18 Feb 1997
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks so much to all who have written, especially Gronk the eye doctor. I'm curious to hear what your retina specialist friend will say.

obviously GREAT news that you feel I can still sail hard!!!!!
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