Retinal Detachment Support Group

Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. Occasionally, injury or trauma to the eye or head may cause a small tear in the retina, which allows fluid to seep through, and peel it away like a bubble in wallpaper.

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Anyone lose driver's license due to detachment?

I had retinal detachment surgery in 1999. I was basically blind in my left eye and they restored my sight and some vision, which has continued to improve enough over the years there's a prescription for contacts I can wear for that eye. I thought all was well.

I went in to renew my driver's license today and failed their eye test for my left eye. I had no idea they tested individual eyes since it's been so long since I had to go in (they needed a new photo of me since my last one was so old). I see perfectly fine using both eyes, but failed for the detachment eye. They were also angry I never notified them of the surgery years ago. No one ever told me to and it never crossed my mind after getting the doctor's ok to drive.

Now, I have to get my current optometrist to fill out a long form about my vision and then if that's ok, I have to pass a driving test. I'm completely terrified I'm going to have my license revoked. I'm 40 with two young kids and I have to drive all the time. My husband works 60-80 hours/week, so I'd pretty much be housebound with the kids, our daughter would have to leave preschool to be with a nanny during my morning work hours (thankfully work from home) and both kids would have to give up all activities.

Has anyone here lost their driver's license due to having had a retinal detachment and not optimal vision in that eye? If so, how do you get by with daily life?

Replies

CAWriterMom
CAWriterMom

Turns out it was just the DMV overreacting. My optometrist says that because I have one great eye, I'm fine. I lost a lot of sleep over this last night, so very relieved to hear I can continue driving.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have partial detatchments,in both eyes..had laser surgery,in 2006,on the left eye....I drive for a living,and I know,its only a matter of time,until I wont be able to drive safely any more...Now,my right eye,has spots,and floaters,but they say,it isnt detatched..yet..just pigmenting.whatever that means....Every four years,I have to take an eye tesy,for driving trucks,and busses...I'm now,54 years old,and hoping I can last another ten years at my job,and then retire,or goon dissability....good luck to you
deleted_user
deleted_user

I've had poor eye-sight all of my life, but after an aneurysm coiling procedure turned into a stroke, my left eye when corrected is 50/20. Then in November I found out I had a detached retina and cataracts at 53. My left eye (the bad sighted one and the one with the detached retina seems to be worse then ever. I probably won't ever get my license back. It's really depressing as I have a perfect driving record. Didn't seem to get me anywhere though.

Congratulations on getting yours though!
CAWriterMom
CAWriterMom

Turns out my situation wasn't so easy. The DMV didn't care that my optometrist cleared my vision. Barely even looked at the medical form. I have to take a driving test on Friday to prove I can drive well. The DMV is evil.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I know this is late,but good luck to you,hope everything turns out ok.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Not only do these people want you to pass this test, they want you to pass the test every 2 to 3 years. This has been very stressful to me, and we need to start an advocacy group to change this. I have not had an accident since 1980, nor a ticket since 2006. I had my surgery in 2008. They don't make elderly people take this test, yet look at the damage they have sometimes caused (not always) and what about people who have been at fault with accidents. We all should write to our state senators and representatives (at least here in California, don't know how other states are. We are being discriminated against, the DMV comes out looking like they want to ruin our lives. How will many of us live and have work without a car? My optometrist said that if I had one eye only, they would not make me take this test. Note, I have been a safe driver since 2008, but the DMV does not reward that.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Do some research on the laws in your state. I know that in Texas and Oklahoma, you can be blind in one eye and as long as you have a certain amount of vision in the good eye - it might be 20/50 - not sure - your are OK. I checked into this when I lost functional vision in one eye due to a detached retina.

And my fiancee had a glass eye in one and he got a Texas license. It could be that the DMV people just don't know what they are talking about.