Bluffton Senior, Isaac Schumacher had a very eventful fall break – but not in the way you might think. The Pandora, OH native discovered that he had retinal detachment and had an invasive eye surgery while most of us were arriving back on campus for classes after break.
It all started when he noticed a dark spot in his peripheral vison about two weeks prior. Schumacher mentioned it to his father, but assumed it would just go away on its own. However, it did not. His close-up vision was becoming blurred as well. He went in to his family eye doctor and was told he had retinal detachment and needed immediate surgery.
Schumacher’s father has bad near-sightedness, and the doctor concluded that Isaac did as well. They both have oval-shaped eyes, as opposed to a rounder shape, which are prone to thinning and retinal detachment. “It’s not that my eyes were falling out, which is what it sounds like,” Isaac said. “It’s more of a tear, which can lead to total loss of vision.”
He had surgery on his right eye, and they put in a buckle in the back. Laser eye surgery was done on the left to add scar tissue. Both eyes are fine for now, though his eyes are sensitive to light (he’s wearing sunglasses for the next few weeks) and he has to put drops in that blur his vision. Other than his eyes looking bloody, they are back to being functional.
Retinal detachment only occurs in about 5 people each year, so it’s somewhat rare. “It’s usually something found in pretty old people, not 21 year olds,” Isaac said. “They were definitely surprised [that he was so young]. When you go into retinal surgeons, it’s older people in the waiting room. And then I was there.”
So did something other than the hereditary concerns cause all these eye problems? “Nothing I did knocked my eyes out or anything like that. Even if something had sped up the process, it’s something my eyes were already prone to. I’m kind of glad it happened now so that I could get it taken care of.”
Isaac is a graphic design major with an art minor, so his eyes are a huge part of his career. He returned to classes after a week and a half off, on Oct. 27. “It was pretty scary, but it did happen quickly and I’m glad it’s over.”