Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Adult Dancers

Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By Storm_Trouper
On Wed May 13, 2015 03:03 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-13 15:06:16

Once you reach a certain age and if you are very near sighted, then you have a greater risk of one or both of your retinal linings at the back of the inside of your eyeball(s) detaching, and consequently your becoming partially blind in the affected eye(s).

Accelerating, decelerating, jarring and bumping your head are not encouraged if these motions will result in the retina further detaching itself. So pirouettes, chaine turns, spotting and anything involving quick head snapping all have to be curtailed.

Nothing's more unhappy than an unattached vitreous humour!

www.geteyesmart.org . . .

9 Replies to Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)

re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By BunHeadAlymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 13, 2015 05:32 PM
This isn't necessarily an age issue; I'm very near sighted and have cataracts. I'm still in my 20s.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Wed May 13, 2015 06:54 PM
My optometrist told me about this this year. She said I was at great risk for a detached retina, and told me to stop banging my head against the wall while I was teaching. In all seriousness, though, it is related more to nearsightedness than to age.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 13, 2015 07:37 PM
I'm only 26, and I've been at a high risk for a detached retina in my left eye my whole life. For the record my left eye has a prescription of -15.5 + severe astigmatism and y right eye is no nearsightedness + astigmatism, both eyes are still legally blind with correction because of optic nerve problems, but I digress.

Turning is not going to give you a detached retina unless, I don't know, you go to class with a bad retinal tear and keep dancing, but any good eye doctor will tell a patient at risk what tear symptoms are and that if you have them you should drop everything and go to the ER. The kind of acceleration and deceleration from jumps and turns, while they could worsen an existing tear (the first signs of which are a MEDICAL EMERGENCY, why did you go to ballet class when your vision was acting all weird?!) won't up and cause the retina to detach. The kind of movement that COULD cause a tear are things like head trauma and whiplash. The take home message is not "stop dancing if you're at risk of retinal tears," and more "If you have an accident and are at risk of retinal tears, get your eyes checked, and if you have even the slightest suspicion you might have a tear, get your eyes checked."

I'm sorry, but this is a gross misunderstanding of the information. I encourage people of all ages with any concerns to see their eye doctor with any questions. This is one of those things where the risk level is unique to the individual.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 13, 2015 10:20 PM
Detached retinas sort of run in my family I have at least 3 family members who have had detached retinas. My brother is one of them. He was 15, now he is blind in his left eye. His right one started to detach at the same time but they managed to freeze it. He has 3 or 4 surgeries on his left eye (it detached again). It's quite traumatic. My cousins and I get our retinas checked every so often.

With him, it just happened. Probably inevitable. You hear about detached retinas with boxing, I think you'd already have to have it starting to tear for it to detach while dancing.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By SarahdncrPremium member
On Sat May 16, 2015 09:29 AM
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2015-05-16 09:34:30
Oh...wonderful, now something else I have to look foreword to as I approach being 50. I've been very nearsighted my entire life (with astigmatism to boot), and I was just recently told that I probably have the beginnings of developing cataracts related to my military service.

Will getting older never end?

Seriously though, thank you for the info, as I had never heard this or that dancing would potentially make it more likely to happen. Given that my pirouettes and spotting are horrible to begin with anyway, and my chanie turns (while decent) are slow, I am probably going to be safe for the time being. But I will keep this in the back of my head from now on.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat May 16, 2015 10:42 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't be worried unless an eye doc told you to be worried. If you are still worried, make an appointment with your opthamlogist (sp? dang?) to have a chat about the risks of retinal tears or detachment and a chat about what the signs and symptoms are.

While the OP did bring up some important health concerns, I'm sorry, but the whole thing was very "WebMD" ish: the health issues brought up are valid ones: but not ones that the majority of people need to concern themselves with. Again, I am legally blind and have severe nearsightedness (-.15.5 prescription), my eye docs (I have several, I;ve have many surgeries) know how active I am, and they are OK with it, and they have never said that it puts me at additional risk. I have the risk from being so severvely nearsighted, but unless I have head trauma my risk is what it is.

I feel like my responses here get completely ranty, but I am a dancer with a disability, and I'm sorry, people who don't have eye problems or don;t have a real risk often have a poor understanding.

To anyone who has even the slightest concern over any eye problems, I encourage your to take to an eye doctor about them!
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By Storm_Trouper
On Mon May 18, 2015 01:34 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 13:50:01
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 13:58:13
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 13:59:08
Serendipity42 wrote:

My optometrist told me about this this year. She said I was at great risk for a detached retina, and told me to stop banging my head against the wall while I was teaching. In all seriousness, though, it is related more to nearsightedness than to age.


It can be many factors, like traumatic injury to a not near sighted eyeball. But as CERTAIN groups of people age, the chances of having posterior vitreous detachment rises statistically, all other things being equal, since the eyeball fluid (vitreous humour) density changes, giving rise to certain tendancies that aren't present at earlier ages with SOME not all people.

You get tennis elbow particularly after a certain age too, because the lubrication for your tendons changes. It doesn't happen to everyone. That is why age is but one 'risk factor' and not a causitive determinant. Some people smoke and yet they DON'T suffer serious lung cancer apparently and live to a ripe old age. But they are the statistical outliers.

That's why I posted this to adult dancers.
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By Storm_Trouper
On Mon May 18, 2015 01:35 PM
BunHeadAly wrote:

This isn't necessarily an age issue; I'm very near sighted and have cataracts. I'm still in my 20s.


But do cataracts (treated) interfere with head snapping?
re: Turning a blind eye: HOI2O (how old is 2 old)
By Storm_Trouper
On Mon May 18, 2015 01:48 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 14:05:16
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 14:07:30
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-05-18 14:17:11
GannTheGlorious wrote:

I'm only 26, and I've been at a high risk for a detached retina in my left eye my whole life. For the record my left eye has a prescription of -15.5 + severe astigmatism and y right eye is no nearsightedness + astigmatism, both eyes are still legally blind with correction because of optic nerve problems, but I digress.

Turning is not going to give you a detached retina unless, I don't know, you go to class with a bad retinal tear and keep dancing, but any good eye doctor will tell a patient at risk what tear symptoms are and that if you have them you should drop everything and go to the ER. The kind of acceleration and deceleration from jumps and turns, while they could worsen an existing tear (the first signs of which are a MEDICAL EMERGENCY, why did you go to ballet class when your vision was acting all weird?!) won't up and cause the retina to detach. The kind of movement that COULD cause a tear are things like head trauma and whiplash. The take home message is not "stop dancing if you're at risk of retinal tears," and more "If you have an accident and are at risk of retinal tears, get your eyes checked, and if you have even the slightest suspicion you might have a tear, get your eyes checked."

I'm sorry, but this is a gross misunderstanding of the information. I encourage people of all ages with any concerns to see their eye doctor with any questions. This is one of those things where the risk level is unique to the individual.


YES! The above is exactly the right sort of message.
I realized the moment I saw fire flies that I needed to get checked out.
Ironically, when I went to see the specialist I was wearing a T-shirt that reads 'ballet club' across the front of my chest in 2" tall letters. Yet He didn't even think to ask me about it nor advise me to not leap off the ground or spin, I had to figure this out. That is what prompted me to OP :). The lack of insights. Maybe if I had worn an MMA shirt (Mixed Martial Arts) he might have twigged and told me not to do so many face plants ;)

There is detached vitreous humour (PVD) and there is detached retina.
They are related somewhat, but are different conditions related to the eyeball. The former can be a 'normal part of the aging process' for some people, particularly the very near sighted (-6 or worse) apparently. So something to be aware of if you fall into this sub-group. Apparently it is prudent to move conservatively once you experience a PVD and get check ups to monitor your particular situation more frequently than annually or semi-annually. Then depending on the outcomes of the monitoring, resume the jumping and the banging of one's head against the walls, when it's considered prudent to go back to doing these actions :)

If you have the former then you can be at (greater) risk for the latter. So you have to be conservative in movement acceleration apparently to not precipitate (trigger) the latter; or exacerbate (make worse) your personal situation. So you have to ask and consult with your eye specialist since everyone is an individual. (This thread is simply about awareness of the issue, not medical advice! That's why it is worded so obliquely (indirectly).)

The mechanical stress can be cumulative (it all adds up) I guess, as the eye doesn't self repair in this case, from what I have read so far.

Now armed with Gann's own (not a rant to me, just deeply heart felt and genuine) first person perspective, when I go back for my followup eyeball check next week I will have some specific questions to ask the eye doc that are <dance movement specific> now that I am learning to get my head around this occurence and what it can mean for some, not all, dancers, guys who repeatedly are supposed to jump for instance. That's the best anyone can do and it seems like a reasonable enough way to proceed.

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