Monday, September 03, 2007

We need detailed descriptions of subjective experience

Our symptom vocabulary is very poor. We need detailed descriptions of subjective experience. I have been told to watch for "floaters," "light flashes," and "curtains" and heard about "flickers." But, since my surgeon has never had a detached retina, she is not able to elaborate on what, say, a light flash looks like, how long it lasts, how often they appear, how large they are, the feeling, if any, that accompanies them, etc. I am worried that the "dots" I mentioned in the previous post might be "flashes."

Only patients can provide us with detailed verbal and drawn descriptions of the symptoms. For example, I did a Google search for a drawing of a floater. I found many diagrams of eyes, but no artistic patient seems to have drawn a floater and posted it on the Web.
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