It's been a LOT worse than it is now. Originally, the left eye was completely opaque due to all the bleeding.
Over time, with lots of laser photocoagulation (which isn't just to "snip the bleeders", but also to reduce the permeability of the retina to perfusion of O2 so that it doesn't promote new vascularization), the bleeding is now occasional, and pretty much limited to a "stalk" of fibrous tissue in the center (which they avoid lasering because that's where your sharpest vision is, and hitting that will really ruin your day).
The stalk, until it completely breaks down and is absorbed, will continue to exert some torsion on the tissues, so it will occasionally bleed - but nowhere near as badly as it did. So, I'll get lines of black as a "tubule" (for want of a better word - a blood vessel that has since stopped being a blood vessel, but left behind the epithelial cells that composed its outer surface) fills with blood, and when the blood flow stops, it will gradually fade as the blood gets absorbed by the vitreous and then removed from the eye as part of the natural ebb and flow ... or it settles out as "gunk".
Like everything else, it's all about risk management and playing the odds.
My problem is that the fibrous stalk is right on the fovea, so it's smack dab in the middle of my field of vision, which makes it a real PITA to work on a computer, as it not only interferes with the vision in that eye, but the other eye then gets over-strained. If the same problem were off to one side, I'd just ignore it.
As to whether this guy is good ... this hospital is the designated treatment center for optical critical cases, and they don't take ANY other cases. I saw one patient trying to get on the waiting list, and (since I'm friendly with all the women working the desk) we talked about it after ... the rule is simple - nobody who can get routine treatment elsewhere gets on the list. Not even if they're wiling to wait a year, 2 years, 3 years.
This particular doctor is the guy who teaches the specialists, so every visit, every patient gets seen by several doctors; yesterday was a "light" day (Monday is heavier) - so there was only the usual eye exam to see if there had been any vision loss since the last visit, q&a on changes to medications, etc., tests for internal eye pressure, stuff like that, then several doctors examining both retinas in detail using the slit lamp along with a lens thingee stuck to the eyeball, then the bright light and magnifying lenses and all that stuff, and an explanation as to what they've found so far, what's good, what's bad, and what's next.
Since the cause of the bleeding was advanced proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and not degeneration of the retinal tissue itself, but bleeding of delicate blood vessels that "had n business being there in the first place" and as such, were not well-supported against torsional effects from such things as looking in different directions, it's actually better for the vessels to snap and bleed, than for them to maintain structural integrity and continue to exert torsion on the retina (and possibly tear it) - that, if I understand correctly, is part of the "every time it bleeds, it's that much less likely to bleed in the future" conundrum. A blood vessel that is no longer fixed to the retina will eventually deteriorate and become part of the "debris" floating around, and hopefully eventually continue deteriorating to the point that it can be eliminated by the eye's natural processes.
For non-detail work (like watching TV) it's not really an issue - one good eye is enough, and the other one sees enough outside the central field that a big enough screen is okay, and the commercial breaks every 10 minutes gives an automatic "time out". Computer work - not so good. Even with rest breaks, there's still too much eyestrain, and it's also harder/impossible to do anything meaningful when you can't "get in the zone" for a good chunk of uninterrupted time - not to mention that using larger fonts means less code visible, so a lot more hunting around to find anything. It's not like in the "bad old days" when 40 columns was overkill for asm listings.
I've tried other work-arounds, like replacing some numerical values with constants to make it easier to scan quickly, but it's simply not enough to make up for what's lost. Life's a b*tch, I guess.
Just writing this post is a PITE (pain in the eye), because, unlike writing a story or article, I'm composing it as I write, instead of thinking about it ahead of time and then just committing it to text as a separate, shorter step involving less computer time. So I'm going to have to find some way to make a living either (a) writing, (b) stand-up comic, or (c) politician ... oops, b and c are redundant :-)