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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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My husband has the symptoms of a torn retina. Today is Sunday

Resolved Question:

My husband has the symptoms of a torn retina. Today is Sunday and I now our local ER does not have an Ophthalmologist readily available. What should he do today, or avoid doing, until we call the doctor tomorrow?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

When was the torn retina diagnosed? What symptoms is he having? Any decrease in vision? Does he see a curtain or veil in the periphery of his vision?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr, James,
I am a pediatrician so of course I am taking bad care of my husband. He was riding the mower 2 days ago and came in saying that the lateral vision of his right eye only was affected. Big floaters and flashing of light - and "crinkly" vision. Lateral 1/2 of one eye only. 2 days later it is the same. No headache, no migraine, BP was normal, I checked.
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. It is very helpful.

Your husband is likely going through a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This happens when the gel material (vitreous) in the middle of his eye starts to liquify. It collapses on itself and starts to pull away from the wall of the eye, a normal process.

As this PVD occurs, it can stimulate the retina and causes flashes. The vitreous gel can also clump together given you these floaters. It is important for him to get a dilated exam to check for tears. These symptoms do not necessarily means he has a torn retina.

If he has signs of a retinal detachment, then he needs to be seen earlier (veil or curtain the periphery). Can you ask you husband if he can see through this crinkly part of his vision?

If there is an optometrist available, they are able to detect a detached retina. Torn retinas can wait until the next day to be lasered.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He says this crinkly part is NOT clear but that he can see through it. By the way he is 57. The ER Doc said he would look but my husband really would rather see the Eye Doctor tomorrow than wait in the ED and get tested for everything.
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
It would be difficult to detect a peripheral retinal detachment without specialized equipment. So the ER visit may still not tell you much.

If the crinkely part starts to advance and get more opaqued, then I would be more concerned for a retinal detachment. Otherwise, you can wait to get in with the ophthalmologist tomorrow. For today, he should just take it easy.

Remember to press the accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Feel free to ask any additional followup questions. Smile
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much. I will keep him in the house today and call the Ophthalmologist first thing in the morning. This is a very cool web site. Is it really worth your time? Geez, when I'm not on call I am as far as possible from anything that hints of work. But I am glad you were here today.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
You're welcome.

Regarding this website, the experts put in a lot of time answering patients' questions and it can be worthwhile if the patient remembers to click the accept button.

There's a pediatrician section if you're interested. The good thing is that there are no obligation to answer questions (as to oppose to being on call Wink).
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
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