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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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having researched tonight i now know that i have a weiss ring

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having researched tonight i now know that i have a weiss ring in my right eye. i first noticed it about 6 or so weeks ago. about 18 mnths ago i was experiencing flashing and sparklin in my eyes but after seeing an opthalmologist it appeared that it was anxiety causing itso that isn't a new thing. i had never heard of a weiss ring until about an hour ago so know i'm not imagining this. i've only seen it about 6 times in total since i first noticed it. i was experiencig very dry eyes recently but that problem has pretty much cleared. my question is- as i have had this ring for about 6 weeks what are the risks. do i need to see my optician tonight or is it safe to leave it til the morning and what are my risks of a retinal detatchment.

Hello and thanks for your question.


The process of getting a Weiss ring (which is a particular type of posterior vitreous detachment or PVD) is due to traction on the retina from the vitreous jelly (which occupies most of the volume of the back of the eye and is connected to the retina). This floating ring is a part of the vitreous jelly that has pulled away from the retina at back of the eye. This vitreous jelly, when we're born, is the consistency of a jello jiggler (thick jello). As we age it liquifies and becomes more fibrous bands and water.


Because of this liquification and the resultant fibrous bands that are left, there becomes more points of traction that the jelly exerts on the back of the eye where it is attached. As we move our eyes in different directions and as our pupils change shape, or even as we rub our eyes, some of these bands can become unattached from the back of the eye and a piece of it floats around, attached still to the rest of the jelly. It is this traction of the vitreous jelly on the retina that can produce these flashes. These flashes tend to be small, like starbursts and are usually intermittent; they can also appear as an arcing light.


One of the most important things to understand about floaters is that the process of a new floater happening can rarely lead to a retinal detachment, so it is important to know the 4 signs of a possible retinal detachment. These are: 1. sudden increase in or new floaters, 2. flashing or arcing lights that are persistent and not going away, 3. a shade/shadow/spot in your vision that you can't see light through, or 4. a large drop in your vision which doesn't improve after a few minutes. For any of these symptoms you must see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.


Given that you have had this for six weeks, it is more likely that the acute process of traction is subsiding by now. This means that likely your risk of having hole/break/tear in the retina from this process that is active and putting you at risk for a retinal detachment is lower. Nevertheless, if you start to have an increase in the flashing, a whole bunch of new floaters, or if you see a part of your vision that you cannot see light through or if the vision drops significantly, then these are reasons to be concerned and you should see your eye doctor immediately.


I do believe, however, that you should have an examination, but it can likely wait until the morning as long as you are aware of these symptoms and come in immediately if they happen.


Does that help to answer your question?


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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.

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