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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8317
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have developed a surprising number of floaters recently.

Resolved Question:

I have developed a surprising number of floaters recently. I've been examined three times by an eye care professional, and she says that my eyes seem fine and that floaters are just something I have to deal with. My eyes have been examined through dilation and slit lamp (and dying once, which lead to her diagnosing me with conjunctivitis one time).

I'm concerned that despite what she has told me that there may be something wrong, even though I'm sure I'm letting the floaters spook me.

Anyway, my question is thus (on the heels of that information) is that there's a dull pain behind my eye- just behind my right eye. Should I be concerned or see an eye doctor (again)?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Customer:

Hello Dr. Rick.

Dr. Rick :

hi

Customer:

Oh hello.

Customer:

I was just about to log off for the night.

Dr. Rick :

Good thing I got here just now!

Dr. Rick :

Were you seen by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist?

Customer:

An optometrist.

Dr. Rick :

hmmmm.....

Dr. Rick :

An Optometrist is to an Ophthalmologist as an Eagle Scout is to a Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps. They both are experts in their area however one of them has a lot more training, ability and experience. Which one would you choose to save your vision…… or your family?


 

Dr. Rick :

You are likely experiencing a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, a common event that happens in many people.

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may see.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam is precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightning storm), or a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.


Customer:

Good point.

Dr. Rick :

I don't think that this is related to your retrobulbar pain....that is most likely due to sinus etc.

Customer:

And yeah, the optometrist said PVD.

Customer:

For the floaters, I mean.

Dr. Rick :

At least he got that correct :)

Dr. Rick :

I think you will be OK as long as you don't have any flashes of light or any of the other symptoms of a retinal detachment I discussed above.

Customer:

Yeah. She looked pretty thoroughly at my eye, but I understand that I should probably see an ophthalmologist to be safe. I'm on a bit of a low income though. Would an eye exam be terribly expensive?

Customer:

Oh yeah. No flashes thus far. Just a lot of floaters that appeared over the last couple months.

Dr. Rick :

Around $100 bucks; you could wait without much concern.....

Dr. Rick :

I've had floaters in my left eye since I was 18.....

Customer:

Really? I'm 22 and they're pretty dark. Is that normal?

Dr. Rick :

It is not "normal" but it happens. Are you nearsighted?

Customer:

Yeah. I wear prescription glasses.

Dr. Rick :

that puts you at higher risk for a PVD as a young man.....once again, as long as the retina is OK there is nothing to worry about. The floaters will sink below your line of vision and your brain will start to "filter them out" so they become less and less of a bother with time.

Customer:

I've been told that a few times. It just seems so odd. It's kind of like a cobweb or a mist that moves across my eye sometimes. With what you've told me here, should I wait until some more serious symptoms arise (such as flashing, curtains over my vision, etc.) appear to see an ophthalmologist?

Dr. Rick :

What you describe is a floater for sure. You could see an ophthalmologist for a complete exam just to make sure everything is OK, but if money is a big issue, you would wait a month or so as long as nothing changes. I really believe from what you have told me that you will be OK.

Customer:

That's good to hear. It's just pretty shocking to me since I'm already blind in my left eye (I was born with this condition).

Customer:

Oh, I do have another question. Sometimes these floaters look odd in the light- like it's catching the light or something. Is that common with floaters?

Dr. Rick :

Yes, mine does that....nothing to worry about.

Customer:

Okay. I wish my optometrist would have gone over this with me.

Customer:

Even now when I look at my computer screen and shift my eye around, the floater seems to catch the light in an odd way. Is this because it's probably close to my retina and is reflecting the light around, or am I oversimplifying it?

Dr. Rick :

Well, in her defense, many ophthalmologists don't go into detail on this topic with patients very often

Dr. Rick :

It is like a cloud passing over the earth and casting a shadow and bending the light....all sorts of visual things can happen

Customer:

Awesome. That makes dealing with this so much easier.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure

Customer:

I can't think of another specific question about this particular issue.

Dr. Rick :

I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.


 

Customer:

Your information that you provided me helps me a lot.

Dr. Rick :

Glad to be of help.

Customer:

Thank you for your time and sorry for using so much of it.

Dr. Rick :

Have a great weekend. I'm happy I caught you before you logged off.

Customer:

I'll be sure to give you positive feedback.

Dr. Rick :

No problem :)

Customer:

Yeah, me too!

Customer:

Have a great weekend.

Customer:

Oh, and how can I save this log?

Customer:

Or does it save automatically on the site?

Dr. Rick :

You can cut/paste it to MS word and print it or save it, or on some browers you can right click and print.

Customer:

Thanks! :)

Dr. Rick :

It only stays on the site for a few days

Dr. Rick :

bye

Customer:

Alright. Thank you!

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8317
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Eye Doctor
8317 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest