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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11177
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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right eye..eye..his eyes a bteak from contact lenses

Resolved Question:

My partner is currently on his way to A&E with what we think might be a detached retina in his right eye. Over the last few hours he has experienced severe 'floaters' blurred vision, flashing lights in his peripheral vision and has a dull ache around the eye area. He has his eyes tested very recently and this week began wearing glasses for the first time in several years to give his eyes a bteak from contact lenses.

We are due to fly longhaul on saturday morning, what would you suggest is the best and safest course of action?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist. Was your partner examined by an ophthalmologist and told he had a detaching retina?

Dr. Rick :

It is possible that all he has is a posterior vitreous detachment.

Dr. Rick :

Here is some info on that:

Customer:

Hi there,

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.


 

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat.

Dr. Rick :

did you see my question above?

Customer:

What are the implications of flying if this is what he is diagnosed with? Also, what treatment would he need and how soon should it be carried out?

Dr. Rick :

The A&E, if they don't have access to an ophthalmologist will be fairly worthless in diagnosing your partners condition.....

Dr. Rick :

If he has a retinal detachment it will need surgery right away,if the center of his retina, called the macula is not involved and, in any event, before the weekend. If he has to have it repaired (there are many ways to fix a detachment, depending on the morphology of the detachment) with a gas bubble left in his eye, he will not be able to fly in the near future.

Customer:

He has been examined by an optician within the last 2 weeks and had a full eye test where nothing was picked up. He got his new glasses three days ago and has been wearing them continually until today, when he used his contact lenses again. If the A&E are no good and we are flying in the early hours of saturday to the carribean, what do you suggest? Should he fly and have treatment when he returns or have the treatment immediately?

Dr. Rick :

I bet his condition is a PVD, which is not a problem.....he can fly and enjoy the beach with that. The only way to make sure he doesn't have a retinal detachment is to see an ophthalmologist.....if he does have one, your trip is off....sorry about that.

Dr. Rick :

Does he need to see an ophthalmologist before you leave? If you can get in tomorrow for an exam, that would be best, XXXXX XXXXX really needed as long as he doesn't have the signs of a detachment I noted above.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense?

Dr. Rick :

Maybe the doc's at the A&E can get an ophthalmologist to examine your partner now....that would be good.

Customer:

Yes it does, thank you. I have just been reading about PVD but as the symptoms are so similar we need to be certain which of the two he is suffering from. We don't wish to take any risks so we'll wait and see. Thank you for your help.

Dr. Rick :

I agree 100%. just FYI 98% of PVD's do not cause a retinal detachement......so the odds are in his favor :o)

Customer:

Fingers crossed then!

Dr. Rick :

I'll do the same ;o)

Dr. Rick :

 


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Dr. Rick :

Let me know if I can be of any further service.

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