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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I am 61 years old. I had a headache for three days straight

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I am 61 years old. I had a headache for three days straight and very rarely get any kind of a headache. I'm not sure if that is related to my eye situation, but yesterday (the day my headache stopped) it seemed as if I saw something fly by. It happened over and over again until I realized that something is blocked in the periphery of the vision of my left eye. It's as if there is a small spidery thing stuck to my left eyeball. That's the only way I can describe it. Should I worry about this at all?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 3 years ago.

Doctor DanB :

Hello and thanks for your question. I'm here to help you with your question. Are you available to chat?

Customer:

Yes

Doctor DanB :

Was this headache associated with any nausea, significant irritability, sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights, or did you notice a light-show, of sorts, associated with this headache?

Customer:

Not that I can remember.

Doctor DanB :

Have you ever had migraine headaches or does anyone you're related to have a history of migraine headaches?

Customer:

Not back in my family that I know of.

Doctor DanB :

Does this spidery thing that you see in the periphery of your left eye's vision shift or move when you move your eyes or is it always fixed in that one, particular position all the time?

Customer:

It moves as my eye shifts around but is always sort of on the left side.

Doctor DanB :

Are you or have you experienced flashing or arcing lights in association with this?

Customer:

I don't think so. What do you mean by arcing lights?

Doctor DanB :

Like if you were sitting in the passenger seat of a car going fast at night and passing street lights at a high speed, while looking straight ahead it may seem the lights arc by you in your peripheral vision. in other words, they follow an arc in your peripheral vision starting at the top and going down towards the bottom of your vision in a rapid course.

Doctor DanB :

Has the vision itself changed in that eye? Do you see any shades/shadows/curtains/veils or spots in the periphery of the vision?

Customer:

Well, yes but the spot is sort of a spidery looking thing. No arcs by the way that I can think of.

Doctor DanB :

Have you had any surgery or trauma to that eye? Are you significantly near-sighted (myopic)?

Customer:

No significant near-sightedness - do use reading glasses though. I have had two sets of surgerys - both because I was born crosseyed. Had one surgery at two and the other at around 30 to adjust my eye muscles.

Doctor DanB :

Your spidery spot and other symptoms you've described sound consistent with what are called vitreous floaters. These floating spots or "bugs" or cobwebs (they can come in many shapes and sizes) as some people call them, are tiny pieces of the vitreous jelly that occupies a large amount of the volume of the 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 flashes that you may wind up seeing.

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.

I would recommend doing your best to see your ophthalmologist as soon as you can and if any of these four signs I described above happens then you need to see one emergently. I think if you have had any surgery or trauma to the eye or if you have any of these 4 signs, then I would recommend being seen ASAP, but otherwise, be vigilant for these signs and try to see your eye doctor as soon as you can.

As far as why they came on with this headache you had, I cannot correlate the two. The most likely reason is that with the increased pressure and strain that your headache caused, the onset of the floater was more likely because of this. As to why you had the headache, I think that is an issue that cannot be explained by the floater; I think the floater is more likely related to and helped to be caused by the headache.

Doctor DanB :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

Yes, thanks for all the info on this. It does make sense. I'll see how it does in the next few days and will be vigilant about watching for the other signs. I'll also try to get in to see my eye doctor.

Doctor DanB :

Is there any other question I can help you with tonight?

Customer:

No thankyou. I'll just push the Accept button and head for bed. Thanks again.

Doctor DanB :

Good luck to you. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need.


 


Any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. Thanks for your inquiry!


 


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.

Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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