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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7760
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I HAD TORIC LENSE REPLACEMENT ALONG WITH CATARACT REMOVAL

Resolved Question:

I HAD TORIC LENSE REPLACEMENT ALONG WITH CATARACT REMOVAL ABOUT 7 MONTHS AGO. I AM REGRETTING HAVING HAD THE SURGERY; IAM SEEING SWIMMING SMALL BLACK SPOTS AND AMOEBA-LIKE FLOATERS. I LOST SOME CONFIDENCE IN MY OPTHAMOLOGIST, FEELING THAT HE DID NOT FULLY INFORM ME ABOUT THESE SIDE EFFECTS BEFORE THE SURGERY. WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
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.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

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.


 


What can you do about the floaters? Well, floaters don't go away, and they don't really get worse. Over time they tend to "sink" out of your central vision and you brain "filters" them out so you don't notice them so much anymore. They almost never cause significant visual problems except, of course, if they cause a secondary retinal detachment as discussed above. The only way to decrease or remove the floaters is with a major surgery called a vitrectomy. As a retinal specialist for almost 2 decades I've only done this procedure to remove floaters in a handful of cases.


 

Dr. Rick :

This issue you are experiencing, really, has nothing to do with the fact that you had a toric vs a spherical intraocular lens placed in your eye.

Dr. Rick :

This occurs in many people, irrespective of them having had any type of eye surgery and, as such, a PVD -- per se -- is not a "risk" in and of itself, of cataract surgery.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Are you there?

Customer:

How long does it take for the brain to start "filtering" out the floaters? I have had them for last 3 mo or so. I am an artist, painter, and so this is a distressing condition for me. The floaters also tend to compromise reading and other visual experience.

Customer:

Are you there?

Dr. Rick :

yes

Dr. Rick :

I can understand your distress as I've had a number of patients who are artists and they really, really hate their floaters :o)

Customer:

How long does it typically take for the brain to start "filtering" out the floaters?

Dr. Rick :

Everyone gets "used to" their floaters at a different rate. I've found that artist painters take the longest, sometimes up to a year....some complain every time they come to my office and want the surgery (vitrectomy). When it is all said and done, the vast majority of artists get used to them and have no lasting impact on their work.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7760
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 2 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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