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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10565
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have had eye floaters in my R eye for about 3 days. It cleared

Customer Question

I have had eye floaters in my R eye for about 3 days. It cleared up but returned tonight. It is like a string across the top of my vision. Should I have it looked at now or is it okay to wait? I am away from home for at least a month.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
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.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
You should be OK to wait to see an ophthalmologist as long as you don't have any symptoms of retinal detachment noted above.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
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.

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