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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11239
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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When I put my hand over my right eye I blood pressure

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This past Tuesday I started having strange flashes in front of me. When I put my hand over my right eye I see like a long horizontal curtain with the staggered lights within. I went to my physician - my blood pressure was up 150/80 - but probably due to a concern for these flashes.

I had a test on the carotid arteries and on first look everything seemed okay but will not get the final results until this week sometime.

I also went to an optomologist - he found a very small indication of a cataract but felt he was not qualified to see behind the catarac so he sent me to a specialist. This doctor said I had floaters - but I am not having small circular dots - these are very large showings - when I had my eyes examined and I had to look at the chart - most of it was covered by this so called curtain with lights - it keeps going up and down.

This doctor told me to come back in a couple of weeks -

Also when I am looking at something there are small streaks of these flashes that occur, usually on a white surface.

When I first go outside in the morning the light seems to effect me like I want to put something over my eyes. I am also very lightheaded.

I am 74 years old and have been under a tremendous amount of stress - my husband has dimentia - guess I am not handling it to well. I am hoping all of this is just stress.

I have my own business and have continued to keep busy and work - but I just feel so strange. Cannot explain.

I am leaving in about 2 hours to go to CA - am determined I will be okay but must admit I am a littler nervous.
Thank you for your help.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Are you sure you were examined by an ophthalmologist (eye MD who does cataract and other surgery) or could it have been an optometrist?

Dr. Rick :

First of all, you will be OK to fly/travel to California.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

I guess you have stepped away from you computer.....

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and I agree with the second eye sounds like you are suffering from a posterior vitreous detachment.

Dr. Rick :

A posterior vitreous detachment, also called a PVD, is 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 :

I was just working on your question.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?


Hello - thank you so much. I am just checking the phone book to get the exact name of the Dr. He is associated with Tallman Associates here in the Merrimack Valley. And yes, he did mention the gel around the retina - and told me not to be concerned at this point. I think the fact that I am going to CA has made me a little uncomfortable and probably creating a nervous situation. However, your words of encouragement are very helpful to me.

Dr. Rick :

Glad to be of help. You really will be OK. I've been practicing ophthalmology and retina sub-specialty for almost two decades and I feel comfortable with the diagnosis of your condition (as much as I can be without actually examining your eye that is :). You should be fine.

Dr. Rick :

That being said, if you have any of the symptoms of retinal involvement I reviewed above make sure you get in to see an ophthalmologist in a timely manor.

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

Are there any other concerns or issues you would like addressed on this topic?


Oops.....we switched to Q&A in the middle of your typing :(

I am still here if you would like to discuss this further. If not, have a wonderful holiday season and a safe trip to California.
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