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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7820
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Few days ago something happened inside my left eye and since

Customer Question

Few days ago something happened inside my left eye and since then I see all the time kind of "floating shadows" and also plenty of very small dots looking (if I focuss on them) like microscopic bubbles. I was away in the bush and just came back home. It does not any better or worse and is like looking through dirty glassess. Those points are not particularly localised - they float as I move my eye. There is no pain whatsoever and also there is no change in focus. There is no thing visible externally. Will it "go away" or should I do something or see ophtalmologist?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

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 :

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 :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are currently offline. We can switch to the Q&A system and continue to work on your question there. An email will be sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. See you there :o)


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7820
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
I just read your response. Thank you. One thing worries me that all it happened suddenly and not as time goes by
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I'm waiting too long for answer to additional question. First answer came quickly and now I don't know how much longer to wait
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,I just read your response. Thank you. One thing worries me that all it happened suddenly and not as time goes by
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
It is very common for these things to come on suddenly. Another cause for the symptoms you are having is bleeding inside the eye. Since your vision is not affected this cause would be less likely.

A complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist will be able to easily identify the cause of your floaters.

Have a Happy New Year and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for responding despite me accepting your answer earlier. My problem may be related to significant stress earlier that day, as I was stung by a sting ray while snorkling and I was in quite a pain for couple of hours. But this thing with my eye happened at least 6-7 hours later.

I try to get appointment to see a doctor as soon as practical.

Cheers

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I don't think that your symptoms are related to stress or being stung by the sting ray.....but snorkeling with a sting ray sounds like a lot of fun :o)

I think that, when it is all said and done, a PVD will end up being the cause of your symptoms and everything will be OK.

Take care and say "Hi" to the Southern Cross for me....it's on my bucket list to see before I croak.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Will do! (understand that you're watching Northern sky)

Thank you for all your help!

Cheers, Frank

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure.

Yup. I'm in Northern Wisconsin, not too far from Lake Superior. Can't see the Southern Cross from here lol!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm in Perth, Western Australia
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I've heard that is very pretty country. I do a lot of backpacking/hiking and, hopefully, before I get too old and fat, I'd like to do a little bit of a walkabout in your neck of the woods. Gotta get the kids through College first though :(
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do that! (just avoid sting rays :))

Almost midnight here... time to go to bed...

All the best.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
The day is just starting here....you sure are a long way from Wisconsin :)

Take care. It has been a pleasure chatting with you. gnight.

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