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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7805
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hello, I had cataract surgery about a month ago. I noticed

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I had cataract surgery about a month ago. I noticed a black dot in my vision after a few days. my retina was checked out and everything looked fine. Now I have floaters which look like specs of black pepper. This is quite annoying and has affected me greatly. I went to the doctor again to make sure I did not develop a retinal tear and he assured me I didn't. Will these floaters go away? I am now scared to have the procedure on the other eye because I don't want the to have floaters in both eyes. Is there something that can be done to remove the floaters?
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 :

Hi. Those floaters are from a posterior vitreous detachment. I am glad that you had a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist and your retina was found to be OK

Dr. Rick :

Do you know if there were any complications or unusual events during your cataract surgery, such as rupture of the posterior capsule etc?

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

I have not been told of any complications. I was also referred to a retinal specialist that said the floaters and the black dot was due to gel.

Customer:

what happens if there was a rupture of the posterior capsule? Can that be fixed?

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and, in essence, what you have been told is correct.

Customer:

Will the floaters fade with time or am I going to see the floaters for the rest of my life

Customer:

What are the chances of having the same post operative side affects if I have cataract surgery in the other eye?

Dr. Rick :

The posterior capsule is part of the bag that holds your artificial lens in place. I only asked about that as it can cause some of the vitreous to "leak out" during surgery. If this had happened your surgeon would have told you. In any event, a ruptured posterior capsule if no real problem in the vast majority of cases.

Dr. Rick :

You might be seeing the floaters better since your cataract is gone and your vision is clearer....they may not have anything to do with your surgery. As such, I wouldn't let these floaters impact your decision to have surgery on your other eye. You should be fine.

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 :

I've had floaters for almost 30 years in my left eye and, nowadays, I almost never even notice them anymore. I think you will,in time, find this to be the case too.

Customer:

Were the procedures successful in removing the floaters and what are the risks.

Dr. Rick :

Yes, a vitrectomy is very successful in removing floaters but the risks are very large. I would NOT recommend doing it in 99.5% of cases.

Customer:

Right now the floaters are causing me so much anxiety. I can't eat and I only feel relief when I am asleep or out walking in the dark.

Dr. Rick :

I can understand your anxiety, especially since they are new to you and you are wondering if they will damage your vision. I can assure you that they will not and everything will be ok.

Customer:

Right now I don't believe the eye that has not had the cataract surgery is that bad. Can I wait awhile to have the surgery?

Dr. Rick :

Yes. There is no rush to have the cataract removed. Waiting will not make the surgery any more difficult (in the majority of cases) nor will it decrease your final visual outcome after the surgery. If the cataract is not bothering you that much just wait....

Customer:

The doctor that performed the surgery one my eye is known as the best in the area. I want to believe that it isn't surgeon error but just side affect of the surgery that affect some patients.

Customer:

How common are floaters?

Dr. Rick :

After almost 2 decades of practicing retina I can assure you that your floaters are not due to surgical error.

Dr. Rick :

common....I have them :)

Customer:

My vision in the eye that had the surgery did not improve greatly with the procedure and I still need glasses. Is this typical?

Dr. Rick :

and floaters are not a side effect of cataract surgery.

Dr. Rick :

Here is a good article on floaters:

Dr. Rick :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floater

Customer:

Oh, I see. I just thought they were because I didn't have them before the surgery. What about the stationary black dot I see. Is that also due to the gel?

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to yo?

Dr. Rick :

That might be a weiss ring.....kinda a big floater that come off from around your optic nerve. The fact that you were examined by a retina specialist, who found nothing wrong, should make you feel better as you have had the best possible retina/eye exam possible. I'm sorry that the retina doc didn't spend more time with you explaining what he found.

Customer:

Yes. I will read the article. It is all so scary. I am terrified of having surgery on the other eye. My daughter's sister in law is an optomtrist and said the longer I wait to have the cataract surgery the harder the lens gets and the more difficult the procedure will be. That is why I had the initial surgery.

Dr. Rick :

Your daughter's sister in law who is an optometrist is ABSOLUTELY wrong. I'm sorry she told you this falsehood.

Customer:

The specialist, unfortunately had a very strong accent (Indian), and I couldn't understand him which made him very aggitated and he started raising his voice so that did not go well.

Dr. Rick :

There are a lot of excellent cataract surgeons out there....I'd go to one who doesn't raise his voice for the other eye.

Customer:

Oh the specialist was the retina specialist not my surgeon.

Customer:

I am so glad you told me I don't have to have surgery now on the other eye. That gives me peace of mind.

Dr. Rick :

Ohhhh.....sorry to hear that one of my colleagues acted that way :(

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure :)

Customer:

What are the chances of me developing the other things I hear about such as starburst from lights at night?

Dr. Rick :

with modern cataract surgery with the standard intraocular lens, the risks of that are very close to zero.

Customer:

If my floaters keep increasing should I consult my opthamologist? I worry that he may think I am a bother.

Dr. Rick :

I never think that my patients who are worried about their floaters are a bother....and I bet your surgeon won't either. But, really, everything will be ok.

Customer:

I don't want to panic. Sometimes I think that too much information on the internet can be scary.

Dr. Rick :

That's a fact! But, then, that is why the internet invented JustAnswer lol!

Customer:

You are so right!

Dr. Rick :

You sound like you feel better.....

Customer:

I am starting to feel better. Right now it is so scary. I think I see a bug and want to squash it and then I realize it is only a floater. Will take some getting used to.

Customer:

How did you get over the initial floater sightings? They are so hard to ignore.

Dr. Rick :

yes, it will. I remember when I first had my floaters and I was in surgical training.....I kept being distracted by them while operating. Made for some anxious moments :)

Customer:

My surgeon said he has them too.

Dr. Rick :

They sink down and your brain starts to filter them out and, all of a sudden, you notice that you are not being bothered by them so much.

Dr. Rick :

See. You are in good company.....

Customer:

It that take a long time?

Dr. Rick :

hard to say....it is different for everyone.

Dr. Rick :

but by just understanding them more and being less anxious about the floaters will go a long way to making things better.

Customer:

Oh. I hope and pray it will not take to long. People will think I am weird swatting at bugs that aren't there lol

Dr. Rick :

Truth!

Customer:

Well thank you again for your time. I feel better. I am so glad I found just answer.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have an excellent weekend. Take care.

Dr. Rick :

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


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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7805
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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