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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I woke up this morning with what I think is blood under the

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I woke up this morning with what I think is blood under the lense of my right eye. You can't see anything in the mirror, but looking through my eye, there are several irregularly shaped lines of black or crimson with very fine "dust" particles in the vicinity of the lines. which become fewer and fade away the further you get from the lines. Any thoughts?

Dr. Rick :

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

Customer:

I also have a dull headache in the back of my head.

Dr. Rick :

hi

Dr. Rick :

Do these move around with movement of your eyeball?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Rick :

OK. It sounds like you have experienced a posterior vitreous detachment.

Dr. Rick :

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 :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Could this be a sign of bleeding inside your eye? Possibly. But if that were the case I would expect much more floaters and possibly a decrease in your vision. I really think you "only" experiencing a PVD.

Customer:

Of course, I don't completely understand what you're saying, but it sounds like it is probably not serious, but it may be. Does it generally clear up on it's own?

Dr. Rick :

You are correct. It is not serious as long as the retina (the photographic film in your eye) is not involved.

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 a PVD in my left eye for about 30 years and I almost never notice my floaters anymore.

Customer:

Thank you. I will make an appointment to have it checked. You have been very helpful.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good weekend.

Dr. Rick :

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