Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
When you say that you were examined by an eye specialist, since I'm not really sure how these things work in the UK, was it an ophthalmologist (MD), optometrist or someone else?
Hi. I see you have entered the chat area......Greetings from Wisconsin :)
Are you there?
Guess you have stepped away from your computer......
Yes, it does sound like you are experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment. And, yes, you can get more then one.
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.
What can you do about them? 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.
From what you have told me I do not believe you are having a retinal detachment right now.
Does this make sense to you?
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My screen shows that you are in the chat room but perhaps you have stepped away from your computer or the system is messing up....both are possible :-). I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)