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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7919
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I am 60...nearsighted. Went in for eye exam. ..because of blurry

Customer Question

I am 60...nearsighted. Went in for eye exam. ..because of blurry vision. Dr did eye tests....wanted to know why my vision was not as "crisp" as shown in last exam. He dilated my pupils examined my eyes and took photographs. What he found were lines in the back of both eyes....which he said was rare to see in both eyes.
The lines are created by the film over vitreous material attaches itself and tugs. He said there is a surgery to remove this film for better vision. Right now we will watch it...to see if vision gets worse. I have also experienced more floaters and flashes. My question is what is this called?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Was this eye doctor an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?

Dr. Rick :

Do you recall what your best corrected vision, with your new glasses in place, is in each eye?

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina surgeon and can tell you everything you want to know about this condition :)

Dr. Rick :

We have been experiencing problems with the chat system for the last few days. Our engineers are working on it. However, 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..... :)

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7919
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
We have been experiencing technical difficulties with the chat system. Please allow me to retype my chat here for your review:

Dr. Rick : Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Dr. Rick : Was this eye doctor an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?
Dr. Rick : Do you recall what your best corrected vision, with your new glasses in place, is in each eye?
Dr. Rick : Are you available to chat?
Dr. Rick : I am a retina surgeon and can tell you everything you want to know about this condition :)

I look forward to your response.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Optometrist.....20/40....I am available to chat
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there ....I have not received an answer yet...tho the rating said it was required, Optometrist.....20/40....I am available to chat
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
All I received were questions not an answer...what did I do wrong...I followed with a reply to the dr.s questions
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thanks for the reply.

From what you have posted it sounds like you are suffering from a condition called epiretinal membrane, also know as macular pucker.

I see patients with this condition in my practice all the time. The good news? There is a treatment. The bad news? The only treatment is surgery....but there is no need to rush into surgery....

What should you do? Well, the first thing I would suggest would be to consult with an ophthalmologist to confirm the diagnosis. Optometrists are very good at what they do but it would be good to get another opinion from an eye surgeon as to the severity of the problem.

I am going to send this note now so that you know I'm still here...and then, if you would like, I will be happy to discuss this condition in depth with you.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
You didn't do anything wrong....I'm not a computer and I don't have a preprinted answer....and I don't type very fast :-)

But I'm here.......shall we continue?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
And don't worry that you have already rated me "excellent"

I'm not going anywhere until you get the answer you need....OK? OK.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
An epiretinal membrane is a tough sheet of tissue that grows on the top of your retina (the "photographic film") in the back of your eye. With time it can shrink and crinkle up, like cellophane, causing distortion in your vision.

What causes this membrane to form? Well, cells from other parts of your eye start to float around between the vitreous (jelly) inside your eyeball and your retina. They sometimes come to rest on the retina and, with time, can grow....almost like lichen on a rock in your backyard.

In most cases there is no history of anything that caused these cells to grow...it just happens. In many patients the membrane never causes enough of a problem to be an issue and no treatment is needed.

In other cases, however, vision is compromised and the membrane has to be removed. This is done by a surgery called a vitrectomy and is done by a retina surgeon.

I do not recommend surgery for epiretinal membranes unless the vision has dropped so low that the patient is unable to do the things she needs to do and the decrease in vision can be attributed to the membrane.

At 20/40 vision I would say you are right on the edge of where surgery may be the right treatment for you.

So. What is the take home message? One. Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a second opinion and, two, don't panic. Everything should be OK.

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick


See. I told you I type slow ;)

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