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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8474
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi, this past Sunday I woke up and noticed in my left eye,

Customer Question

Hi, this past Sunday I woke up and noticed in my left eye, a perfectly shaped circular floater. It is to the left of center of my vision and does not affect my vision. I can see though it especially in bright lighting situations. If I am outside and it is bright and sunny, its almost hard to notice and disappears. I can notice it more in dim lighting situations and if I blink. It appears as sometimes grayish or purplish in color depending on the background. Mostly, the color resembles that of a floater. I see no flashes of light, or have an increase floaters which I normally have. I had an eye exam six months ago which was healthy: Of course the exam was six months before the new symptom reported above.
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 :

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 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.


 


Here is a video of the actual surgery to remove floaters:


http://www.retinavitreous.com/video%20files/intro_floaters.html

Dr. Rick :

Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?


 


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

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat.

Dr. Rick :

Do you have any other questions for me?

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are typing and that could mean a couple of things: 1. you are actually typing or, 2, the chat system has frozen up. I'll give it a few more minutes and if I've not seen anything from you I'll switch over to the Q&A system. That system works a lot like 'text messaging' but, unlike the chat system, it almost never freezes up. We can continue to work on your question there. :o)

Customer:

So chances are, this will go away on its own? I will definitely go see my doctor to make sure there are no other issues. I was worried that it could be macular degeneration.

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 : 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 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.

Here is a video of the actual surgery to remove floaters:
http://www.retinavitreous.com/video%20files/intro_floaters.html
Dr. Rick : Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?

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
Dr. Rick : Hi. Welcome to chat.
Dr. Rick : Do you have any other questions for me?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
You post just came though due to technical problems :(

No, it won't go away but it will sink down with time as I discussed above.

Nothing in what you have posted makes me think you have macular degeneration and, as a retina specialist, I deal with this disease on a daily basis.


Sorry about the computer problems.....
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That's good to hear. Lastly, it is much bigger than a normal floater and even though I cannot focus on it since it moves away, and it is not in my center of vision, it does seem to distort the vision within the floater. Every where else around it is fine. Not sure if this makes any difference but i wanted to make sure.

I appreciate and thank you for your time on answering my questions.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Raul,

Thank you for that extra information.

Let me ask you a few things.....

Does it move around in your field of vision, or does it seem to stay in the same general area, for example off to the left, and seem more like a veil or curtain across your vision?

Also, has it became bigger since you first noticed it.

I look forward to your reply.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If I look left, it moves left, if I look right, it moves right. It is always to the left of center. It does not move to any other part of my vision.

No it has not gotten bigger It is exactly the same size.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Well, with this extra information I think you should get in to see an ophthalmologist right away. It is not entirely clear from your post what is going on. It is possible that you are seeing your retina detaching.

I would feel better if you could have a dilated eye exam, today if possible, just to be on the safe side.

Does this make sense?


It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8474
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it makes sense. I will be going to the doctor today. Thanks you!

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure. Glad I could be of service.

:-)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Went ot the ophthalmologist, eye was dilated, Doctor said he could not find any evidence of a detached retina. My retina looks exactly as it did back in August 2012, healthy. He said it was most likely PVD which you stated above. I was very relieved to say the least. Cool

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Raul,

That is excellent news! I am glad to hear that everything checked out OK.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you in the future and have a wonderful evening. :-)

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
5439 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest