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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7761
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Im a physician myself (peds). 64 years old, female, healthy.

Customer Question

I'm a physician myself (peds). 64 years old, female, healthy. Acute onset today, first time, while seeing patients, suddenly noticed black thready floaters, left eye. No flashers. Noticed difference over time, seemed to be increasing, thicker threads, more of them etc over past few hours. Now, as I take a moment to research this, now they seem to be disappearing. Or at least much less, thinner, still there but I might not notice them at all if I weren't looking for them. No pain, (although paying attention to these makes me suggest thought of incredibly mild pain behind left eyebrow, but I think I'm making this up).
So my question: Should I worry that this is any kind of retinal emergency that demands treatment now? It's 3 pm, I have no more patients, I have a 7 pm meeting tonight and i'm flying out of state tomorrow am. Should I bother an ophthalmologist about this right now, try to squeeze in on the one doc I barely know professionally, at this hour, or or should I just wait, I can get help tomorrow afternoon if need be.
Probably from your angle you will err on the side of telling me to go, so please give me risks benefits, best guesses so I can make that call and you don't have to.
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 :

Hi Doc,

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist who has a 4 month old grandson and a 2 month old granddaughter...wanna trade out some care lol!

Dr. Rick :

How long did this episode last?

Dr. Rick :

Did you notice any problems reading (with both eyes open) during this event?

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

Noticed this mostly between patients, which are long consults (not reg pedi), so this morning at maybe 10 or 11 was when I first noticed it, and by now

Customer:

I'm here

Customer:

3pm it has started to lift

Customer:

No problems reading

Customer:

yes available to chat.

Customer:

Sorry a patient called as soon as the chat button came up.

Customer:

I made it quick hope you can return

Dr. Rick :

I

Dr. Rick :

I'm here

Customer:

oh good

Customer:

answers above

Dr. Rick :

Are all the black thready thing gone?

Dr. Rick :

And would you say your vision is now normal in all respects?

Customer:

still seeing little threads but not as much as a couple hours ago

Customer:

vision has stayed normal throughout

Customer:

they are much more peripheral now. for awhile they were more central and very annoying and thicker

Dr. Rick :

Have you noticed any curtain coming across your visual field from any direction, a large number of flashes of light, or any large increase in floaters? (You have already answered some of these...)

Customer:

no flashers at all, no curtains that sounds scary, but no.

Dr. Rick :

Ya...a curtain gets you to the OR tonight.....kinda scary :)

Dr. Rick :

but you don't have that.

Customer:

the increase was a bit concerning but nice they are diminishing, I think i feel more comfortable with watch and wait, but great to run into this website...

Customer:

and to talk with a retinal specialist

Customer:

so as a ped and only just 64 now, I'm only learning about these old people problems...

Dr. Rick :

Well, from what you have told me the differential includes a acephalgic migraine, a posterior vitreous detachment in progress (not involving the retina) or a small vitreous bleed from any number of sources.

Customer:

yes, i was wondering about a bleed at first. but clearing up so fast?

Dr. Rick :

I'm 53 and have already started the lessons....back pain when doing long surgeries...

Customer:

yes,,,

Dr. Rick :

That is why if it was a bleed, it is very small and settled fast.....not really likely but has to be on the list. As you know, if you don't think of it, you can't diagnose it :)

Customer:

acephalic migraine, that sounds interesting. I practically never have had headaches but I do wonder about this tiny suggestion of pain behind my eyebrow.

Dr. Rick :

I think you are safe to give yourself permission to watch and wait No need to call in a favor from your ophthalmologist friend at this point.

Customer:

so these posterior vitreous detachment seems to happen to us old folks, in my quick ophthm study today

Dr. Rick :

It is probably number one on my list. You know, diagnosing eye problems is easier in person....

Customer:

thank you. I really appreciate this kind of service!!

Customer:

absolutely.

Dr. Rick :

Where are you going on your trip and for how long?

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. I do this between patients and in my spare time. It's fun. You should check it out, we can always use a good Pedes person.

Customer:

Asheville NC, from New Haven CT. for 4 days. Brother in law with brand new dx stage 4 lung cancer.

Dr. Rick :

Darn. Sorry to hear that.

Customer:

yes, i was going to ask you about this.

Dr. Rick :

At least there will be eye docs available if you need them...although I don't think you will.

Customer:

yeah, he was fine when we saw him last nov, but it was brewing. He's lost 30#, and was thin to start with

Customer:

oh yeah, tons of resources there

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else you would like to ask me today before you get back to clinic?

Customer:

so how do you get into this just answer thing? Is there a place

Customer:

go back to work sorry, I'll look around

Customer:

thanks so much

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7761
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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