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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3149
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Hi doctor. I am a 29 year old female. About a 4-6 weeks ago

Customer Question

Hi doctor. I am a 29 year old female. About a 4-6 weeks ago I noticed several flashes in my vision, mostly in the peripheral. It's like tiny lightning bolts or fire flies that are always there. I barely notice them in sunlight or well lit rooms, but they are bothersome in dim light. I saw a retina specialist 4 weeks ago and he said everything looked good but that I had a PVD in both eyes. He did an OCT to confirm. I had no tears or detached retinas. I went back 5 weeks later and he said the PVD was still there, but not tears or detachment.. So basically it's been about 6 weeks since I started seeing the flashes. My questions are: will the flashes stop when the PVD ends? Or am I going to have to get used to them??? They defiantly aren't floaters, but flashes. Sometimes I think I worry about them so much that I have an ocular migraine with it. It's defiantly not just an ocular migraine because I see the flashes all the time. I read it takes 6 weeks for the virtuous to pull away, can it sometimes take longer?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Customer: Yes
Doctor DanB : Everybody is different. Your PVDs will not go away but will likely improve over time. If the PVD is evolving it can take a few weeks, a few months, or a couple of days to fully evolve. However, your flashing lights will likely improve with time. For most patients this takes 4 to 6 weeks to see noticeable improvement in frequency of the flashing lights. However it can take as little as 1-2 weeks or several months. Does this make sense?
Customer: Yes. I was just surprised that I read about people seeing better after a few weeks but then I was still see the same (not worse) flashes. Since everyone is different is that why my retina specialist was not concerned? Is there anything more I need to do besides let them know if it increases? Is it normal that its bothersome in dim light?
Doctor DanB : It is very normal to be bothersome in the dim light. And no I don't think you should do anything different except notify your retina specialist if it increases in frequency or changes significantly in character or the vision changes significantly. I would stand pat and not worry too much about this. You sound very average for this condition at this point. Make sense?
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other questions about this?
Customer: Its always great to hear that you're average :) phew. The Internet can be a scary place when you start typing in symptoms. One more question, when I was driving in the car the sunshine was a bit bothersome, too. It's obvious in the dim rooms and then when I looked at the sky while in the car. Still normal? (Last question, I swear)
Doctor DanB : That's also normal for it to be a bit bothersome. Because the vitreous jelly is connected to your pupils, as your pupils change shape significantly in the sunlight it can be bothersome. I wouldn't worry too much about this either.
Doctor DanB : I sure hope this has been helpful. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3149
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hace more questions
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Go ahead.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The flashes are just making me so nervous. In googling I see drs recommending seeing a neurologist??? At what point do I see a neurologist? I'm having thoughts of MS and brain tumors?? I want these flashes to go away. I also need to add that I have slow progressing retinitis pigmentosa (diagnosed at 16) and the dr said my nerve and everything still looked as healthy as can be. If my retina specialist had concern would he have reccomended a neurologist?
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if your retina specialist had any concern at all that these flashes were neurological in nature he would've set you to the neurologist. I would try not to worry so much.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I am seeing a therapist for the first time in wednesday to get the worrying under control. I see you have experience with retinas and neuro-ophthalmology. What would you look for in a patient if you we're to reccomend them to see a neurologist? Do I just wait out the flashes or go back with concerns in a few weeks? Months?
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
If things arent worse in the next few weeks or are slightly improving them I wouldn't worry about going back to the retina doctor. I worry about neurological sources of flashing when there are NO eye sources of flashes; unlike you that's why I don't worry about neurological reasons with you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
U have been great. I will be able to sleep tonight because I was able to talk to you. Last question, promise. Before I noticed the flashes and saw my retina specialist, I had my yearly exam with my regular optometrist. Do optometrists check for things like pvd? Just seeing if he missed something. However I didn't express concern for the flashes then. It would make sense that if he checked for it, he didnt see it bc the onset of flashes started later
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Yes the optoms check for this but they aren't always their utmost concern. Ophthalmologists tend to pay more attention to these types of things.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I describe the flashes?? I think they are getting worse
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok so (for the third time) I had my retina specialist do another check. He said no tears or detachment and that my macular was great and everything looked healthy (as can be with RP). He said that the sparkles or flashes can last longer than the textbook 4-6 weeks and that I was going to be ok. I was sobbing in the office. It's just so scary when something messes with your sight. I also explained that light coming in from windows or over head canned lights are really bothersome. He said that is a usual complaint from his PVD patients. I noticed the flashes get worse when i get up fast, run down the stairs, or move my head a lot. They are still there when I am just sitting though. I hope they go away soon =( Does this all sound about right to you?

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, this is correct. I agree with him.

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