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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8060
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have eye flashes for the last 6-7 days. I have already seen

Resolved Question:

I have eye flashes for the last 6-7 days. I have already seen an ophthalmologist to see if the retina is ok and fortunally it was. The flashes continue and they start as soon as the daylight is off and whenever I enter a dark place (coming from a lighted one) and when I look with my right eye right and above. There is also a floater at that eye and I would say that the flashes are predictable (they don't always appear, but if I try to moving my eye right and upwards in a dark room, most of the times I experience these flashes). How can I tell if a retina is torn or detached and for how long will I have flashes (I am nearsighted -11)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina surgeon.

Dr. Rick :

Being a -11 puts you at a much higher risk of a detached retina from your current flashes and floaters.

Dr. Rick :

Let me give you some information about what is going on in your eye:

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


 


In January 2013 a new drug, called Ocriplasmin, was approved by the FDA to dissolve vitreous strands in a particular eye condition called vitreomacular traction. Perhaps someday this drug could be used to also remove floaters…. Only time will tell.


 


 

Dr. Rick :

So. The symptoms I mentioned above are ones that you should not ignore.

Dr. Rick :

You might also ask your ophthalmologist if she notices any peripheral pathology, such as lattice degeneration, that she feels would benefit from prophylactic laser treatment.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. I will switch to Q&A format. This format 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..... :)

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.
Katerina,

My screen shows that you are now online :)

I am still here if you would like to discuss this issue further.

Just type in the box and I will reply.

Let me paste my previous information here just to make sure that it went through. Greece is a long way from the Midwest of America :)


Dr. Rick : Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Dr. Rick : I am a retina surgeon.
Dr. Rick : Being a -11 puts you at a much higher risk of a detached retina from your current flashes and floaters.
Dr. Rick : Let me give you some information about what is going on in your eye:
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

In January 2013 a new drug, called Ocriplasmin, was approved by the FDA to dissolve vitreous strands in a particular eye condition called vitreomacular traction. Perhaps someday this drug could be used to also remove floaters…. Only time will tell.


Dr. Rick : So. The symptoms I mentioned above are ones that you should not ignore.
Dr. Rick : You might also ask your ophthalmologist if she notices any peripheral pathology, such as lattice degeneration, that she feels would benefit from prophylactic laser treatment.
Dr. Rick : Does this make sense to you?
Dr. Rick : 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. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

I look forward to helping you with any other questions you might have.

You will have flashes until the vitreous finishes pulling away from your retina. It may take a week or many months....just depends.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
WOW!!! A poor rating. For giving you expert advice on your problem.

That was not very nice. You never even tried to talk to me.....

I am sorry to see that you have given me a poor rating for the assistance I have provided. Ratings do not apply to system malfunctions...only to the quality of the expert.
I would ask that you give me a chance to provide you with further data so that you have the information you need to address your issue.
I would appreciate a good or excellent rating and will work hard to obtain it if given the chance.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
As I noted above:

1. 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.

2. You will have flashes until the vitreous finishes pulling away from your retina. It may take a week or many months....just depends.

And extra information you might find useful:

3. You might also ask your ophthalmologist if she notices any peripheral pathology, such as lattice degeneration, that she feels would benefit from prophylactic laser treatment.

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: 8060
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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