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Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1404
Experience:  Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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I recently saw an ophthalmologist for flashing and

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I recently saw an ophthalmologist for flashing and discomfort in my right eye. After two different Drs. examined me on two consecutive days, I now have the condition in both eyes. It has caused my eyes to be very dry at uncomfortable effect that wakes me.   What should I do?
   I am an Ophthalmologist.
Can you give me some more information regarding your question-
- kindly specify your age and gender.
- are you using any glasses, if yes, what is the power?
- were your pupils dilated and the retina examined by the ophthalmologist?
- are there any other symptoms like itching etc of the eyes?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am 65 years young (female) and very active....except since one week ago. One of my eyes was generating black spots. I saw an opthalmalogist (children's I think) who was on call last Sunday. He did not find indications of any retinal tear. He did, however, do something to my right eye which engendered a gush of liquid. Then he said " he didn't see any problems" call or see my regular opthalmologist.
I did see my Dr. the next afternoon. He examined both eyes and diagnosed, I think, the right eye. He said the left one was fine.

Since the exam on Monday, I have been experiencing problems with the left eye as well as the right. Some flashing occasionally. The right eye still has black spots that float that I can see through. I am scared and nervous....both eyes seem to be quite dry most of the time now (expect during my few crying spells). I have been referred to a retinal specialist...but I don't know when I will be seen yet....probably next week sometime. I would appreciate any advice you could give me on my situation.
Thank you,
***** *****ffman

Hello there Susan

I see your original expert has stepped away, perhaps I can help.

The condition you have is called Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). Let me try to explain this in the best way I can. The back of the eyeball is full of a gel called vitreous. This gel is intimately attached to the retina and as we age, this gel liquifies, shrinks and pulls away from the retina. Where it was attached on the optic nerve, a small imprint is left, often described as a semi-circle or an out of focus cobweb. This is what I think you are seeing move back and forth in your vision. Your brain will learn to ignore it over time, and sometimes they settle a bit lower in your vision.. They will always be more noticeable against a blue sky or white wall.

If they increase in numbers or you get many new arcs of light in your peripheral vision, you need to be re-examined as soon as possible as it may indicate a tear in your retina. Over time the occasional flashes of light will become less and less frequent. I hope this helps explain the issue, if you have any questions, please let me know

Dr. Stevens

Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1404
Experience: Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Dr. Stevens and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Dear *****,
             Thanks for the information. As described by Dr. Stevens, a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a normal aging phenomenon. The vitreous humor (jelly like substance in front of the retina), gets separated from the retina with time and presents as floaters or black spots. These floaters are harmless and usually settle down with time or one gets adapted to them. The flashes of light that you are seeing are a point of concern. This indicates, that the vitreous has not completely separated from the retina and is still pulling on it. This pull can sometimes cause a retinal tear which can lead to a retina detachment requiring surgery.
Till you are able to consult your retina specialist you would need to take some precautions like - no vigorous exercise, lifting weight or heavy stuff, do not run or climb stairs fast, no forceful coughing or sneezing and no straining while passing stools etc. This is to prevent any pressure change which can precipitate a retinal hole and detachment.
For the dryness in your eyes, you can use lubricating eye drops that are available over the counter like systane/refresh tears/genteal/optive eye drops etc.