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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I just began experiencing flashes of light in my right eye

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I just began experiencing flashes of light in my right eye on the night of Sept 1. I went to the emergency room immediately & then to an eye clinic the nextafternoon. The doctor confirned that I am havinbg "vitreous detachment" - but he did NOT tell me, instead he told his teaching assistant to read up on the subjecthe doctor only told me to "avoid strenuous & unnedessary exercise, such as gardening" (which I don't do anyway) but did not explain anything in detail to me nor did he inquire as to my life style or any of my normal daily activities - he just dismissed me & told me make an appt for 1 month & call the clinic if I had any significant changes in vision. I live alone with 9 cats & a dog to care for - 3 litter boxes to change at lleast twice daily, plus food & water dishes to clean & fill.   WHAT can I do, what should I NOT do,etc - some guidance please.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 8 years ago.
You are correct that your symptoms from PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, common event that happens in many people.

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes. Over time, it liquifies and can sometimes clump together causing floaters. As it liquifies, this gel material collapses on itself and pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you see.

It is recommend that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina during your scheduled visit. This is to make sure there are not problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most people, there are no problems, but this exams are precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesion that is found.

Regarding activity restriction, you should be able to do most thing. Changing the litter boxes and other care with your cats (holding and lifting) should be OK. If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightening 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 to check for any changes in your retina.

Remember to press the accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Followup questions are welcomed.

Disclaimer: Information provided is for educational purposes only and does not establish a patient-physician relationship nor substitute for a personal consultation with a physician.
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