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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11358
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Cloudy spot in right eye, moves back and forth across eye if

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cloudy spot in right eye, moves back and forth across eye if move eye side to side. Comes and goes. No pain, no redness, no itching, just annoying. Worse in bright light, particularly annoying while driving, not as noticeable in dim light. Noticed 5 days ago in morning after having had some flashing lights the night before, which appeared to be happening behind me over my right shoulder.

Hi. I noticed that you are offline right now. I'll be happy to help you with your question.

It sounds like you have had a vitreous detachment in your right eye with an episode of flashing lights.

Flashing lights can be due to traction on the retina from the vitreous jelly (occupies most of the volume of the back of the eye and is connected to the retina).

If have floating dots or spots that are new and that tend to follow your eye movements, floating behind and then catching up to the same position they occupied before then your symptoms sound consistent with what are called vitreous floaters. These floating spots or "bugs" as some people call them, are tiny pieces of the vitreous jelly that occupies a large amount of the volume of the back of the eye. This vitreous jelly, when we're born, is the consistency of a jello jiggler (thick jello). As we age it liquefies and becomes more fibrous bands and water.

Because of this liquefaction and the resultant fibrous bands that are left, there becomes more points of traction that the jelly exerts on the back of the eye where it is attached. As we move our eyes in different directions and as our pupils change shape, or even as we rub our eyes, some of these bands can become unattached from the back of the eye and a piece of it floats around, attached still to the rest of the jelly. It is this traction of the vitreous jelly on the retina that can produce these flashes. These flashes tend to be small, like starbursts and are usually intermittent; they can also appear as an arcing light. This process can happen more frequently in an eye that has had surgery.

One of the most important things to understand about floaters is that the process of a new floater happening can rarely lead to a retinal detachment, so it is important to know the 4 signs of a possible retinal detachment. These are: 1. sudden increase in or new floaters, 2. flashing or arcing lights that are persistent and not going away, 3. a shade/shadow/spot in your vision that you can't see light through, or 4. a large drop in your vision which doesn't improve after a few minutes. For any of these symptoms you must see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Since your floaters and flashes are recent in onset, even though your vision is not affected, I recommend you have a complete dilated examination by an ophthalmologist in the very near future.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will this improve with time? It's driving me crazy!!

With time two things tend to happen. The floater sinks down away from the center of your vision and you brain gets used to seeing it and, for lack of a better description "filters it out" so you are not aware of it anymore.

I've had a floater in my left eye for over twenty years now. When it first happened I had one of my retina colleagues do a extended, depressed, exam on me a couple of times to rule out any retinal detachment and was driven crazy by the floater. Now? I hardly ever notice it anymore.

There is no safe surgical treatment for floaters. No pills to take. No exercise to do. It is just one of these things that happen after we've been around enjoying life for a while :)

Is there anything else I can tell you about what's going on inside your right eye today?

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