Eye

Ask an Eye Doctor and Get an Answer ASAP

Ask a Doctor,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Eye
This answer was rated:

Nine hours ago I noticed flashes of light as a small arc in

Nine hours ago I noticed...
Nine hours ago I noticed flashes of white light as a small arc in the periphery of vision in my left eye. I thought I was seeing light thru the edge of my glasses. A while later, I noticed a large floater in my left eye. When I scan right to left with my eyes, I can see the thin arc of light. At one point I put refresh artifical tears in my eyes...thought I had dry eye and for a few minutes the floater was not as pronounced. It was only after it got dark that I noticed the while slice of light was originating in my brain (vision) and not from an outside source. When I looked on line to research floaters, I saw the information re: white light and became concerned. It's 9pm on a Sunday night in New Mexico; I don't think I'll get expert medical care. How do you think I could proceed?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Eye Question
Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/9/2011
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,657
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and can help you tonight.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

Yes.

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.


Dr. Rick :

As long as you are not having the symptoms of a retinal detachment as reviewed in paragraph 3 above you should be OK to see an ophthalmologist in the near future. Of course, tomorrow would be best.....

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

I am noticing just the slice of white light (not unlike a flash blub) when I turn my head side to side. What do you think that means?

Dr. Rick :

That is the jelly pulling on your retina. Any time the retina is stimulated it thinks it is seeing light.....it knows nothing else. This is why your brain tells you that you are seeing light flashes when, if fact, you are "seeing" your retina being pulled on.

Dr. Rick :

pulling on your retina is a bad thing.....that being said, the vast majority of PVDs do not cause any damage to the retina at all.

Dr. Rick :

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.


Customer:

I only have one floater as a result of this occurence; it starts out round and then morphs into a more flat sphere (like an infinity sign?)

Customer:

Also, is it ok to sleep flat? Is it better to keep my head elevated?

Dr. Rick :

That could be just the jelly clumping up as it shrinks, or you may have torn a small hole in your retina and had some bleeding. That is why it is important for you to see an ophthalmologist for a complete exam.

Dr. Rick :

At this point you can safely sleep any way you normally do. From what you are telling me I am not concerned that you have a retina detachment in progress.

Dr. Rick :

And that is what I do all day...well, not all day. I do spend time with my wife, eat, watch movies...... :o)

Customer:

The floater, now that I look at it more closely, looks like a "tear drop" shape with some shadowing.

Dr. Rick :

That could be either the vitreous clumps or blood. If it was from bleeding I would expect you to have more then one floater...ie: more then one drop of blood inside your eye. I bet you will be OK

Customer:

I haven't been to the eye Dr. in three years and actually only have the non-MD type eye doctor. I gues that is the place to start tomorrow morning.

Dr. Rick :

I would not waste your time with an optometrist. You really need to see an MD eye doc. If you call, and tell them your symptoms they will get your right in.

Customer:

Will I have the transcript of this chat? I'd like to re-read.

Dr. Rick :

Yes. Depending on your browser, you can right click and then print, or you can right click, select all, copy then open up your word processor program, hit paste then print from there.

Dr. Rick :

Feel free to ask me any new questions that come to mind as you think about what we have discussed here tonight.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)

I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.


Dr. Rick :

Does seeing an ophthalmologist tomorrow make sense to you? Does the plan for your not to worry tonight sound like a good idea?

Customer:

Hi Doctor Rick, I appreciate your expertise. I feel a little less nervous.

Dr. Rick :

That is my goal :o)

Dr. Rick :

Trust me. You will be OK.

Customer:

Can I access this whole answer? Where?

Dr. Rick :

yes. It should be on your page on just answer. You can open and access even after you hit that pretty green button on your page :). Or, if you wanted to save it on your computer forever, do the cut/paste into your word processor program (Microsoft word etc) and save it to your hard drive from there.

Dr. Rick :

Or, worst case, if you for some weird reason have problems, just send me a note and I can bring it up.

Dr. Rick :

Do you want to try that while I stand by?

Customer:

Thank you! Did you answer this question...do I need to sleep slightly elevated? You can tell, I'm anxious about this event! Thank you. I'm slow without my glasses.

Dr. Rick :

No you do not. Just sleep like you normally do.

Customer:

And...again, I appreciate your willingness to go into detail. Thanks so much. I will hit the accept button and if there is a place to give positive feedback...I can do better tomorrow.

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,657
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
Dr. Rick and 87 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Hi, Dr. Rick:Feedback for you...thank you for taking focused care in listening to my concerns Sunday night. You helped me stay grounded and I was able to rest a few hours.
Went to an Ophthalmologist Monday afternoon. As you suspected, I, thankfully did not have a tear in my retina or blood. I was much relieved to know my eyes and optic nerve looked good. Dr. was an experienced Ophthalmologist, though not a Retina specialist. The doctor told me if I continued to have or had another episode of flashing white light, to call or go to office as soon as possible.
I've a question which I'll pose to the doctor tomorrow and if you think it helpful, please I'd take your opinion, as well .Could the following symptoms be a result of dilation? I've experienced constant burning eyes, a pressure headache behind my eyes and just last night, again, white light to the side of left eye and for the first time also a small circle of light in the other eye. The pressure in my head was like the one time I had high blood pressure. I took an aleve in the middle of the night and eventually fell back to sleep. White light has not been an issue most of today.
In addition to thinking that I was still reacting to the dilation and testing process, I wondered what role inflammation played in the original problem. Also, my glasses I caused eye strain (prescription is old and i've continued to use the glasses because they were very expensive high definition lens (plus the lens AR has crazes from the time a year ago when optometrist assistant put the plastic frame in heat..thus contributing to eye strain.) As soon as my floater and eyes return to health, I'm getting new glasses.
Thanks again for helping me Sunday evening. I look forward to my eyes feeling good again and I'm already adapting to the floaters. Just wish I could do something about the burning sensation.
Glad to hear that everything worked out and you don't have any retinal involvement as we thought. Let me address your comments in order:
I do not believe that your issues are related to the dilation or exam, with the exception of the burning in your eyes. The dilating drops can sometimes cause irritation. In this case I would use artificial tears to soothe your eyes.
Inflammation can cause a PVD and floaters however, in your case, I do not believe this was a factor. Inflammation in the vitreous cavity would have been obvious during your eye exam.
Eye strain from old glasses, likewise, did not have any affect on this issue....but new glasses, and better vision, sounds like a good idea :o)
Glad I could help you get some sleep the other night. Take care and have a great day.
Ask Your Own Eye Question
Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,657
11,657 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest

Dr. Rick is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me.

Susan O.USA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Dan B.

Dr. Dan B.

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

3,334 satisfied customers

Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology

Dr. Stan

Dr. Stan

Ophthalmologist

905 satisfied customers

Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon

Dr. Stevens

Dr. Stevens

Ophthalmologist

629 satisfied customers

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

Dr. Susan

Dr. Susan

Ophthalmologist

217 satisfied customers

Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.

Dr. JP

Dr. JP

Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

28 satisfied customers

Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear

Dr-Trace

Dr-Trace

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

26 satisfied customers

Board Certified in General Ophthalmology

Dr. Daniel Jewelewicz

Dr. Daniel Jewelewicz

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

11 satisfied customers

Glaucoma Specialist, Associate Professor FAU, Teaching Faculty Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

< Previous | Next >

Related Eye Questions
I have been seen by both Ophthalmologists & Neurologists but
I have been seen by both Ophthalmologists & Neurologists but have not had satisfactory answers. … read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
I met with that other ophthalmologist in the same office
I met with that other ophthalmologist in the same office today, and she went into considerable detail about my present condition and what changes she recommended in all the steps I have been doing. He… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
My ophthalmologist says I have Dry Eye, but he isn't
My ophthalmologist says I have Dry Eye, but he isn't specific about how bad my condition is. It seems to have suddenly started to become a problem only about 4 months ago, and I'm currently using Xiid… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
I went to optometrist today and he told me that my left eye
I went to optometrist today and he told me that my left eye is 2100 … read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
Had a crystal lens implant put in my L eye and lasik on my
Had a crystal lens implant put in my L eye and lasik on my right. I had a reading contact in the L eye prior to surgery for mono vision. One month after surgery and the vision in my L eye is not impro… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
Can an ophthalmologist see a brain tumor in the front of the
Can an ophthalmologist see a brain tumor in the front of the head or eyes? Or any indication of one ? When the eyes are dilated ?… read more
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Consultant Surgeon and Sports Medicine
Post-Doctoral Degree
32,921 satisfied customers
Need help from a eye doctor,I have dry eye and a left eye
Need help from a eye doctor,I have dry eye and a left eye that jumps ,is my eye cause from dry Dr. … read more
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai
Board certified general ophthalmologist
Master\u0027s Degree
1,570 satisfied customers
I had vitreous hemorrhages and had surgery to repair that
I had vitreous hemorrhages and had surgery to repair that and since then no longer have clear vision in that eye - I see like a yellow film and it is very blurry - is this normal? … read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
Is there an ophthalmologist available? I am having trouble
Hello, is there an ophthalmologist available? I am having trouble with continuing dry eye, red eyes, tight stiff eye muscles and blurry vision. Recently, my eyes have been watering mostly when I wake … read more
Dr Stan
Dr Stan
DO
2,556 satisfied customers
I had cataract surgery and had a multifocal lens implanted.
Hello, I had cataract surgery and had a multifocal lens implanted. From the beginning I've seen halos around bright lights at night. But for a few weeks watching TV was great, then credits in bright c… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
Recently had an eye exam & new glasses, however just started
Recently had an eye exam & new glasses, however just started with having a type of cobweb, or occasional feeling of some obstruction or as if something is in the right eye. But no particles there, wha… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
I see through cracked glass only in the morning goes away
I see through cracked glass only in the morning goes away after a short while is that a retnal detachment … read more
Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta
MD, CEO
Post-Doctoral Degree
22 satisfied customers
Can a Technis ZLB00 lens be defective? I am having double
Can a Technis ZLB00 lens be defective? I am having double vision when looking out the side of my eye to the left. Looking straight on, the vision is almost sharp, but as I turn my head to the right, a… read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
I am 70 and recently noticed an arc flashing light in my
I am 70 and recently noticed an arc flashing light in my left eye either at the top or bottom when i move my eye quickly. I am going on a 7 day cruise tomorrow and am worried about retinal tearing or … read more
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip
M.D.
12,982 satisfied customers
I've been taking drops for dry eye xiidra. The vision itself
the vision itself is fine, i can't open them or have to close them shortly thereafter … read more
Dr Stan
Dr Stan
DO
2,556 satisfied customers
An optometrist found dark patch on the back of my eye, My
an optometrist found dark patch on the back of my eye … read more
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Board Certified MD
11,657 satisfied customers
I went to an optometrist a few weeks ago for my first pair
Hi, I went to an optometrist a few weeks ago for my first pair of contact lenses. I cannot really see the last line on the eye chart with the contact lenses prescription she gave me. She explained to … read more
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip
M.D.
12,982 satisfied customers
This is for a optomologist..i ahve dry eye disease for along
this is for a optomologist..i ahve dry eye disease for along time now but about a month but use all kinds of drops for that. i kept feeling something in the white of my eye which is kinda on the side … read more
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai
Board certified general ophthalmologist
Master\u0027s Degree
1,570 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x