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I had a sudden onset spiderweb/curtain floater thing with

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some light flashes (subtle) around...
I had a sudden onset spiderweb/curtain floater thing with some light flashes (subtle) around 4 hours ago. I've had floaters before, but this was different - not spots, and a kind of moving pattern - a spiderweb doodle best I can describe it. I took my blood pressure, and it's low normal. The pattern/intensity/light have all decreased and now there's an intermittent (not flashing/coming and going) pattern that looks like I've got a few eyelashes stuck on my eyeball - but I don't. When I research it, the most common reason for these symptoms seems to be the possibility of a detached retina. I've had not trauma to the eye. I was driving when I noticed it, and at first thought it might be caused be shadows and light. My question is, if it is a detached retina (or anything else serious) can I my eye doctor tomorrow morning? I don't have insurance right now. I don't think anything would happen overnight in an emergency room other than getting a big bill and waiting until morning for a doctor. Is there anyway I can rule out a detached retina? More than one question, but I figure it's best to give you all the info I can. I am a 60 year old woman - typically near and far-sighted for my age. Complete eye exam no more than a year ago revealed healthier eyes, cornea/retina/everything else than most my age. Again, main thing is I would like to call and will tomorrow morning. Need to know if that's a problem and what difference it would make.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/5/2011
Eye Doctor: Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist replied 6 years ago
Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,287
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
Dr. James :

Hello.

Dr. James :

What do you see now? Do you see the spiderwebs?

Dr. James :

hello?

Customer:

more like a few leftover legs

Dr. James :

Is the curtain you see solid?

Customer:

No. It was never solid. But it was different than the kind of dots I've had.

Customer:

and it's peripheral the way floaters are/right eye right periphery

Dr. James :

You've likely a vitreous detachment, which is different than a retina detachment. You have a gel like material in your eyes. Over time it liquifies and can pull away from the walls of your eyes. This is a common event that happens to many people.

Dr. James :

You can see an optometrist or ophthalmologist in the morning.

Dr. James :

If you get a solid curtain/veil in the periphery of your vision, then that is more concerning for a retinal detachment.

Customer:

what is the treatment protocol usually?

Dr. James :

for a vitreous detachment, no treatment is needed.

Customer:

Good to know. Definitely not solid. Any precautions I should take in the interim?

Dr. James :

no, just take it easy tonight.

Dr. James :

Please remember to press accept so I can get credit for assisting you tonight.

Dr. James :

Do you have any other questions?

Customer:

I'm thinking.

Customer:

Would there be light flashes with a vitreous detachment? Does it heal itself?

Dr. James :

Yes, you can get flashes of light with a vitreous detachment.

Dr. James :

There is no healing necessary in a vitreous detachment.

Dr. James :

Usually the new floaters will settle.

Customer:

I see. Kind of. Little joke. Still thinking if I have any other questions. Oh yeah. Should I avoid contacts until I see/talk to my eye doctor?

Dr. James :

no, you can continue using them if you'd like.

Customer:

anything else it might be, or are you lean hard in the vitreous detachment direction - which would be fine by me.

Dr. James :

as you already read, the question is usually vitreous versus retinal detachment.

Dr. James :

If you vision is still good in that eye and you are seeing new floaters, then it is likely a vitreous detachment.

Customer:

also any reason why this was so much more pronounced than I've ever experienced, by far? In addition, yes I have read. If all I needed to do was read, I wouldn't be willing to pay for additional insight. You might want to check the tone, there doc. It scared the crap out of me. I was driving, like I said, and pulled over to let my friend take over driving duties. Not a hysterical or lonely person, here. Just concerned and not wanting to do damage. Thanks.

Dr. James :

There is no sarcastic tone.

Dr. James :

I'm just stating the same question that any doctor has to answer when a patient says they have new floaters.

Dr. James :

Is it a vitreous detachment or retinal detachment?

Dr. James :

From your description with the new floaters but still good vision, it is likely vitreous.

Dr. James :

Only with an exam can you confirm one versus the other.

Dr. James :

There are different severities of vitreous detachment. Sometime can be very mild floaters while others can be described as sudden sheet of cobwebs and blurry vision.

Customer:

Okay. I'll accept that. Thanks for your help. I'll sleep easier. (It was the "as you read" that felt sarcastic) I got it re: the diff and an eye exam. I'm satisfied that you've given me as much information as I can reasonably expect without one. Thanks.

Dr. James :

You're welcome. :)

Dr. James :

Please remember to press accept so I can get credit for assisting you tonight.

Customer:

will do.

Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,287
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
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Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,287
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Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon

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