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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I was hit in the eye by a baseball yesterday. Today I have

Resolved Question:

I was hit in the eye by a baseball yesterday. Today I have something that looks like an eyelash in my vision (left eye). What is this and what should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 5 years ago.
Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Customer:

Yes

Customer:

I'm here

Doctor DanB : Your object is likely what is called a vitreous floater. A floater tends to follow your eye movements, floating behind and then catching up to the same position they occupied. These floating spots or "bugs" or cobwebs (they can come in many shapes and sizes) 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 liquifies and becomes more fibrous bands and water. Because of this liquification 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 sometimes produce flashes that you may see or may not see, or may see in the future.  If you have or develop them, these flashes tend to be small, like starbursts and are usually intermittent; they can also appear as an arcing light. 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. Because this has been caused by trauma I would make sure to see an ophthalmologist on Monday and to an ER ASAP if you have one of the 4 signs above. 
Doctor DanB :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

I don't seem to have any of the 4 symptoms at this time.

Customer:

yes it does

Doctor DanB :

That's good. That means you are probably okay to wait this out until Monday--just take it easy activity wise.

Customer:

Will it go away?

Customer:

Will itimprove?

Doctor DanB :

The floater usually gets better in one of three ways: it may start to break up, drift out of your view or the brain starts to learn how to ignore it, but usually most people are usually left with some remnant of the floater (it may not completely go away).

Doctor DanB :

Do you have any other concerns about this topic that I haven't addressed?

Customer:

Does it require surgery?

Doctor DanB :

No, only rarely if it significantly interferes with your activities of daily living.

Customer:

What are the remnants?

Doctor DanB :

Basically whatever degree of a floater doesn't resolve over time.

Customer:

It's been 12 hours since it happened.

Doctor DanB :

I would count on seeing some portion of this floater or having it pop up every now and then for the rest of your life; that's most likely.

Customer:

Anything I can do to help it heal?

Doctor DanB :

Not really, unfortunately. I would just lay low activity-wise until you can see your ophthalmologist. Unfortunately there's no medicine, supplement, or activity that will change the course of this.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks for your help.

Doctor DanB :

You're welcome.

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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.

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