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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11315
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I am having trouble with the periferal vision in my left

Customer Question

I am having trouble with the periferal vision in my left eye. It seems like a cloud to the side and lights flashing underneath my eye. This happened 2 days ago and again this morning and currently. Is this serious? Should I see a doctor right away or wait to make an appointment?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

II see that you are offline however I will attempt to address your concerns. f this seems like a cloud or a curtain coming across your vision, and this cloud does not go away but only kinda moves back and forth then, yes, you should be seen by an ophthalmologist right away as this could be a sign of a retinal detachment.

Dr. Rick :

If it is more like lightning flashes and things floating around in your vision without the presence or a curtain or film and without any noticeable decrease in your vision then you are probably suffering from a posterior vitreous detachment.

Dr. Rick :

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 :

If you feel that your symptoms are more suggestive of a retinal detachment, as I mentioned above or as reviewed in the link below, then it is very important that you see an ophthalmologist as soon as you can. An examination by an ER physician will be of little or no value as they don't have the necessary training or equipment to diagnose or treat this problem. An optometrist also will not be able to help you; you need an eye surgeon.

Dr. Rick :

If you think it is just a PVD then it is safe to schedule an exam by an ophthalmologist in the near future.

Dr. Rick :

I'm sorry I missed you today. Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.

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