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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi: I have SLE, CREST, Pul Hypertension, Sjogrens and other

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Hi: I have SLE, CREST, Pul Hypertension, Sjogren's and other immune disorders. I am very sensitive to a sudden bright light. When my eyes see a strong bright light I see these exploding dark blobs. I used to see just one but now I am seeing many. In general my vision is getting worse. Both less close up and distance vision. I do have some Placequinal (sorry bad spelling) damage from 20 years ago and stopped taking this med at that time. On your website it says that vision distrubances can be cause by Lupus and Sjorgren's. I know that Sjorgren's causes dry eyes, which I have. But I am very conserned about these exploding black blobs that seem to be getting worse and my increasing loss of vision. Can you tell me how Lupus can affect my vision and if these blobs could be related to my Lupus?

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Do these blobs occur at any other time then when you go into bright light? Are both eyes affected (test one eye at a time)? What medicines do you take and what other medical issues do you have other then the ones listed?

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


I look forward to your response so that we can continue to work on your question.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, had to leave my computer for the day. Tomorrow I will do the test you suggested, send you a list of my many medications and list all of my conditions. Looking forward to your ideas. I've seen my opthalmologist regarding these blobs but perhaps I didn't describe them clearly. He didn't have an answer for me. Perhaps if I can go back with more of an idea of what may be happening, we can get somewhere. Will write back tomorrow. Thanks, Sharon
sounds like a good plan. I'll look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

Good night.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr Rick: Also should mention that I saw the black blobs before I was diagnosed w/ the small retina tear. I've seen one blob for at least 10 years. They used to be one, now I see at least 5 at times in bright light. Thanks, Sharon
Ok. That makes sense. I think that the blobs you are seeing are caused by a vitreous detachment and clumps of "gunk" in floating around in your vitreous.

The can be associated with a retinal tear, as you have noted, but since your tear was so long ago I would think that by now your vitreous has fully moved away from your retina and your risk for an additional tear or a retinal detachment is low. At this point, I don't think you have anything to worry about when it comes to these floaters/blobs.

Now, you are probably wondering 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.

Does this make sense to you?

It was a pleasure to assist you with your question. Please let me know if I can do anything else to help you in the future. Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.

Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi: Thanks for the reasurrance re the blobs. But part of my question was how Lupus can affect your eyes. Since Lupus can attack any part of your body, can it affect or damage your eyes? Perhaps something to do w/ the vascular system in your eyes.

Thanks again, Sharon

Oops..sorry, I missed that part of your question.

Yes, it sure can. As a retina specialist I see a number of patients with ocular manifestations of SLE such as cotton wool spots, retinal vascular occlusions (with their secondary problems) and infarction, exudation and neovascularization of the choroid.

It can also involve the eyelids and periorbital tissues, but as a retina surgeon I deal mostly with the posterior segment problems.

It's safe for you to press the accept/positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you at no additional charge :-)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks again, one more question then I'll push Accept. You mentioned eyelids and periorbital tissues. My eyelids are very puffy in the morning. Goes away in a couple of hours. I read on Lupus Foundation that puffy eyelids may be because my Lupus is flaring. Is puffy eyelids what you referring to when you mentioned eyelid and periorbital tissues. If so, why would Lupus make your eyelids puffy in the morning. I'm kind of afraid to hit the Accept button, that your website will go away and I may not be able to get back to this message chain.
Yes. But, puffiness that goes away in a couple of hours is most likely not from lupus. Why does lupus cause puffiness? I must admit I don't know the physiology behind it...

Do not be afraid of the (very pretty) accept button. It is a very nice button and does not bite. It likes to be pushed..... lol!

It's safe for you to press the accept/positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you at no additional charge :-)

You will still be able to come back to this thread, read it, print it, post to it and talk with me should you so desire :-)

Trust me. I'm a doctor.
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Dr Rick. I'll now push the Accept button and move on to more fun things for the day. But I will try to keep this link open in case I have additional questions for you. And I'm thinking it may be a good idea to see a retinal specialist in addition to my regular opthalmologist. If anything different results from that visit, I'll pass it along to you. Thanks again, Sharon
My pleasure and, should you have any other questions, I will be right here and waiting to help ;)

Have a good day.
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
That has happened to me too.....It is my personal belief that there are Gremlins living in the computer that eat some of the posts ;-)