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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11357
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I woke up this morning and I have a black line in my vision

Customer Question

I woke up this morning and I have a black line in my vision it seems to come and go. I am on a number of medications for blood pressure and anxiety.
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 :

Is it just in one eye? (close one eye at a time and check)

Dr. Rick :

Have you noticed any flashes of light?

Dr. Rick :

Does this black line kinda float around in your visual field?

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..... :)

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

We have been experiencing technical difficulties with the chat system. Please allow me to retype my chat here for your review:

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Is it just in one eye? (close one eye at a time and check)

Dr. Rick :

Have you noticed any flashes of light?

Dr. Rick :

Does this black line kinda float around in your visual field?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what do you think this is? its a black line in one eye right eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
I was kinda hoping that you would provide more information per my questions above. This will allow me to give a more meaningful answer......
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
To answer your question it sounds like you have experienced a posterior vitreous detachment.

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.

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.

Here is a video of the actual surgery to remove floaters:

http://www.retinavitreous.com/video%20files/intro_floaters.html



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