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I went for a routine eye exam back in January of this year.

I had an opto xray...
I went for a routine eye exam back in January of this year. I had an opto xray, check my eye pressure, glaucoma and I am not sure what else he checked. The doctor wanted to dilate my eyes, but I never had it done before. I kind of freaked out and he said maybe next time. Ever since that appointment I have seeing eye floaters and cobwebs everyday. After about a month I called the office and they told me I had to come in and be dilated because of the floaters and cobwebs. So I did. I got dilated and the doctor checked me out and he said it was just floaters and if anything should change to come back in. Before the appointment back in January I have seen floaters on occasion but not everyday like I am seeing now. I know you are probably going to say it was not from the eye exam. But why I have been seeing these floaters and cobwebs everyday. I wish I never went to that appointment.
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Answered in 2 hours by:
5/27/2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,442
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi. My name is***** and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Well....you are correct. It was not the appointment that caused you to be noticing your floaters so much :)
Let me tell you a little bit about floaters:
You are likely experiencing a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, a common event that happens in many people.
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
In January 2013 a new drug, called Ocriplasmin, was approved by the FDA to dissolve vitreous strands in a particular eye condition called vitreomacular traction. Perhaps someday this drug could be used to also remove floaters…. Only time will tell.
Does this make sense to you?
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.
Thanks in advance,
Dr. Rick MD FACS
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

One month after the exam I did go back and they dilated me and the doctor said they were just floaters. He said if anything was to change in size, flashes of light etc. to go back. Everything has been the same. Still seeing the same floaters and cobwebs. The last time I was there was on March 4. Do I go back again? I know doctors are going to say it is not from the exam. But I was not seeing floaters and cobwebs everyday. I would see them on occasion. Every since that appointment in January I have been seeing them everyday and that is why I went back in March. Should I go back again for another eye exam? Is it normal to see eye floaters and cob webs everyday?

Suzanne,
As a retina specialist I deal with floaters every day in my office.
It is not unusual to see floaters and cobwebs when you have a PVD every day. As I stated above, in time your will not notice them as much.
I've had floaters in my left eye for almost 30 years. In the beginning I noticed them all the time and was being driven nuts....nowadays I barely notice them at all.
In answer to your question: I would have a repeat exam in 3 months.
So. What is the take home message? You will be fine and, with time, you will not be bothered by these floaters and cobwebs so much.
Does this make sense to you?
It's safe for you to press the 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, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,442
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hello Dr.Rick

I am sorry I was away a couple of days and just in this afternoon. Thank you for responding to my question. One thing I do know is that before I went in for this eye exam the first time I was not seeing any floaters or cobwebs. I would see them on occasion. I feel like he woke my floaters during this eye exam. It truly makes me so upset. I know doctors would say it is not from the eye exam, but I am seeing them everyday and it is making me crazy. I remember Dr. Bloom asking me, Do you see any floaters? I said I have not seen them in a while and now I am seeing them everyday. I am so mad about this doctor's visit. Because I do realize floaters could be a serious thing. I know he performed one test on me where he put a tube or something so close to my eye which I never had done before. I think he was checking for glaucoma. Never had that done before. Maybe that disturbed something in my eyes. So Upset.

Suzanne,
I understand how the temporal association between your eye exam and noticing your floaters makes you feel that they are somehow related.
But, just because your car won't start the morning that there was a severe thunderstorm doesn't mean that you will have to walk to work during every thunderstorm, does it? (not a great example, but it has been a long day in the office ;)
The glaucoma check did not cause your floaters to be worse, nor did the eye exam.
I promise this is true :) Trust me. I'm a Doctor!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I understand. Thank you so much for your time. I guess I am just a worry wart over some things in life. I will definitely follow up with my eye appointment.

Suzanne,
That sounds like an excellent plan.
I'm glad I could help. Have a good evening.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you in the future....
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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,442
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Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest

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