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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 am 58, female, gd health, noticed sudden onset of

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I am 58, female, gd health, noticed sudden onset of significant floaters on right eye on Wednesday, with eye pain, headache, went to see optometrist on Thursday and he said I had PVD, and should see him in 4 weeks, but watch carefully in the next week or so for any additional floaters, or flashing light. I had flashing light on Friday 3 sep times and a couple in the last 2 days. the floaters are the still the same. I call it space junk swirling in my eye, and fruit fly like in the periphery. The eye hurts a little. The optometrist did an exam and looked at rentina, said it looked very clear, and macula was very young and healthy. I am concerned as I am travelling to Montreal and new York for 11 days, for conferences. Can I fly? Should I see my regular doctor or a Ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist? Concerned it will lead to retina detachment.
Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Doctor DanB : Has this eye been red or light-sensitive?

Yes, i am available. No the eye is not red or light sensitive.

Doctor DanB : Before pronouncing you safe to fly, I do think it is in your best interest to go see an ophthalmologist. While most optometrists are facile enough to get through an exam and know what a posterior vitreous detachment is, for this important medical problem with the eye would not trust anyone but an ophthalmologist.

Ok, so I will see my Doctor then on Monday and get referred to an ophthalmologist. Will the altitude pressure from flying cause a detached retina? Also, will the PVD "eye floaters" go away in time or become less noticeable? I also find that sometimes I get vertigo from my eye tracking the floaters.

Doctor DanB : Do you have any other questions or need any clarification about this?

Yes, the one I just sent.

Doctor DanB : Sorry. You type that response as I was typing mine. The altitude will not necessarily cause a retinal detachment. However if there is a whole, tear, or breaking the retina that has a lot of fluid to get underneath address, the pressure from altitude may worsen the situation and cause a retinal attachment. Also, in almost everybody flutters usually get better through one of three different mechanisms: 1. They can sometimes break up to some degree; 2. They may drift more out if your view; and 3. The brain usually learns how to ignore them to a large extent (and then they usually only become "visible" when they get "stirred up" by moving the eyes quickly from side-to-side or rubbing the eyes when looking at high contrast backgrounds such as white paper/walls, a bright sky or a computer monitor).
Doctor DanB : Did that make sense?

Oh, thanks, ***** ***** One last question if you are ok with this. If I am ok for the next few weeks, but the floaters continue, will it be likely I won't have a detachment happen? Another way to ask it is , when are you in the clear for this eye anyway. Thanks

Doctor DanB : Everyone is individual, so I cannot give a stock answer about when you are in the clear for this. However, most of the time if a retinal hole, break, or tear is going to occur, it usually happens with the first 4 to 6 weeks after the onset of symptoms. So your symptoms improve and dont worsen by 4 to 6 weeks, you're likely in the clear.

Thank you. That helps. I will go see my doc and take it from there. I know the symptoms to look for if I need emerg action. Thanks again for your help.

Doctor DanB : My pleasure. Good luck. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. 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. Thanks for your inquiry!
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