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Ask Dr. A.S. Desai Your Own Question
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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Seeing sparkles everywhere. Making it hard to see. I'm

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Seeing sparkles everywhere. Making it hard to see. I'm freaking out
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Hello, Thank you for the question.I am Dr.A.S.Desai and I look forward to assisting you .

Dr. A.S. Desai :

Are you available for chat now?

Customer: Yes
Dr. A.S. Desai :

If the sparkles are seen only for few minutes to an hour with no other ocular problem such as reduced vision, then it is likely to be due to migraine.

Customer: Can you chat?
Customer: It isn't a migraine
Customer: Here's my history...
Dr. A.S. Desai :

For how long has the sparkles lasted continously?

Customer: I have slow,progressing retinitis pigmentosa. About six weeks ago I noticed sparkles in my vision. I was diagnosed with a pvd in each eye and rechecked this past Thursday. Retina specialist said there were no tears or detachments and everything looked good. The sparkles are every second of the day
Customer: I've seen them for 6 weeks off and on, lately more on
Customer: R u still there?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

yes I am here

Customer: Did u see the above?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

The major concern with flashes or sparkles as you have described, is the possibility of retinal tears.

Dr. A.S. Desai :

It is good to know that your eyes have already been examined by a retina specialist who has found an intact retina with no tears or holes.

Customer: Could they be in both eyes? I was just checked on Thursday?? Could they have torn since then? Do I need to go to the ER?
Customer: what explains the sparkles? They are hampering my sight and are always there. I could see better if they went away
Dr. A.S. Desai :

PVD , as you are aware about, may not have the same presentation in all individuals. Sometimes the vitreous takes longer to get detached ( especially in younger individuals).

Customer: Oh wow I had no idea.
Customer: Im 28.Light through windows really makes it hard to see and when i look at a persons face I can see their face but all around it sparkles. It's been hard to see the computer screen and see when I'm in a room with white walls. At what point should I give my specialist a call?.
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Since the vitreous has attachments to the adjoining retina, the retina gets pulled at or has a traction. The retina invariably gives rise to the symptoms of flashes of light everytime it undergoes a traction. It is likely that the vitreous is getting detached much slowly in your case thus giving rise to sparkles.

Dr. A.S. Desai :

You would need urgent retinal specialist care in case the sparkles are also associated with a sudden fogginess of vision which is typically described as curtain or veil falling in front of your vision. This is seen in case of a retinal detachment and is an eye emergency which requires urgent care.

Customer: Overhead lights are bad too
Customer: It's just so hard to tell. I feel like its been harder to read fine print since today. Is it normal to have a hard time reading. It's elite the sparkles can catch up with my eyes. Have other pvd suffers been scared like me?
Customer: its like***
Customer: R u there?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Yes, Not sure why the chat freezes for few seconds in between....

Dr. A.S. Desai :

Yes, other PVD sufferers too have nagging problems from flashes and floaters.

Customer: I feel like mine are more than nagging....ugh this is so stressful
Customer: will I just wake up one day and they will be gone? I'm a teacher on summer break and I don't know if I could do ,y job with all these sparkles and things :(
Customer: So you feel that the sparkles are harmless at this point? They have worried me so much that I haven't slept well in while
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Usually these symptoms would subside once the vitreous gets completely detached.

it would be difficult to tell how long it would take for the vitreous to get detached in your case, however.

Sometimes very early cataract can cause such visual distortions ( colored halos, multiple vision).

Customer: Would my retina specialist have looked for that? I had a ton of tests done the first round. I'll keep the cataract symptoms in mind. These flashes jus drive me nuts. Is it normal that the flashes make me want to close my eyes? It's hard to focus and/or look around the room. My eyes are so strained. 1 more question, what are my next steps?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Yes your retina specialist would have easily detected cataracts if present.

Customer: In your practice what flashing light symptoms would alarm you to be more than pvd?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

You can expect the symptoms to subside or reduce in intensity once the vitreous detaches completely.

Customer: And there's no telling when that will be, rightt
Customer: I've heard of surgery to get rid of floaters, there is nothing for flashes right? Because its traction?
Dr. A.S. Desai :

Yes you have got it right.

Dr. A.S. Desai :

Vitrectomy is rarely done for persistent floaters which interfere with day to day routine activities but never done for flashes of light.

Dr. A.S. Desai :

I guess you need to have patience till the flashes subside over a period of time considering the fact that your retina is intact ( recent eye exam).

Customer: Ok thanks. You have really helped calm me down. It's so hard to function with these flashes everywhere. Thank u again
Dr. A.S. Desai :

I am glad to have assisted you. Have a goodnight!

Dr. A.S. Desai and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry one more question. On Thursday my specialist said my pvd in my right eye was evolving nicely and that my left eye still have a pvd. What does evolving mean? Would my specialist be able to tell if its pulled away? Or does he just go by my symptoms to tell if its pulled away?
Hello Jen,
Evolving would mean that the vitreous is in the process of getting detached. He would go by your symptoms rather than see any vitreous detachment.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
he can't really tell what stage it is in then? What if it gets detached and I continue seeing flashes and we all,assume its pvd but its not?
No, one cannot see the stage of vitreous detachment. If the cause of flashes is something other than PVD, surely it would be seen on retinal examination ( retinal traction ).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank u again
You are most welcome !
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok so (for the third time) I had my retina specialist do another check. He said no tears or detachment and that my macular was great and everything looked healthy (as can be with RP). He said that the sparkles or flashes can last longer than the textbook 4-6 weeks and that I was going to be ok. I was sobbing in the office. It's just so scary when something messes with your sight. I also explained that light coming in from windows or over head canned lights are really bothersome. He said that is a usual complaint from his PVD patients. I noticed the flashes get worse when i get up fast, run down the stairs, or move my head a lot. They are still there when I am just sitting though. I hope they go away soon =( Does this all sound about right to you?

Hello again Jen,

Nothing can be more satisfying than to be told by your retina specialist that the retina is intact with no holes or tears. Yes, your symptoms are consistent with those of ongoing PVD and it is a matter of time before things settle down and the sparkles disappear away. However these are not exactly related to movement of head or eyes and can occur otherwise too. Have patience and take care.

Have a good weekend !
Dr. A.S. Desai and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Can pvds cause light sensitivity? I needed sunglasses and a hat outside today and it still bothered me. Lamps and light through windows are also hard to tolerate
Hello Jen,

I would have been concerned about the light sensitivity had the eye exam not been normal. Now that the eye exam has revealed a normal retina ( apart from the RP) and a normal macula, I guess that leaves us with PVD as the most likely cause of your symptoms. We can attribute it to PVD since there are no other signs in the eye which could have suggested any other cause such as a macula problem ( would have easily been picked up on the eye exam). If you still find the symptoms bothersome an OCT test can be done just to check for the macula for any changes there. But I guess you can wait for the symptoms to subside gradually and continue with the use of sunglasses.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks he made a point to say macula looked good a few times. He also did an OCT scan..,,should I get a second opinion?
No, I don't think you would need any second opinion. If your retina specialist has commented on the macula being good after an OCT scan then I guess you need not worry. You can continue using the sunglasses for the light sensitivity.

Regards ***** ***** wishes

Have a great sunday !