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Vision question for the brain trust

Thursday morning I noticed what looked like a small hair in the right eye. By Friday it was a few hairs with a cloudy, shadowy looking area. Today it has grown and looks like a cobweb. When I move by eye rapidly to the left or right the cobweb doesn't exactly follow my eye. When my eye stops it keeps moving slightly.
Web MD says it's a "floater" and not a big deal unless it is accompanied by flashes of light.
Anyone here with experience or knowledge of this phenomenon? Any advice?
I am going to call my optometrist Monday and see if I can see him next week, but don't know if I should go to an ER or something sooner.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:22 AM
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For about a year I have a bad floater in my left eye. Doc told me to try and live with it if possible. I have gotten used to it but it still is a pia.

I always had small ones, just didn't know what they were and didn't cause me any problems.

Mine reminds me of a dust bunny.
Old 11-17-2018, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdfifteen View Post
I am going to call my optometrist Monday...
You should call an ophthalmologist... a doctor, instead of just an optometrist.
Old 11-17-2018, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcar View Post
You should call an ophthalmologist... a doctor, instead of just an optometrist.


This.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:08 PM
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I would look into it.
I can't see waiting, it might get worse, and you know what they say about hindsight.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcar View Post
You should call an ophthalmologist... a doctor, instead of just an optometrist.
I don't know an ophthalmologist and I doubt I could get a new patient appointment quickly. I'm on very good terms with my optometrist and he'll probably see me Monday. If he thinks I need an ophthalmologist I'm sure he can recommend one and maybe get me in to see him sooner.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:35 PM
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I'm not a Dr and didn't stay in a Holiday Inn, but, if I had to guess, I'd say it is due to a "Vitreous detachment" which is completely normal and probably not a problem. Still, I'd get it checked out.

https://www.eugeneeyecare.com/conditions-vitreous-detachment-floaters/

Quote:
The center of the eye is filled with a jelly-like substance called “vitreous.” At a young age, this substance is very thick with a consistency somewhat like “Jell-o”. As a natural process of aging, the vitreous becomes more liquefied as one gets older. The vitreous is usually completely attached to the retina, which is the seeing membrane in the back of the eye.

As the vitreous becomes progressively liquefied, it begins to move around inside the eye. Eventually, the vitreous becomes so loose that it “pulls away” from the retina behind it. This is called a “vitreous detachment” and is a result of a natural process of life. Some people get this in their 30’s and 40’s but usually the process occurs after age 50.

As the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye, sometimes small pieces of the vitreous “break away” and float inside the liquefying jelly. These are “floaters” and appear as black spots or specks in your vision that often move around, especially with eye movement. As the vitreous continues to detach, these floaters usually settle to the bottom of the eye and become less bothersome. Sometimes, it takes several months for the symptoms to improve. There is no medication, glasses, or surgery that will make these symptoms improve faster.

arely, the retina behind the vitreous can be pulled as the vitreous detaches producing a “retinal detachment” or a tear in the retina. This could require laser or other surgical treatment to prevent the tear from enlarging and pulling the retina away from the back of the eye, which would require more extensive treatment. Your retina should be examined if you have any of the following symptoms:

Onset of floaters or increase in number of floaters.
Any association with flashing lights in your peripheral or “side” vision, or an increase in flashing lights.
A black curtain covering your peripheral vision and coming from above, below, or from the side. You can check each eye by covering one eye at a time.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
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I would look into it.
I can't see waiting, it might get worse, and you know what they say about hindsight.
In this case there might not be any sight at all.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:51 PM
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in this case there might not be any sight at all.
you see!
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcar View Post
You should call an ophthalmologist... a doctor, instead of just an optometrist.
Another vote for this.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:31 AM
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If you know and trust your Optometrist, he can hook you up with the right Ophthalmologist.

How many eyes do you have? Don't mess around.

I can't keep straight which of the crew is diabetic; while we are on the subject of eyes, all y'all that are diabetic call your eye guy/gal if you have not seen them in the last year
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:38 AM
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I see this all the time. For us older folks, new floaters = the vitreous (jelly that fills the back of the eye) has pulled away from the retina (very delicate inside lining of the eye). There may or may not be associated flashing lights ("photopsia"). The danger is that as this happens it may tear the retina, which leads to a retinal detachment. If the tear is detected early by an experienced ophthalmologist by dilating the eye, it can be easily fixed in the office. If the retina does detach, major surgery is required to repair it, and even then may not be 100% successful. An once of prevention = a pound of cure.

Usual recommendation is dilated eye exam 12-24 hours after onset of symptoms, and avoid strenuous activity in the meantime.

The real tragedies are those that come into the office with compete loss of vision two weeks after they started to see the floaters which they did not think were important.

P.S. I'm an ophthalmologist.
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Last edited by charlesbahn; 11-18-2018 at 12:03 PM..
Old 11-18-2018, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
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avoid strenuous activity in the mean time.
Oops. Thatís exactly what Doctor MrsWD told me. I told her I was fine. Been splitting and hauling wood all day.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:15 PM
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I'll go on a little further. There are "good" floaters, and "bad" floaters. Good floaters are what we see when we're younger, they are remnants of blood vessels in the jelly of the eye and we see them most prominently against a white or blue background. While sometimes annoying, they are nothing to worry about.

Bad floaters happen when the jelly in the eye (vitreous) shrinks. We call this a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This happens to all of us if we are lucky enough to live long enough. These floaters are sudden and different from the good floaters and may occur just out of the blue with no previous strenuous activity or exercise. They may look like a hair or bug in the vision, or they may appear like a spider web or a flock of birds in the vision. They may also be associated with brief flashing lights in the periphery of the vision. Sometimes awareness of these is short lived, and by the next day they may be gone. But the retinal tear that leads to a later detachment may have already occurred.

Also, the risk of a retinal detachment is highest for about two weeks after the onset of new floaters and flashes so most of us council limited activity during this period (jarring head movements such as with running, jogging, tennis, etc). The risk is also higher in people that are nearsighted since they have thinner retinas to start with.

The good news is PVD's are common and happen to almost everyone at some point, and retina detachments are very uncommon, so most don't get one even if they don't see the ophthalmologist. But untreated retinal detachments may lead to blindness, which is preventable. So we don't recommend rolling the dice.
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Last edited by charlesbahn; 11-18-2018 at 04:57 PM..
Old 11-18-2018, 12:49 PM
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I think you should treat this as a threat to your vision and thus an "emergency". I am scheduled for a vitrectomy in a few weeks as a result of something similar that turned into a retinal tear with subsequent "floaters on steroids".
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carreradpt View Post
I think you should treat this as a threat to your vision and thus an "emergency".
This^^^

I put off an eye problem when I was in my mid-20s. It just felt like I had an eyelash and a little bit blurry, so I ignored it for a few days. It turned out to be a "dendrite", or Herpes Simplex Keratitis. A common cold sore that came up on my cornea (pretty rare). Those three days made the difference in just a few eye drops and an anti-viral Rx for 7 days vs. permanent scaring and chronic dryness in my eye 35 years later. GO SEE AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST.

BTW...An optometrist has zero diagnostic medical training. Best just ask him for a referral to an ophthalmologist and see if he can pull some strings to get you in sooner.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:00 AM
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Another vote for an ophthalmologist. Call your optimetrist and they may have one they can refer you to without coming to see them first. M
When I needed an ophthalmologist they were able to get me in same day. Something about a scratched cornea made them find an opening for me.

Also, eye stuff hurts worse than about anything else. Let them try to fix it before it gets bad.
Old 11-19-2018, 09:56 PM
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I got the dam floaters too after eye surgery for cats
and insertions of plastic lens to replace my cataract affected eyes
I got near 20/20 vision corrected from very very nearsighted life long glasses needing
so I guess the floaters are not a big deal just an annoyance

but I would get them checked just be sure
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:33 AM
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So I called my optometrist first thing Monday. He had me come and see him right away. He dilated my pupils and took 7 photos of the inside of each eye and did a really extensive looking in my eyes with a magnifier routine. He concluded that I had vitreous detachment with no retinal tear. He told me not to do anything strenuous for a few days, keep my eye open for any flashes of light, and come back and see him in three weeks. He told me if I see any flashes of light or multiple "coffee grounds" (little black spots) in my vision to go straight to the ER. I'm feeling pretty good about this now. Seems it's pretty normal for folks of a certain age.
Thank you all who responded, especially Carl. I was pretty freaked out about this for a while.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:59 AM
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