Anyone have 'floaters' or PVD (posterior vitreous detach)?

downsouthOctober 2, 2004

I woke up early one morning last week and my eye was itching at the bottom underneath the eyelid. It was swollen and it felt like I had been stung by something. Two days ago I started seeing a black spot "floating" in front of my right eye. I went to the Wal-Mart vision center (the closest place and the only place I could get an appt at 7:30 pm). She told me I have something called PVD or post vitreous detachment. It's where the gel that surrounds the eyeball starts to liquify and it happens more to women and to people who are nearsighted.

Today I am seeing the same black "floater" in my other eye. I have an appt. in 30 days for a follow up visit, but she told me that there is nothing that can be done about these floaters and people learn to live with them!! I just can't imagine living like this and seeing these black spots floating around in front of my eyes for the rest of my life. I don't see flashes of light or I don't see a shutter closing in front of me and she said if I saw these to immediately come back.

If anyone has these, did they gradually go away? I did read on the Internet that the spots can gradually disappear after a few months but that a minority of people have them for the rest of their life. I hope I am not in that minority.

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These things do often disappear. Even if they don't, you will find that you get used to them enough so that they don't drive you batty.

However, I think that you should see a regular eye doctor, not just a technician at Walmart. See him for regular yearly checkups and then if your eyes do get worse, you will be a regular patient and have no trouble getting in to see him in an emergency.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 7:49PM
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I have them, as do most of my 40-60 year old friends. They used to drive me nuts, but now they're either gone or I don't notice them anymore.

But I agree with the above poster, I'd see an opthamologist.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 10:08PM
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I agree about the floaters (I've had them since I was about 12), but I disagree about the wal-mart doctors. They are licensed Optemetrist (I know I spelled that word wrong), and in my area the hospital will actually send the people to the Wal-mart doctors rather than the ER regualar doctors). PLUS Opthamologist are often not covered by health insurance without recommendation, etc.

Here are some definitions I've found:
Optometrist Doctors of optometry (O.D.s) examine eyes for both vision and health problems, prescribe glasses, and fit contact lenses. They can prescribe many ophthalmic medications and may participate in your pre- and postoperative care if you have eye surgery. O.D.s must complete four years of post-graduate optometry school for their doctorate.

Ophthalmologist A medical doctor (M.D.) who specializes in the eye. Ophthalmologists perform eye exams, treat disease, prescribe medication, and perform surgery. They may also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Optician Opticians are not doctors, but in some states they must complete training and be licensed. And in some states they can become certified, after special training, to fit contact lenses. Most opticians sell and fit eyeglasses, sunglasses, and specialty eyewear that are made to an optometrist's or ophthalmologist's prescription. Many also have equipment on the premises so they can grind lenses and put them in frames without ordering from a lab.

Floaters A dark or gray spot or speck that passes across your field of vision and moves as you move your eye. Floaters are very common and may look like clouds, strands, webs, spots, squiggles, wavy lines or other shapes. As your eye ages, the gelatinous vitreous humor begins to liquefy in the center of the gel. Floaters are caused by the undissolved vitreous humor that floats in the liquid vitreous. Sometimes, a "shower of floaters" is a sign of a serious condition, particularly if you also see flashes of light.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 10:56AM
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I still have my two floaters and I will be going to see an opthalamologist this week. Another opinion never hurts.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 6:28PM
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Seeing a floater is indicative of possible retina detachment!! Post back and tell us of your results. I'm very nearsighted, and 7 years ago had a floater one morning, the retina became detached a week later. Flashes are another indicator of possible retina detachment. It's important to stay in communication with your eye doctor. I had surgery to correct my detachment. Thank God I have my full sight, thanks to modern medicine. btw, floaters never go away, your brain just learns to ignore them, as my retina specialist advised me. They're visible to the doctor at every eye checkup.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 4:59PM
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I had something appear very fast that looked like a black fish net in my eye. It was a torn retina and if I hadn't gone right away it could have been serious. I agree you should see a opthalamologist as soon as you can.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2004 at 10:27AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I have had two episodes where the Opthamologist has had to examine me for a detached retina. Each time he pressed around my eyeball in about 12 places - maybe more. I had to look in all different directions. It didn't really hurt, but scared me since I cannot have local anesthesia. The procedure required me to really calm myself. He is a surgeon, and had to do that to be sure that I did not have a detached retina. I don't believe that any technician could perform a simple test and be so thorough.

Paula said that they never go away, and I am glad to hear that although I may have read it before. Every so often I don't have a floater, but I have to blink because I think something is there. I think I have an invisible floater.

Last year when I went back for my recheck, the office manager said she used to work for a retina surgeon. She said that when it would start snowing, they knew they would be flooded with call from all the floaters. Until then I had never thought of myself as a floater.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 10:06PM
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I was reading above that flashes are another indicator of possible retina detachment. What are flashes?

Yesterday, when I went into a store from the car, all of a sudden I felt that someone had flashed a camera in my face and I kept seeing spots. It wasn't extra sunny outside or anything like that and I've been to this store many times and the lighting was no different. The spots lasted about 15 minutes or so and continued after I left the store. Are these flashes?

Today, for another 15 minutes or so, I was seeing waves through the right side of my right eye, with and without my glasses on. I washed my glasses and it went away. But I have never had this happen before either and have never had any strange eye occurrances with dirty glasses before.

About 5 years ago, I had surgery on both eyes for stribismus (double vision).

I haven't made an appointment with an eye doctor yet.

Can anyone relate to these 2 symptoms that happened to me?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 10:34PM
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I've had floaters since my teen years. They have become more numerous over the years but don't generally bother me. If I'm trying to look at something and one floats in the way, I blink and it moves. But it always comes back to the same position. I do see an ophthalmologist every couple of years.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 4:38PM
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Marie, I suggest you get to your eye doctor asap. Don't waste any time wondering if something is wrong. Maybe nothing, but don't take chances. Let us know.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:49AM
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Yes, Marie, get to the eye doc asap. You only get 2 eyes for your whole life. Don't mess around.
A year or so after my retina repair surgery, I saw lights when I closed my eyes at night when first laying down to sleep. It was in the same eye that had the surgery. This time it was a little tear in the retina. They were able to fix it with a laser in the office.

Any new symtoms should be checked out.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 2:23PM
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I wanted to bring this thread up to the top to possibly help others. About 2 weeks ago I got my first floater, with light flashes. I was away from home and it was the weekend. It came on all of a sudden,with no warning. When I was driving, I had on the outer corner of my best eye what appeared to be a vertical black line. Then I would get a grey blur that would travel across, interfering with my vision. When I would go into a darkened room, in the same eye, there were flashes of light, again on the periphery.

I had to wait 10 days before seeing a specialist.I might not have gone, had I not been warned by a distant friend of the early symptoms of her retinal detachment (a black curtain falling down across her vision, after initial floaters). Luckily, I was reassured that I had no retinal involvement. My friend tells me that if you do not catch a retinal detachment in time, you could lose vision in that eye.

The floater no longer bothers me, after 2 weeks, quite so much, however, I still see the occasional flash of light, when it is dark. I guess I must learn to live with it.

When this first happened, I feared I might be having symptoms of a stroke, so I checked my BP which was normal. Just my 2 cents worth -- hope it helps someone.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 2:26PM
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What idiot was in charge telling you that you had to wait 10 days?! %*^^$&*%

Well, it's good there's no tear or detachment, as I had , twice, in same eye. Otherwise I'd be blind in my right eye now. Jeez

wood, continue to watch for ANY changes in your vision, and report any, to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Don't let anyone tell you to wait!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 3:29PM
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These kind of floaters can cause retinal tears or detachment. Last week I had one for the first time. Started late evening just as I was going to bed. When it was the same the next morning, I was on the horn to my eye doctor who had me come in within 2 hours.
He called them detached floaters that can be the precursor to a retinal tear or detachment, which needs immediate surgery or you lose the vision in your eye.
I had just had a complete eye exam a few months ago with no sign of floaters nor had I ever had one before and I'm 55 years old and female.
He told me that I can't put any "pressure" on the retina, which means no bending over, straining of any kind, no hands and knees to garden for at least 6 weeks, and if I got a stomach bug with any kind of nausea I need something for it ASAP as this would almost guarentee a tear or detach.
He gave me an appt. for 6 weeks and call ASAP regardless of the time of day or night if it got worse or I started to see any kind of flashes or loss of vision.
Well 2 days later it was worse and I was back in for the exam again to be sure there where no tears or detachment.
Added to my restrictions now is a limit on the physical therapy that I am having to recoup from spinal surgery. That complicates the recovery and strenghening for me, but its better than the chance of losing the vision in my eye.
He also told me that this can happen after having spinal surgery because of the position one is put in for over 2 hours for the surgery that puts terrible strain on the eyes and the retina.
While I was there he had several other patients, all with the same kind of problem, and all where new patients that had called with the vision changes and he saw them all without any delay.
I can't imagine an eye doctor telling a patient they had to wait 10 days to be seen for sudden changes in vision such as floaters, flashes of light. By the time the 10 days are up you could be blind.
Call another doctor and get in to be seen ASAP with an eye
doctor who will see you and check you right away. Your eyes are too precious to be careless with.
We where given to eyes so that if one fails we can still see, but the vision then can be different and a problem causing restrictions in our abilities to function.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:12AM
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Thanks for your input. I asked this eye doctor what I would do, if more floaters and flashes came on a weekend, as this one had. He had no answer and said I would have to wait until Monday. So my question is: should one go to a hospital emergency room if it comes on a weekend? Would they even know how to treat it?

The warning against bending, etc. has got me bothered, as I was hoping to do Yoga again, this fall and winter. I had been doing Yoga in the spring, and had wondered if the positions had brought the floater on. Anyhow, I am a physically active person and would go crazy if I could not exercise! What about coughing or sneezing bringing on a possible retina problem??? Just wondering.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:02AM
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A good eye doctor will not tell you to 'wait until Monday'. Get a new eye doctor. Call one or a practice, tell them of your situation, that you need a good practictioner in place for possible emergency visits from you. For goodness sake, us posters here are not doctors, and we know of the dangers, how can your current schooled "doctor" treat this situation so lightly? If you're financially restricted, please arrange a payment schedule or something, it's not worth possibly loosing your sight over.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:36AM
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I bent down one day a year ago and when I stood up there was a black object in one eye! The ophthmologist told me also that these were not dangerous ... just the floaters mentioned by the original poster but if I ever saw flashing colors or lights suddenly in an eye to go IMMEDIATELY to the ER: ? detached retina. I guess the floater is still there but I must have gotten used to it. There is a procedure that can be done in some rare cases where they w/draw the fluid and replace it with some other I was told.

Hope since it has been quite a while since your posting that your eye is OK!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:16PM
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Those restrictions where given to me for a temporary basis until the situation settles down, 6 weeks, till I see the doc again. Any kind of straining with the floaters like they are and/or flahses of light can bring on a tear or detachment. That includes sneezing, coughing, vomitting, too hard straining moving your bowels. It's really kind of scary.
Get yourself a new doc ASAP and based on the attitude of the present doc you are using, I would get myself to a new Doc now and be checked. In my opinion the doc you are seeing is not compitent and I would question the exam he already gave you. Better safe than sorry.
My son, who is 28, was involved in a minor fender bender a year ago. About a week later he started seeing floaters and he only wears glasses for distance. He saw an opthamologist the same day. The movement he had in the accident, he was rear ended when he was stopped at a red light, put the strain on his eyes and the retina and caused his problem. He had the same restrictions as I had for about 6 weeks and the doc told him to call 24/7 if the eye got worse. About 4 weeks later he got a stomach bug. After vomitting twice, he started to see flashes of light and more floaters. He called the doc at 11PM at night and was told to get someone to drive him to the ER and he'd meet him there. His next door neighbor drove him over. Sure enough the retina was torn. Was given IV meds to stop the vomitting and cryosurgery right there in the ER to repair the retina before it detached.
My point is this. My son was a new patient to this doc. He had always used and optometrist till then. (I always told him to establish himself with an opthamologist, but you know your kids never listen.) He saw him once with this problem and was told to call 24/7 if it got worse. It did and he was not ignored but told to go to the ER and was treated ASAP before he had further damage or went blind. The only reason that he was told to go to the ER was because of the time. He needed assistance to treat my son and would have none at that hour in his office. Had it been during office hours, he would have been seen and treated in the office. Many types of tears in the retina can be taken care of in the office. My husband's was twice.


GOOD LUCK, and let us know how you make out.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:43AM
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Thanks for all the information shared above. It is good to know that a retinal tear can be repaired in the emergency room if it happens on a weekend. The eye surgeon I went to had the reputation of being the best in the area. His specialty is surgery to repair visual difficulties with lasers. He did seem rather rushed, has a huge office. I will check into another eye specialist I have heard ab out and make some calls. This has been a scary experience as I knew nothing before....

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 10:23AM
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Bringing this thread up for nemo....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:20AM
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I have a huge floater in my right eye, to the point that I can no longer read road signs and have difficulty reading a book. Of course, this doesn't happen to people who don't like to read, only to those of us who feel like we might as well curl up and die if we can't read! I saw a local ophthalmologist recently, who basically threw up his hands and said there was nothing he could do, he thought I'd never pass another driver's vision test, wouldn't help to change lens prescription. This started about 7 years ago with me seeing jagged flashes of light from the corners of both eyes. I saw my doc immediately, and he diagnosed a vitreous detachment - since then, other docs have told me to forget about that diagnosis, which I don't understand. The floater is so large that surgery might fix it, and would be recommended, EXCEPT that I have dry eyes to the point where I would be an unacceptable surgical risk. I was prescribed Restasis, basically told it could "cure" the problem within a month or so, and to see an optometrist for another refraction after using it for a month. I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to research the problem and the Restasis, and started using the drops last night. I've read the reports of burning and blurring. I experienced none of this, although I am sure the drops went into my eyes. I suspect my eyes are already so uncomfortable and irritated that the additional irritation didn't bother them. I really don't know what to do . . . the doc who prescribed the Restasis didn't mention there is only a 15% efficacy rate.
I think I had a right to know this, and wouldn't have if I didn't have enough sense to come home and get on the computer and start asking questions and looking for answers.
Anyone else have this severe a problem? I'm becoming afraid that I'm going to end up either totally blind, or visually impaired to the point that I can't drive or read.

Shoot me now.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 12:28PM
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Claudia, someone suggested I go to on the Internet. That site lists an opthamologist. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. There are testamonials given also by those who had the laser treatment.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Woodnymph - have you been in touch with this doctor? I sent an email to him, which he answered today, saying that since I
have a posterior vitreous detachment I would be a good
candidate, possibly, and that dry eyes were not a contraindication for the laser procedure. I still am hesitant, primarily because I don't find much information available about this, other than what is on this doc's site and the website of the doc in Florida who appears to take the same approach. Testimonials are a dime a dozen for anything - I'd feel a lot better if I could find someone who had experienced the procedure, or who had at least researched it thoroughly. Someone who didn't write a testimonial, but who would be willing to tell the truth about their experience. If anyone has had any experience with this, I would give just about anything to hear about it. Thanks -

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Claudia, see my response to the above on the other thread about eye floaters.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Hi Claudia,
If you have one important floater that impairs your vision, you could be a good candidate for laser treatment, provided that your floater is not too close to the retina. I send you the link to a scientific document about laser treatment:

You'll also find numerous posts and testimonials on this bulletin board:

I wish you all the best luck and hold on!
I am very embarrassed with my own floaters, but they are of the cobweb-cloudy type (no laser for me, then!)


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 5:54AM
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I still have my eye floater, after 3 months. Some days it appears worse than others. I wonder why. Sometimes, it is lighter in color, other days, darker. Has anyone else had this experience?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Woodnymph2. Mine is the same, some days worse than others. I've had them since June, with a sudden onset. I finally realized that they weren't as bad when it was warm out and I was drinking lots of non diuretic fluids. So I increased the water that I drink, and it does make a difference. My eye doc confirmed for me today that I was right and really need to keep the fluids up and stay really hydrated, especially now with the cold temps and the heat pumping. It dries out the air and dehydrates the body.

I'm posting the following info on this thread and have posted it on the other thread with floaters as well. Hope it helps with the NG laser surgery info

I just had a 6 week follow up visit with my eye doc for floaters on Sat. Been going every 6 weeks since the end of June with a sudden onset of the floaters. Prior to that I had never seen one in my life and I turned 55 Last March.
Anyway the floaters started about 3 weeks after I had spinal surgery and the eye doc told me it was a common "side affect, complication" of spinal surgery because of the position one is put in during the surgery and the strain on the eye during the operation.

I have been using this eye doctor for over 25 years, he's well experienced and his specialty is retina. He also has been a professor of opthamology at Harvard Medical School for close to 20 years.

My floaters are sort of what I call spidery and sometimes a blur spot. I find it very annoying at times, but it has improved and found that if you drink a lot of fluid that isn't a diuretic, the floaters improve greatly. So, my floaters talk to me and when it is more annoying, I increase the fluid and find they are far less noticable by the end of the day. The doc said this was correct and it is very important to stay very hydrated at all times.

Anyway, I asked him about the types of surgery for floaters, NG laser and virectomy. His information is below.

Is considered major surgery and is only rarely done because it has a high rate of complications. It is a total removal of the fluid that protects the retina, but does destroy all the floaters. The complications are relatively high and include cataracts, retinal detachment and bleeding into the eye. In over 25 years of practice, he has never done the surgery. He feels it is too high a risk.

He showed me an opthamology journal article published within the past 6 months with the following information

Can only be done on a limited number of people
1/3 of patients helped, but improvement was only considered moderate by the patients
patients considered improvement only 50%
no patient had complete resolution of the floaters and most had floaters return to the prior state they where in prior to NG laser within 1-2 years
Led to worsening in 7.7% in patients

complication rate of .50%-4.16% with retinal detachment.

I asked him why there where only 2 doctors in the US using the NG laser surgery and he said that with the results listed above, it is not a beneficial procedure to use.

He also pointed out that when you go to the 2 docs websites and carefully read the info, you find lots of praise and testimonials, but are they from real people or just words put on the web site. One never really knows. Testimonials are a dime a dozen, what about the ones that aren't a success, they are never heard from. One of the docs actually has, what I would call, insulting remarks about other eye doctors when he says that most eye doctors are not aware of or interested in the procedure. Not complimentary remarks about ones colleages.

I checked out both websites myself and though they look and sound impressive, they reminded me of the sites for fancy surgery for spinal stenosis. When I did some investigating about those 2 places, one of which was in Florida, I found lots of bad info on both of them, lots of complications, and insurance companies don't pay for the surgery.

As far as my eye doc knew, there aren't any insurance companies that pay for this NG laser surgery. That would leave me with lots of suspicion about the docs and the procedure.

I'm learning to live with my floaters and they are getting better. I'd try hydrating with more fluid as well and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 3:19AM
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littleone, thanks so much for your post! I had never thought of drinking more fluids. I will try this. I have a tendancy to not drink enough water because I just do not get thirsty, so I dehydrate very easily.

Interesting about your onset after surgery. For me, there was no such incident. At 8 a.m. there was no floater, suddenly at 9 a.m. there was this huge, dark blob. Now it is just a light grey blob, most days, but as it is so big, it does slow me down.

I agree with your assessment of both floater websites. Thanks for telling me what your doctor said!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 2:26PM
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Bottom line to whole thread: Get to an Opthamologist ASAP--best to see one who specializes in retinas.
Sudden appearance or increase in floaters,flashes of light(like a white long lightening bolt you see on the horizon in a storm--only it is in your eye!)or something you see in your eye that looks like gel and has a glow to can be signs of a retinal tear or impending detachment. This happened to me , I got it repaired by laser surgery as an outpatient. It was an easy, nothing procedure.I am a big baby and this isn't even as bad as having a cavity filled!!! Don't even need anesthetic other than numbing drops.
My dad had the "curtain" dropping effect in his eye and waited "until Monday"-- by then he had a complete detachment, required surgery in the hospital, and lost most of the vision in his eye. It is tragic to lose your vision, when going to the ER of a hospital or to a retina specialist during normal business hours can save your vision. The curtain or lots of sudden floaters is a "911 situation" of the eye---just to make it clear,you can go by car to the ER tho!
re:floaters--I have had them since my 20s--you just get used to them if not too big.
Re:zigzag line (mentioned earlier by someone else)that has colors and disappears in 20 minutes or a little blurring spot in your vision that goes away can just be an Opthamologic Migraine(with or without a headache). Bottom Line: SEE A RETINA SPECIALIST OR OPTHAMOLOGIST who sees you right away. If not, find another one today!!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:58PM
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But is your average Emergency Room equipped to treat retinal detachments with lasers????

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 12:50PM
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Claudia51 don't drive until you resolve your vision problems. Not being able to see in the disntance can be dangerous while driving.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:42AM
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Hi All,
I am 57 and about 5 weeks ago started seeing what looked like black stictes ot thread at the top of my left eye. I at first thought it was an eyelash or hair. Didn't go away and read on Google not to chance it so I went to the E.R. On the way I experienced a lightning show in my left eye. Actually it was kinda neat.
spent 5 hours there only to have a doc look in my eye with one of those cheap lights. He called an Opthomologist on call who said it was early Sunday morn so see him Mon morn.
said I have PVD..nothing can be done..may get used to it or they may drop to bottom of the eye..made a followup for 6 weeks..just the other day I woke and starting seeing the same thing in my right eye...yuk!! lightning flashes and all..made an appt. with a retinal specialist for this Wednesday...don't want to mess with my eyes plus I was not happy with the Opthomoligist..problem is my floaters also are hazy globules that pass by the center of the eya and actuallt hurt my was nice when I had a least 1 good eye to compensate..when I closed my left eye it was nice to see that is gone..will keep u posted.
nice to have a forum that covers this.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:36PM
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I still have mine and they do interfere with my vision. They slightly slow my responses when I'm driving. I've learned to try to rotate my eyes so that they drop to the bottom or off to the side. After all this time, I don't think they are easy to get used to. My eye doctor tells me I just have to learn to live with them....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:21AM
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I've had them now for 2 years, every since my first spinal surgery in June 2006.

I've found drinking a lot of extra fluid throughout the day decreases the number of floaters and their affect on my vision.
Especially in the warm months, it's very important to keep that fluid intake up.

I also found that wearing sunglasses whenever I am outside makes all the difference in the world to seeing well. I even find that on cloudy days, the sun glasses, when driving, really makes it easier to drive as well.

Don't forget them in the winter either when you are outside.

Good luck


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:45PM
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Fran, thanks. I usually forget to drink fluids, so am almost always dehydrated. For whatever reason, my floaters bother me most on cloudy, gray days! I find that very odd. but the sunglasses do help.

I would like to ask posters here if you find your floaters disabling? For me, they are as if I had a disability, as they slow me down and interfere with my vision almost constantly.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Try drinking the fluids. it's important to stay hydrated all the time. Dehydration can cause many problems in the body, especially if it is an ongoing problem.

It will affect the floaters as well, increasing them and the frequency that you see them.

If the increase in fluids doesn't help to resolve some of the floaters, I would suggest that you speak to your eye doctor about the affect they are having on your vision and how they are disabling you so much.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Not sure if mine are floaters or not. I had something happen when I was in the recovery room following a heart cath. Mine appear to be silver in color and they have a rapidly vibrating motion to them.

They started out small and changed in shape and size and location. Usually starts off as a small spot then takes on a more "thread" like shape that can start at the top of my vison and curve around to the bottom like a "c" shape thread.

The first one appeared to be more to the left and second appeared more to the right. I can see them with my eyes open or closed.

I also noticed that if the lines or spots cover an object, it blocks that object from view.

I have had another one today. They don't last long. My first one lasted about 15-20 minutes as it moved and changed shapes. Second lasted about 5-10 minutes and my last one today lasted about 5-10 minutes.

Do these sound like floaters?

Thanks for any info

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:44AM
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I would suggest that you contact your eye doctor ASAP and be seen ASAP by him/her.
Anything that has a sudden onset that affects your vision as you describe needs to be seen immediately to determine if there is a serious problem.

If I where you, I would call your eye doc right away. Even on Sunday, he/she should have an answering service that can contact the doctor to return your call right away and talk to.

Good luck


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:56PM
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My husband has/had floaters all of his life. His eyes are also extremely myopic and he has a very strong prescription for his glasses - he gets small frames to accommodate the thin lenses. He is 59 and thought he was developing a cataract. He isn't - YET. He has a Macular Hole. Surgeon told him in Jan. that within 2 years he would have to have a Vitrectomy to repair the hole and during that time would most likely develop a cataract. But at his July follow-up the surgeon said that the deterioration in his eye had been far greater than anticipated and said he had better have the surgery in late Sept. or risk losing vision in his eye. The cataract will 100% develop post surgery during next year and a half. He is young for this surgery without having suffered an accident or be suffering from diabetes or other related illness. Anyone who is suffering from extreme floaters, flashes etc. should definitely see an eye doctor fast. Certainly everyone can experience the odd floater - I still have 20/20 vision and have had a few - actually I thought a bug was hanging from my hair - but I was fine. If you want to be scared Google "Vitrectomy", with particular reference to the "face down" recovery period - which must be done at home. Best of luck to all those who many have to undergo this or any form of eye surgery.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 12:43PM
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I did further research on my situation and learned that what I am experiencing is a migraine aura. There really isn't much that can be done about it. But at least know I know what it is and I am not afraid anymore when I have one. I have seen videos and drawings of what others experience when having a migraine aura and its exactly what I am having. If anyone has experienced what I described in my last post, google migraine aura - this may help others as well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:12AM
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It's not a good idea to diagnose yourself through information that you read on the net. Just because your symptoms match what you have read, does not mean that your diagnosis is correct or that there isn't anything else going on with your eyes as well.

Ignoring them by saying you know what it is and you aren't afraid anymore is not a good thing to do. You could also be having floaters as well and many other things that can bring on the symptoms that you are having.

Taking risks like you are doing with your eyes by self diagnosing, can very well cost you your vision in one or both eyes.

It's a wise person that seeks immediate examination with an opthamologist when something is going on with their vision.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:45AM
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I was recently diagnosed with PVD. I'm a 61 year-old male from south-central Pennsylvania and am - or perhaps, was - a competitive trapshooter. In 2005, I started having times of blurred vision in my right eye and the frequency of those times has increased to almost all of the time. Doctor #7 diagnosed the cause as PVD last week and tells me that the only surgical cure is very risky.

Does anyone know of another cure?


    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 2:49PM
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Ed I posted info on the surgery for PVD which are floaters in the eyes, on this thread above. Information that my eye doc told me. See my post from Oct 3, 2006.

Your eye doctor is 100% right about the risk of surgery for it.

I would be sure that you are seeing an eye doctor that specializes in retinas for continued eye care.

I am a little surprised that you have not gotten used to the floaters and they are causing a vision problem for you. though you didn't say that the floaters where like spider webs in your eyes.

I have found that in the past 2 years the situation with them has settled down and I don't notice them too often now.

I do find that bright lights make them worse, so my light on the computer screen is dimmer than most people would use. I wear sunglasses when I am outside, even on many cloudy days and especially when the sun is out and sun is out on the white snow in the winter.

I also found that even the slightest bit of dehydration makes them worse and they tell me to drink more water. An extra glass or 2 makes a big difference in how I see.

You may need to find a really good eye doctor that specializes in retinas to be your eye doctor.

A google searcn of posterior visterous detachment or PVD will provide you with quite a bit of information.

Good luck


    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Thanks, Fran.

I used to have very noticeable floaters but since I quit smoking almost ten years ago, they have lessened in number a great deal. Now, clay targets just have lost their detail and have a silvery-looking "frosting" on them. I also find they suddenly change location when the gun fires. The doctor tells me that looking through the debris in my eye causes both symptoms because of the way light is refracted through the debris.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Hi everybody,

I have had a PVD almost one month ago and I am desperate.Ive got many dark floaters, lines, cobwebs and I am still at risk of retinal detachment.
Has anybody improved over the time?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 7:35PM
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I just had a vitrectomy last month for vitreo-epiretinal membrane traction syndrome and truly, retinal surgery has advanced so much in the last four years!

Unless the epiretinal "peel" involves other parts of the inside of the eye, you won't need a scleral buckle or gas bubble. Even if you do have the bubble, things have advanced so much that you won't have to be face-down all day, every day, for months at a time, until you heal.

My vision has improved so much, but I know I will be healing for a year from the vitrectomy surgery. I have a small blind spot in my vision from a retinal hemorrhage, but it's hoped that it will also resolve itself within a year.

I was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with posterior vitreous detachment in my other (non-vitrectomy) eye. My retinal specialist doesn't think it will become worse, but if any of the symptoms change, I have to go in immediately and have a retinal exam etc.

You just never know, and why risk it if it has the same symptoms of retinal detachment? I think especially after a certain age, just about everyone is at risk for retinal detachment, so "watch" your symptoms!

I do have floaters in the PVD eye, and flashes off to the far side of my peripheral vision which is mostly noticeable to me in a dark room. If I move my eyes quickly from left to right, it's like a lens goes across my vision for almost a second's worth of time, then it clears right up. If nothing worsens, I'll count myself as very lucky.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 7:39PM
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I was just diagnosed this morning with posterior vitreal detachment- it was clean detachment and only have periodic slight obstruction sight wise - at first I thought I had an eyelash in my eye until I got some hairline flashes while playing sports which is when I called my optomologist. My doctor had a pvd in one eye at age 22 and the other in his 40s. He said for the next 30 days there is higher risk of retinal detachment and to call if I notice any change.

For those of you with floaters that don't go away while researching this I found there is a form of laser surgery available - it is with a special yag laser developed in switzerland specicially for treating floaters in the vitreous gel. To my knowledge the person who brought this to the US and perhaps has the most experience, a Dr. Geller, operates out the South Florida Eye Clinic. Also here is a link to a paper he wrote:

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 3:29PM
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I found out yesterday I have a Vitreous Tear in my left eye.
I have been nearsighted for 46 years. I am 57 now and myopic/stigmatism. I actually was scheduling a Lasik Surgery with a local opthamologist but now this floater/light flash thing is going on. Dr saw me and said I have a tear in my Vitreous and it is bleeding as well. Sent me home with instructions (no heavy lifting, no reading and the tear may relax and heal itself) I can watch TV. He wants to see me once a week to keep an eye on the tear. This Thursday I will be at another office he said with a lazer so I imagine he want to use it on me. Does someone have a idea what he will do to me with a lazer. Aside from the drops he put in my eyes when he put this thing in my eye that rolled all around my eyeball he did nothing yesterday. He said my retina is still attached so that is a good sign.
I do not like TV but love the internet but he said I cannot read. So I made a patch like a pirate wears to cover the bad eye so I can read on the internet. Hope thats ok as I am lost w/o my net. I will ask him this Thursday if it will be okay to use it. Also now I do not know if I should risk getting Lasik surgery? Whats your thots? Anyone?
BTW I love that this thread is here as I find very little online about this.
Laura =)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 3:11AM
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I, too, had first the "flashing" lights and was seen within a few hours on a Sunday by my opthalmologist who found a detaching vitreous and gave me warning. The next 2 weeks the other vitreous detached.
I had a 30-day re check and she confirmed that both had detached, but that as I saw, there are three "strings" still attached on the left eye (tethered to the retina). She told me it could take 6 months or more for full detachment so I should call her if the "curtain comes down" or there are suddenly increased numbers of floaters.
She said if the floaters really bug me there is laser surgery to disconnect those strings.
However, my biggest concern is that the left eye not only has decreased vision and irritating floaters, but it always feels like something is scratching the cornea and so I think I have something in my eye, which I don't. Can those floaters knock against the back of the lens and iris such that it actually irritates to the outside?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Hi, I've just been diagnosed with epiretinal membrane as a result of posterior vitritious detachment and I'd like to know about yoga poses. My doctor said that downward facing dog and head stands are contraindicated, but does anyone know if that also applies to uttanasana and shoulder stands? I'd hate to give up these poses, but vision is more important. And what about the pressure of aerobic activity and weightlifting. Are those not a good idea either? Thanks, max

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Sami, are you sure you don't have a detached retina. My sis had one recently and she had the scratching. She thought she had bugs in her eye. I have had detached vitreous many, many times and I was never warned it could be dangerous, annoying yes, but no feeling of any kind and no special check ups for it. One was attached to the nerve, but they were never permanent.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:06PM
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i live in chester county pa. can anyone suggest a retinal specialist?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:29PM
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If you don't get a referral, check with your eye doctor for a surgeon. Optometrists can check for retinal problem then refer you to a surgeon.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Just found out today after a week and a half of a major floater that I have PVD. My eye Dr. said age related, however, I have connective tissue disease & think it's also related to inflammation. Have to wait it out unless I have the symptoms mentioned above. Should I see a retinal specialist for a 2nd opinion??

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:33PM
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