floaters and lights in your eyes

sammy zone 7 TulsaJanuary 27, 2004

Do any of you get floaters and lights in your eyes? I am asking here not because it is a menopause symptom, but because it happens to us as we get older. It happened to me 4 years ago and has started again last weekend in the other eye. The symptoms are those of a detached retina and are very scary. But my doctor assured me that it is as before. The gel in the back of your eye turns to partial liquid and causes the symptoms. The symptoms very closely resemble a detached retina, and the only way to get the reassurance that it is innocent is to have a complete eye exam, including having the doctor press around your eye ball. I feel better now, but am discouraged because for about another year I will put up with these symptoms until they dissolve. For me it is as if out of the side of your eye you think you see lights flashing, and when you look down sometimes you feel like something is there - like a loose hair.

Well, I am lucky and don't mean to complain. None of my friends have had this and I wondered if any of you have. I also sympathize with those of you who have had a detached retina. If you have never heard of this before, it is an emergency doctor call. It is very important to find out immediately that you don't have a detached retina.


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I had this in my right eye about 8 years ago. I still see the flashing light at the outer corner of my eye if I blink fast or move my head and I still have a few of the floaters. The floaters are in both eyes. When I first had my "attack" it was a holiday and I didn't know what to do and didn't call the doctor until the next day. Some friends and I had planned to go to a movie that evening and I went anyway. The friends thought I was over reacting and imagining things. I did not have a detached retina and went to a retina specialist once a month for 6 months to be sure it wasn't going to detach. I do hope this doesn't happen again in the other eye. One of my bosses at work had the same thing happen to him last year at work and he went to the emergency room. His was not a detached retina either. It is a scary situation that came upon me very suddenly. Just another one of those things we get as we get older. Judith

    Bookmark   January 27, 2004 at 1:53PM
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There are flashing lights and then there are what I call brilliant white fireworks type of flashes. If your flashes suddenly seem to explode in brilliant white bursts, go for an exam immediately. The exam showed I had two tears in my retina which required laser surgery. ~abreeze

    Bookmark   February 6, 2004 at 9:10AM
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Yes, I've had both. I go to an opthamologist for another eye problem, anyhow, so I know it wasn't a detached retina.

Annoying, but almost everyone I know has them.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 2:11PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

What did the doctor do about the detached retina? Did you have to spend 2 week flat on your stomach with your head down? That is what my friend had to do and it didn't work --- then she had surgery.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 5:27PM
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I looked on WebMD, and they said that treatment of a detached retina always involves surgery.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 10:33PM
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Detached retina is very serious, you would have to call a doctor right away. My husband had an eyelid infection, when we went in he said, don't ever go to an emergency room with an eye problem. He even gave me his cell phone number in case we needed him. I have had detached vitrous for years and the spots/floaters always go away.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 10:27PM
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My husband had floaters and was examined by a specialist who told him it was not a detached retina. I have had them, also, and they eventually went away.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 12:01PM
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The floaters don't actually go away, your brain ceases to see them eventually, but at each eye exam, they're still there, YOU just don't see them. I had a detached retina 7 years ago, had surgery at Wills Eye in Phila STAT. Lucky me too , I procrastinated! Yikes. Then, a few years later, I had another small tear, in the same eye, and that was fixed by laser, in my eye doctor's office. Isn't the modern age wonderful though - without it, I'd be blind in my right eye.
BTW, nearsighted people, as I am, are more prone to detachment, due to a thinner retina. As we continue to age, once you get past the stage where your vitreous turns from jelly to liquid, then you are past the danger of detachment.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 4:55PM
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Floaters attach themselves to parts of the eyes. Most of the time it is out of our line of vision. I had one that attached in the wrong place, but it doesn't bother me anymore.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 12:23AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Paula, are you sure they don't go away. I don't like creepy things like my brain ceases to see them. However I don't like them.
At a certain age we no longer run the risk of getting a detatched retina? I didn't know that.
We are very fortunate that modern medicine can do so much. I am quite far sighted. My reading glasses are about 350, but my regular vision for driving etc. is about 70.
Have any of you gone on the internet for those little glasses? My eyes are the same and my doctor said that I could wear anything I like. I wear my prescription glasses to work, then change when I get home. I thought about getting different strengths and keeping them places where I might need them.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 6:53AM
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I haven't checked in here since I posted! Anyhoo, yes Sammy, they stay there, according to my retina specialist. I was dissapointed as well, (why can't they just dissolve GD it!!) but, we're lucky, our brain in it's wisdom, doesn't see them anymore, after a time. I just saw a headline where they're experimenting with contac lens inserion into the cornea. My question with that would be would it have to be updated, therefore additional later surgery, just like your prescrip. glasses??

And yes, my Dr. also said, once you're past the jelly-turning-into-liquid-phase, you're home free on detached retinas (at least the kind caused by the vitreous aging)

have fun, P

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 2:35PM
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Okay, because I read this, I made an appointment with an eye doc... a couple of months ago, I had fireworks in my right eye, scared the daylights out of me! But it has never come back... and I always have floaters.... I doubt that it is a detached retina, I don't think I have ever done anything to have a detached retina at age 41.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Are you folks mentioning 'ocular migraines' to your docs to see if maybe that's what you have?
(Just a thought) :)

That's what I get...but with no headache afterwards.
They're very disruptive in your life.
If I'm driving, I must pull off the road and wait until they pass.
Can't read or see anything!
They're very scary...but apparently, not harmful.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 2:09PM
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Well, the opthamologist told me that the reason I had the sparks is that I am getting old...:o(.... and the jelly in my eye is turning more liquid and it changed the shape of my eye, must have done some thing to my retina.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 1:15PM
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I have ocular albinism and am 41. I noticed several months ago a single floater in one eye and recently wnet to an optomitrist. He nearly scared me into a nervous break down.:( He suggested AMD or rather hinted yet now says he didn't see anything major just normal aging. He didn't see a detachment or tear even with the retina images they took but asked a few times if I saw flashes. Well I don't see camera flashes but I do see little silver/white worm streaks occassionally that circle under and around my eye then disapear in seconds. He did see slight shrinkage of the jelly at the back of the eye, a few specks on the eye and a small fovea but I reminded him I have ocular albinism and my poor vision comes from the missing layers of the fovea. I'm wondering if I'm starting menapause and this may be the reason for little silver worm streaks that occassionaly happen. My sight hasn't changed as far as I can tell and all of this started 7 months ago. He just brushes me of though. He's young and just out of optometry school which doesn't make me feel any better.(UGH)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Just dropped in to post after doing an internet search & came to this site. I also had the flashing light symptom on my left eye when turning my head, also a big floater in that eye. I am 55. Just about had a nervous break down thinking my retina was detaching.
Just got home from an eye doctor's office (an MD). He looked at my retina and said everything looked ok. Was just age. I've decided to return monthly to him to check my retina for any tears, as these symptoms are new. I just got through with menopause & seems like my body just slowly wants to fall apart :0/
I exercise everyday and am now starting a new healthy eating routine with lots of veggies.
Would be nice to hear of anyone else having thses problems, as it helps to relieve my stress talking to others.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:16PM
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