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Floaters seem different each week, when is this a symptom of a PVD?

Hi all,

I have ongoing PVD in both eyes as evidenced by flashing, had this for a year or so which is disappointing. The more one concentrates on floaters in the eye the more one  seems to find. Each time I think I have a new onset floater I have to see an Opthamologist as I am very worried about a tear.

But quite frankly, this is now becoming an issue for me. The advice is to be on the safe side and check it each time but I simply cannot keep going for a slit scope exam every time I see or think I see something. ( I dont blame Doctors for being cautious)

My floaters are like very fine cobwebs / gauze and they move all over and around my eye so its easy to think its a new one when it isn't.

Obviously something less subtle like tobacco dust floaters, >5 sudden floaters or a loss of visual acuity would merit an urgent check.

My leaflet says " a sudden increase in floaters" is a red flag but this is a bit vague...But these very minor ones ( which if I forget about are not really bothering me) well I simply don't know what to do. I was ok at first when I was discharged but now its becoming something I really stress over.

I don't want to be  hypochondriacal but neither do I  want to end up ignoring a retinal tear either .( I am mildly myopic 1.5 so low risk) Its a rock and a hard place.  Any advice out there or something that I have missed?
4 Responses
177275 tn?1511755244
Avatar universal
Hi Doctor Hagan, it looks like you answered but the text box is empty except for =?
Richie you have asked 19 questions more or less a variant of the same floater theme. I  can't say anything more I haven't already said. The equal sign means I have read the post and have nothing more to say.
Avatar universal
Thanks for replying, especially at the weekend.  I didn't know this is what the equal sign meant.

I certainly have not asked 19 questions about this!  I have asked 2.

Aug 9th "does this merit a visit to an opthamologist" and September 13th "floaters seem different". Variations on a theme yes, but the crux of the matter is that floaters are extremely common amongst middle aged people especially myopes. So how does one decide what to do?

I was therefore looking for a protocol to make the decision as to bothering a Doctor and taking up resources, or accepting that a floater is minor and not sinister. The literature is contradictory; some sources say floaters are not a problem, others say any new floater must be treated with suspicion and checked out.  Not helpful to a worried patient with an ongoing PVD I think we can agree.

I am prepared to accept  no such discrete  protocol exists other than anecdotal reporting. I wondered if clinical practice had such a protocol, and if there was a cut off point to decide if a further exam was needed; Clearly there isn't anything as clear cut as this,   so fair enough but I certainly didn't ask the same question 19 times!
Avatar universal
Hi Richie!  It's no wonder you're stressed out.  Our vision is precious to us!  But try not to stress, knowing that modern medical treatments are there to help if anything serious goes wrong with your eyesight.  When my retina detached I actually lost a piece of my vision (the best way I can describe it).  It was a black round blob in the corner of my eye - it didn't float or move.    When the other eye had a retina tear a few months later I first saw large black wobbly lines (not just tiny floaters).  So, you will no doubt instinctively know that your eye needs to be checked out immediately.  And, of course, it is always best to have things checked out when you're stressed or concerned.  
Thanks for that. I've done a lot more reading up on this as this discussion seemed a little open ended, and as I suspected, there are no definitive answers. Your advice seems sensible, if it seems odd and unprecedented get it checked. With vague wispy floaters all over the shop its almost impossible to be certain if this is a new one or not, so I think there is little alternative to just being pragmatic, and follow the obvious criteria, already touched upon by Doctor Hagan in my post.
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177275 tn?1511755244
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