Avatar universal

How do I know if these floaters merit yet another visit to my ophthalmologist?

Hi, I have had several episodes of posterior vitreous detachment, with flashes in my eye; all have been thoroughly checked and no retinal tears were seen. I am low-ish risk, mildly myopic ( 1.5 prescription).I have lots of floaters like cobwebs that move around, and its impossible to know if it is a new one or the old ones looking different! I cant keep going for a slit scope exam every time I think I see a new floater; but I am concerned about missing a retinal tear and heading for a more serious detachment. Any advice? Is it just the spot like floaters that are a cause for concern or should I be worried about the cobweb like floaters too?
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
177275 tn?1511755244
The guidelines we use:  new floaters especially if in showers that look like dust;  next level flashes of light like lightening especially if during the day. Highest level. lover of peripheral vision.  NOTE many floaters do not go away and hang around like family and friends.
Helpful - 0
Thanks Doctor for the reply, its appreciated.

I had an eye exam this morning and all was ok.

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place really; if there is a new floater do I always get it checked in case there has been a tear, (unlikely but possible) or do I just do what I suspect most folks do and ignore it, hoping there's no future problems?

I feel  that a single new diaphanous floater is not a particularly alarming symptom when compared to the classic symptoms of tobacco dust spots, loss of vision, curtain etc. It may also be a floater that has been there a while but has moved or changed shape, prompting my concern, particularly as I am hyper vigilant due to my PVD history.

I don't think anyone really knows the answer, and quite understandably, physicians err on the side of caution even though its a low risk symptom. I don't blame them at all, but its still a dilemma.

One final question; will these phenomena eventually settle down as the vitreous stops coming away? (I certainly  hope so!)

Thanks again.
Yes eventually the vitreous stops shifting, usually when its almost all liquid like water and no more gel.  For most people that occurs over 6 weeks to the 6 months. Your guidelines are good. The highest risk is in the first 3-6 weeks after than falls off dramatically.
Thanks Doctor for replying. Appreciated.
I have this too. And the flashing. The flashing does not  bother me so much as it worries me. Since that is an indicator of retinal tears and problems. If I don't catch it until the curtain falls or get black spots and then get to a retinal specialist - is the fix more difficult than if you get to a specialist with just the flashing?  Glad to hear my floating friends could settle down a bit. Is there a chance that the flashing in the peripheral will also dissipate?  Thank you.
Typically the flashing stops over 1-6 weeks in 95% of people  There are people who have posted here saying it lasted for years but that is a tiny %.
My flashes have subsided / disappeared in some areas of my eyes, but others persist for eg in my right eye, its now 12 months which is annoying.
Most papers I read suggest its the first 6 weeks where a tear can occur, and as the Doctor says above in his answer to me, rarely after that. So I try not to worry too much but remain vigilant. Everyone is different and obviously some of my vitreous is still slightly attached and triggering these phenomena. Not much I can do anyway!
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Eye Care Community

Top General Health Answerers
177275 tn?1511755244
Kansas City, MO
Avatar universal
Grand Prairie, TX
Avatar universal
San Diego, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Discharge often isn't normal, and could mean an infection or an STD.
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.