Floaters and Flashers

A few days ago I started seeing flashes of light in my left eye, with this came a lot more floaters than I had before.  Suddenly I have all kinds of shadowy lines and wavy creatures in my field of vision.  It’s just filled with trash.  That’s what the eye doctor called it, “trash”.

eyes

Eyes dilated after seeing eye doctor

According to WebMD:

“Most floaters are small flecks of a protein called collagen. They’re part of a gel-like substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous.”

You can read more about floaters here.

I wasn’t worried about the new floaters, I’ve had some floaters for as long as I can remember.  The flashes concerned me.  It looked like one of my little floaters suddenly caught fire and burned out just as quick.  Zap!  This can be a sign of that your retina is detaching, so I needed to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.  Truthfully, I wasn’t really worried, my vision was fine, and the flashes were just now and then.  They seem to be more when I’m tired.  *shrug*   I tired to stay in the moment and not worry.  I had to wait a day to see the doctor (if my vision had been compromised I would have gone to the emergency room).  I consulted Dr. Google and decided I could have a Posterior Vitreous Detachment….hmmm.

The trip to the eye doctor was interesting.  I was confused from the start.  I decided to go back by myself.  I didn’t think I needed Stuart to have my eyes examined.  The technician who took me back began to tell me to cost of an eye exam but if I wanted a more detailed exam it would cost more…..I told her I was there for a medical reason, she wrote it down but still asked if I was there for a glasses or contact lens exam.  So I thought I was not only getting checked out but I was also getting an eye exam.  That’s not what happened.

I should say that she talked really fast and wouldn’t look straight at me when she spoke.  Yes, I did explain that I’m deaf and I needed her to look at me when when spoke and I really needed her to slow down.  I stopped her three times and asked her to SLOW DOWN.  She’d say, “sorry”, and then talk just like she was before.  No change what so ever.  So I’m not exactly sure what she had to say.

I was placed in the exam room and the doctor came in shortly.  He was an older man with a very fake smile.  I told him what was wrong and he kept nodding his head up and down smiling.  I began to wonder if he really heard me.  Then he said, “That’s what everyone is here for today.  Floaters and flashes!”  BIG SMILE – chuckle-  I guess this was supposed to ease my mind.  If he was smiling like that then surly it couldn’t be serious.  It made me very uncomfortable.  I began to wonder if something was REALLY wrong.  Then he puts the dilating drops in my eyes.  If you’ve had this done, you know those drops burn.  He didn’t warn me that they would burn.  He just smiled as he put them in and handed me a tissue.  I said, “You didn’t tell me it would burn”  “Oh yeah, they burn.”  SMILE  “good thing I already knew they would”  Blank stare.   Then he left.  I was alone in that room with nothing to do but think.  Was Dr. Smiley hiding something?  What if my retina detached?  what if I lost my eye sight?  Could I survive with being deaf and blind?  Yes, I worked myself up a bit, but then I took a deep breath and calmed down.  I brought myself back to center and just breathed.  Whatever may be, it will be.   Deep breath.

Finally he came in to see if I was dilated enough.  He told me that I looked like an owl.  He then did a very thorough eye exam with a LOT of very bright light shinning in my eyes.  Thank goodness I did not have a migraine.  He said he saw the big floater and a lot of little ones.  (The big one is the new, looks like a piece of string all crumpled.)  He said my retina looked good, no signs of detachment.

He explained that the gel sac (vitreous) in the back of the eye is detaching from the back of the eye.  He said that since I am extremely nearsighted that my eye is already stretched and pulling on the back of the eye, now it is coming loose.  The floaters are the “trash” from where it pulled free.  This big floater will hopefully break up and be less obvious over the next few months, but he warned me that he has one that he still gets flashes from after 2 years.   This is pretty much right, but I like the way it’s worded below better.

I have what is called Posterior Vitreous Detachment.   “Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This is a vitreous detachment.” *National Eye Institute.   For some the symptoms are not noticeable.

I have to keep a watch out over the next couple of months, if there is any change in my vision or if there is an increase in the flashes I need to be seen as soon as possible, as that could mean complications, like a retina detachment.

I was seen to the front desk to check out.  I was very confused because I didn’t get an eye exam.  The same technician who checked me in told me that when the doctor needs to see you for a medical reason he doesn’t do an exam that day.  Confused much?

If you want to know more about Posterior Vitreous Detachment please see these links: Posterior Vitreous Detachment   and Facts about Vitreous Detachment.  I found it very interesting.

 

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19 thoughts on “Floaters and Flashers

  1. Sounds like a strange visit. At least you have a baseline from which to judge going forward.
    I have floaters too which can be amusing, distracting, or a pain in the butt.
    Hope yours get better soon!

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    • Lorraine, hello! It was a strange visit, but I do think he knew what he was doing. Just not my personality type. I’m beginning to think that doctors are trained to talk to everyone as if they are talking to a child. They don’t talk to me as if I have a brain. and I think it’s worse once they find out I can’t hear. Then they dumb things down even more. I’m deaf, not stupid.
      I think I’m in a uppity mood today. so there!

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  2. How odd that I just had the light show for 30-40 minutes and was worried about a retinal tear. Mine, I was told, was an ocular migraine. I sure hope your eyes will be fine and get no worse. That’s what I am praying, too, since my macular pucker moved with the cataract surgery and is creating such wonky vision it’s a strain to read now. I’ve had floaters ever since I can remember, too. Gosh–I hope for the very best for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Rita. Maybe I should have mentioned that flashing can be an ocular migraine. Stuart has had those, very disturbing. They usually last less than an hour. Flashes from a vitreous detachment are kind of like a bug zapper. Every once in a while….Zap! I see it much more if the lights are dim, but it’s happening much less now. It’s just so common, who knew?

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  3. Heck, that does sound rather backwards, sorry you haven’t had a particularly good experience with all of this! It’s also odd because oftentimes docs and opticians will tell you to go to A&E if you get them badly or suddenly. My mother gets floaters and flashers, and she has some degree of detachment also.
    I’m glad you’ve at least had things checked out so you know what’s going on and what you need to ‘keep an eye out for’, so to speak!
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, if things happen I will go to the ER, he didn’t tell me that, but I know I should do it. He wasn’t going to tell me much. I think most people just want to hear, you are fine…and don’t care about the rest. I want to know it all.
      After reading more on this I know that there’s about a 15% chance there could be complications. I feel I need to know that. He made it seem like it’s really rare. That’s not that rare.
      I’m rarely having flashes now. I’m not concerned. I just think we need to be informed.
      Wen. ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Really? I would’ve detached a couple of retinas while I was there getting my health exam, non-eye exam with the stupids! Good lord – ALWAYS bring Stuart! Take care my friend. I know exactly what you are talking about. My mom has major eye issues but that is related to her diabetes… Wen, I feel for you! ~Kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kim. Not sure Stuart would have helped much, but I wouldn’t have been the only one confused then. Hahaha. Actually, he would have helped with the hearing, but I need to be able to handle this stuff, ya know? I told Dr Smiley that I didn’t understand most of what he said. He asked if I read lips, I told him, not with this stuff covering my eyes. I’m good, but I do have to SEE the lips!
      When he explained things to me he did get close and look straight at me, I will give him that. Surprised me. I guess he finally understood my needs. Duh. I don’t tell people I’m deaf for the fun of it.
      It’s all good now. I just wanted to tell about it because it’s very common and I hadn’t heard of it.
      Thanks again Kim. ♡♡

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes I wonder if doctors get sick of their jobs when they behave a certain way. That fake smile. Urgh, gets me every time. It’s like their mocking me or think that I’m over reacting but when the results come out and they realise there’s really a problem you can see it in their face. Hahaha. This was an enjoyable and educational read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think that because you have had to rely on your other senses because you haven’t been able to rely on hearing for cues, just as I haven’t been able to rely on sight all of the time, your Spidey senses immediately picked up on the fakeness where other people might take a while to catch on. I think it’s second nature for you. You’d be a good person to have around for an interrogation. 😀 And I think that doc probably needs to be escorted out with the trash.

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