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 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.