How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask wieyedoc Your Own Question
wieyedoc, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 12018
Experience:  I have over two decades of clinical experience and am also a retina specialist.
Type Your Eye Question Here...
wieyedoc is online now

I am a 63 year old female in good health. 10 months ago I

This answer was rated:

I am a 63 year old female in good health. 10 months ago I noticed a circle of bright light when moving my right eye it was always there in daylight or artificial light never saw it in the dark it was continuous no one could give me an explanation I went to doctors and several opticians they told me it was probably migraine. I read up about floaters and flashing and as I always have had lots of floaters I came to the conclusion I was in the process of PVD. I have since been seen by an eye specialist who checked the retina and told me all was in tact. Since then I noticed a large floater and since then the flashing has calmed down but now have new floaters which are like tiny black dots with a light outer edge. Have I had a posterior detachment? I have now had my eyes checked again for glasses with a different optician and my reading sight has changed quite dramatically but my shortsightedness has improved in the right eye that has been the problem ,although the circle of light has cleared I am now seeing a curved thin grey line when moving my eye up an down it is at the bottom of my vision and it's there a split second, as my retina as been photographed and checked by the recent optician am I worrying uneccesary? are flashes something that comes with age?Thank you for taking the time to read this and I await your reply.

Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology and retina surgery experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Yes. It does sound like you are experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment. Please allow me to explain:

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may see.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam is precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightning storm), a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, or a decrease in your vision that doesn't improve in a few minutes this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.

What can you do about the floaters? Well, floaters don't go away, and they don't really get worse. Over time they tend to "sink" out of your central vision and you brain "filters" them out so you don't notice them so much anymore. They almost never cause significant visual problems except, of course, if they cause a secondary retinal detachment as discussed above. The only way to decrease or remove the floaters is with a major surgery called a vitrectomy. As a retinal specialist for almost 2 decades I only do this procedure to remove floaters in extreme cases.

In January 2013 a new drug, called Ocriplasmin, was approved by the FDA to dissolve vitreous strands in a particular eye condition called vitreomacular traction. Perhaps someday this drug could be used to also remove floaters…. Only time will tell.

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you can please give me the top rating in all areas. It has been a pleasure to assist you today.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your fast response you answered the question I asked to my satisfaction.

Glad I could help.

I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the excellent feedback button for this encounter. And, don’t forget, I work for tips. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Have a good day.

wieyedoc and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you