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Eye problems-does this sound like something to be concerned about?


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For the past few weeks, I've been seeing spots all the time, I guess you'd call them floaters. Mostly one really large one, but sometimes smaller ones as well. I remembered that about the time it started, I had scraped my eyelid. I don't know exactly how to explain this, but I was reaching down to pick something up and there was this blunt piece of metal sticking out and I must have closed my eye just in time, because it just scraped my eyelid and made it puffy, but didn't actually touch my eye. It hurt really bad. I didn't know until I got to the mirror if it was my eye or not, but thankfully it wasn't.

I've also noticed this past week a couple of times I've "seen stars". I think it happens when I look out of the corner of my eye and then look back. Could I have damaged my eye in some way, or is it just normal to have floaters and I may be reading something into it because I scraped my eyelid?

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I have constant floaters, so much that I hardly notice them anymore.

My eye doctor told me they were normal, but did comment on how big some of them were~they have gotten smaller in the past several years.

 

I was surprised when she told me she could see them...wasn't expecting that.

 

Don't know about the stars, though. I'd make an appointment just to play it safe.

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Could be:

 

Optical migraine--they are usually not accompanied by pain, as the name suggests. With an optical migraine you can get floaters or flashes of light. I get these occasionally.

 

Pressure on the optic nerve/Retinal detachment--flashes of light could be an indication of pressure on the optic nerve. I have lattice degeneration, which is weak areas in the lining of the retina (in a lattice pattern, I guess). If the retinal lining tears, then fluid can leak out and put pressure on the optic nerve, and could lead to retinal detachment. If I see flashes of light (other than what I get with optical migraines), I need to call my eye Dr. ASAP.

 

If I were you, I'd get an eye exam. If those flashes of light come & go, it's probably an optical migraine. If you have it all day, every day, it could be something worse.

 

ETA: after re-reading your post, it doesn't sound anywhere near as severe as retinal detachment. I would still get an eye exam, though, because of the scratch, and for peace of mind.

 

ETA (again): You shouldn't have to have a full exam, like when you're getting glasses or contacts. I worked for an eye doctor before I had kids, and they saw people with eye problems like this, and just called it an "eye check" on the schedule. They were usually a 15 min. appointment.

Edited by gardening momma
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If there are a lot more than usual, I would call a doctor right away. I don't mean to alarm you, but my mom had a change in her vision like that (lots of floaters that weren't there before) and had to have emergency surgery to save her sight. I don't remember (sorry) exactly what the diagnosis was, but I do remember that the surgery was urgent.

 

It might have been retinal detachment - but I really don't remember the exact diagnosis. I know the surgery fixed it, but that the doctor told her she had been close to losing her sight in that eye. Please call a doctor. It might not be what my mom had, but it's certainly worth making sure by calling.

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If it is new and sudden especially accompanied by the flashes of light, you should have it checked by an ophthalmologist pretty quickly. I have had surgery on each of my eyes because pieces of my retina detached. They had to seal it off to prevent eye fluid from getting behind the retina and finishing the deal. Personally, when the retina is in question, I would not trust an optometrist. The eye needs to be dilated etc for them to see in there properly.

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Personally, when the retina is in question, I would not trust an optometrist.
Yikes! So this isn't something I could see a regular doctor about? Sounds expensive, but I don't want to not see a doctor if I have to.

 

Optical migraine--they are usually not accompanied by pain, as the name suggests. With an optical migraine you can get floaters or flashes of light. I get these occasionally.
This makes sense since I get really weird "migraines". I don't really get a headache, just a lot of neck pain with terrible nausea and light and smells really put me over the edge. My mom gets severe migraines and she says they're migraines, but I don't get the head pain. Edited by awtl
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Yikes! So this isn't something I could see a regular doctor about? Sounds expensive, but I don't want to not see a doctor if I have to.

I agree with the suggestion to see an ophthalmologist. Some floaters are normal, but a recent change in the amount or frequency is concerning and you should have a good exam. Soon. Tomorrow.

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If it is new and sudden especially accompanied by the flashes of light, you should have it checked by an ophthalmologist pretty quickly. I have had surgery on each of my eyes because pieces of my retina detached. They had to seal it off to prevent eye fluid from getting behind the retina and finishing the deal. Personally, when the retina is in question, I would not trust an optometrist. The eye needs to be dilated etc for them to see in there properly.

A good optometrist will dilate the eyes as part of the exam. (the one I worked for did, and did catch problems like a partially detached retina).

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Don't want to alarm you unduly, but I will echo everyone here - see an MD ASAP, preferably an ophthalmologist. They will need to dilate your eyes.

 

The "stars" could be symptoms of a detached retina, which will cause blindness if not treated. Yes, it could have been injured when you scratched yourself.

 

The "floaters" could be symptoms of uvitis - which, in layman's terms, is high blood pressure in the eye. With this, vision varies and can affect night & day vision. It may be a chronic condition, which will have to be treated long term to preserve your vision.

 

I am high risk for retinal detachment. I am to call the ophthalmologist if I see "flashes." If it is after hours, I am to call the physician on call. It is nothing to mess with. If you don't have an ophthalmologist that you can call, consider going to the ER. Retinal detachment can happen quickly.

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My boyfriend has struggled with this for almost a year now. A day or two before he had symptoms, he had to bury one of his dogs in the frozen ground. The dog was a lab mix, and very heavy, and the strain was too much for his eyes, which are so nearsighted that they are more oblong than round. He had already been experiencing an increase in floaters and flashes when he turned his eyes a certain way, but we didn't think much about it. A couple of days later, he was driving when everything in his right eye suddenly went red. We went to the emergency room, where they did a CT scan and found that it wasn't a stroke, and sent him to an opthamalogist. She, like the ER staff, said, "well, i don't think it's a detached retina, but i can't tell because there's so much blood in there." Apparently that should have been their first clue.

 

Long story short, a week later the VA (gotta love their since of urgency) finally got him an appointment with a retina specialist who chewed him out because his retina was detached, and he needed very serious surgery to fix it. By the morning of the surgery, his retina was collapsed and his vision gone. They used a "buckle" to basically pin the retina to the back wall of the eye, they removed the vitreous gel and replaced it with a gas that plastered the retina back onto the eye, a laser to patch the remaining holes in the retina, and a band around the outside of the eyeball to put pressure on it from the outside.

 

Thanks to the interminable 7-day wait and an overzealous VA resident from IU Medical school, he not only has blurry vision, a cataract from the excessive lasering that required a new lens put into his eye (they even ground a prescription in it-neat, huh?), and a growth on the pouch which holds the lens--not to mention the fact that the aforementioned resident damaged that pouch during the retina surgery, we just found out.

 

After the first of the year, he will have a laser procedure to remove the growth from the pouch, and he may get some vision back; however, what little vision he has in that eye is like "looking through a blurry fence", says Trace. Each time he has a procedure, his vision changes somewhat-it may get better, it may get worse-and he constantly feels like he's carsick. Each time there is an adjustment period to get used to the new vision. He's 20/15 corrected in the other eye, and the difference is really throwing him for a loop.

 

Life as he knows it doesn't exist anymore. This man who served his community and country as an Intelligence Analyst for NSA in the Air Force, then went into the Army to become an MP, became a personal bodyguard and security guard, then a journeyman bricklayer, cannot do those jobs anymore. Any day now a company in Indianapolis is going to call him to take a written test to do armed security for Federal buildings in the state of Indiana, and he's going to have to tell them he can't do it because, even though he got the highest score on the FPS (a difficult pistol range exam administered by Homeland Security) in his class of 19, he did it with a cataract in his eye that can't be resolved after all and he no longer has peripheral vision.

 

He's even trying to get a degree online at the local community college, but this man who LOVES to read gets headaches and is constantly exhausted.

 

Actually, that wasn't a long story short, and I'm sure it's just an anomaly, but please, go see a retina specialist. This is no time to be conservative.

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Wow Maria, I'm so sorry about your boyfriend! I do hope that his next surgery will give him his vision back!

I see floaters almost all the time-especially one big one right in front of my eye. It even comes up when it's dark or dusky out. But the flashes happen like you explained, when I turn my eyes a certain way.

I'm going to try to call for an appointment tomorrow. I am not sure who to call. I am hoping that ophthalmologists take payments. I am scared of having to have surgery because I'm afraid it will cost a fortune. Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing :)

Thank you for all the replies.

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Floaters are normal; a sudden increase in them like that could be a detached retina. You need to see an eye doctor ASAP. (If it is a detached retina, immediate action can save your sight. )

 

I agree with the suggestion to see an ophthalmologist. Some floaters are normal, but a recent change in the amount or frequency is concerning and you should have a good exam. Soon. Tomorrow.

:iagree:

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