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Posterior Vitreous Detachment

 
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 04:04 pm
Three weeks ago, in the early evening, I was getting ready to go out to the book store when suddenly, I began seeing a shower of "floaters" in my left eye. I did what most people would do and hoped that it would go away. I drove to the book store and tried to do some reading and writing, but the symptom clearly was not going away. I got worried and drove home. By this time it was dark and I noticed that when I turned my head suddenly, I would, for an instant, see a moving light at the extreme periphery of my left eye. I went home and talked it over with my wife. All of the Web sites said that if these symptoms come on suddenly, one should see an eye doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of a retinal detachment. This was "black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving. It was about 6:30 and I quickly established that no optometrist or ophthalmologist in our area was open. My wife drove me to the emergency room of a local hospital. They verified that I wasn't having a stroke, that I could read the eye chart normally, and that my (undilated) eye looked normal as far as they could see. They told me to see an opthalmologist in the morning. The next morning, Saturday, the ophthalmologists offices were still closed, so I went to my optometrist. She dilated my eye, verified that she could see the floaters in it (in fact showed me a photo of them) and said that I had had a posterior vitreous detachment and that it was normal at my age (62). She said that it was optional, but that I could see an opthalmologist if I wanted to, and gave me a name.

Since I didn't fancy seeing a lot of floaters (some in motion, some coming to rest for long periods of time in one spot, and some just hazy regions that come to rest frequently in front of my eye and make everything a litte hazy) for the rest of my life, I saw the ophthalmologist a few days later. He agreed that it was a posterior vitreous detachment and that it was normal at my age. Apparently, near sighted people tend to have them earlier. He said that for about 6-8 weeks, I would in danger of a retinal detachment or tear while the vitreous (eyeball) slowly separated completely from the retina and I should report any changes in symptoms to him immediately. I asked him about the prognosis and he started saying something about the chances or retinal detachment. I said, "No, I am asking you about the floaters. Will they ever go away?" He said that they should move out of the central vision over the next few months, and that there is a surgical process available if they don't. What I see on the Internet, though, is great disagreement about whether the symptoms go away, and that the surgery is very risky. He told me to come back in a month, which is one week from now. He also told me that my other eye is likely to go within a half year, since both eyes were made in the same way at the same time.

Looking on the Internet, I see that as we age, the eyeball liquefies and shrinks and that most people have these posterior vitreous detachments (PVDs) between about the ages of 50 and 70. By the age of 65, 75% of people have had them, not always, but frequently, with my symptoms. Basically, the eyeball, because it is smaller than it was, comes away from the retina. Why have I never heard about this before if it happens to essentially everyone? Has anyone else had any similar experiences?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,728 • Replies: 19
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:28 pm
@Brandon9000,
It sounds worrisome, but I've never heard of them before. My step father is a retired ophthalmologist so I'll ask him if he can confirm any of this. I'll let you know if I find out anything.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:30 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
It sounds worrisome, but I've never heard of them before. My step father is a retired ophthalmologist so I'll ask him if he can confirm any of this. I'll let you know if I find out anything.

Thanks. I've gotten this from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and several hundred Web sites.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:45 pm
@Brandon9000,
You could look up Osso and her eyes, or to save yourself the trouble, I'll just tell you about it, as shortly as I can. There is more than one old thread about my eyes.

I had a cataract surgery go bad, very bad, huge eye pressure after it, pain, and I think I remember floaters zinging. Business partner/pal took me over to her house. My surgeon from the surgery there in the middle of the night. Rushed to a hospital something like 150 miles away, my friend driving.
I landed at a Victrectomy practice, was operated on again, and among the data is that I had four retinal tears fixed in that surgery, a laser thing.

That eye is still a mess, long story, five surgeries, but giantly better than that night.

How does this relate to you? at this point, floaters are almost pretty. At least so far, a decade later, they are only occasional.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:52 pm
@ossobuco,
I am very sorry to hear this but glad that there has been improvement over time for you. Also, who knows what new technologies may be coming?

The odd thing about this PVD thing, though, is that apparently virtually everyone has them unless they just don't live long enough, yet neither I nor rosborne had heard of them.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:55 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Thanks. I've gotten this from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and several hundred Web sites.

Ok. I thought you were asking for more info but if you're not I won't worry about it.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:03 pm
@Brandon9000,
Well, we all are interested in different stuff in wide or narrow variety until we get more keenly interested for some reason. Alternately, Rosborne is by far one of my favs to read anytime, as it happens. Haven't seen you recently until just lately but I might have missed stuff.

I had an early medical background and so nose around re all that on news sites.
Maybe floaters haven't hit the wire recently.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:12 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
Thanks. I've gotten this from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and several hundred Web sites.

Ok. I thought you were asking for more info but if you're not I won't worry about it.

I guess I was asking for other peoples' experiences.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:20 pm
@Brandon9000,
You did ask re other's experiences. I'm interested.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:33 pm
@ossobuco,
Eyes are so important in countless ways, including with blind people adapting.

I am never not interested in this subject, unless someone shows up as a complete hyena.
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 01:31 am
@Brandon9000,
I was born with a condition called ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) mainly in the right eye - it used to be called retrolental fibroplasia. I was born after 26 weeks, and not expected to live; however I survived but with some visual impairment in that eye. ROP is where the vitreous humour ('humor' in the US) is attached by scar tissue to the retina. I managed OK until I was 48, when I suddenly started getting flashes and severe floaters in the affected eye. I consulted an opthalmologist, who said I needed an operation within 2 weeks. The vitreous humour was shrinking with age (as normal) but because it was abnormally attached to the retina the latter was being pulled off the back of the eyeball and needed re-attachment. I was lucky to have lasted so long; most ROP sufferers get to that stage in late teens or early adulthood.

I had the procedure 10 days later; a total vitrectomy and a scleral buckle. I was fine after that, although I was advised to wear sunglasses in anything over moderately bright sunlight, and I needed a completely new eyeglass prescription for the lens in front of that eye (it became much less nearsighted).

Fast forward to last year (age 63) I noticed I was getting floaters and odd flashes in the other (left) (good) (non-ROP affected) eye, particularly when I moved my head suddenly. Because of my history I became alarmed and visited the eye hospital in my city. After a thorough examination I was told that in my left eye I had the normal PVD for my age and it was not a repeat of the earlier situation. I was told that it would settle down in 3 to 6 months and this turned out to be true.

It must happen to a lot of people because when I left the doctor gave me an information booklet about the condition that he got from a big stack in his office.

By the way, on a related topic, I decided about 2 years ago to try varifocal lenses and am very glad I did. No more switching glasses for reading, watching TV, and walking in the street.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 03:39 am
@Brandon9000,
I have heard about various horrors in store for me, because of bad short sightedness.

I hadn't heard that this was one of them. I thought sudden appearance of lots of floaters indicated a bleed.

Good luck with them going away. I'm surprised to hear there's a chance of them not going away.... I'd have thought the eye would deal with them as it usually does.

I hope they disappear and you have no further trouble.

Now I have more crap to worry about!
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 04:39 am
@Tes yeux noirs,
I'm glad to hear that your problems have worked out relatively well for you and especially that your normal PVD symptoms disappeared. They are unpleasant. Thanks for sharing your story.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 04:42 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
...I'm surprised to hear there's a chance of them not going away.... I'd have thought the eye would deal with them as it usually does....

I'm rather more surprised that there is a chance of them going away. In order for them to go away, there would have to be a mechanism for it. Most mechanisms of improvement are there because of evolution, and because this is most often a problem which occurs after child bearing is over, I would have thought that evolution wouldn't bother. However, my doctor and some of the sources said that the symptoms get a lot better. The other sources counsel me to accept it as the new normal.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 07:50 am
@Brandon9000,
Some floaters are pretty normal. I assumed that they....as dead blood cells in other areas of the body do...would break up and be recycled.

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2015 07:55 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
I guess I was asking for other peoples' experiences.
I'm very familiar with floaters, but my step father says PVD is like "floaters on steroids" and I've never experienced that. But now that you've made me aware of it I'll at least know what it is if I get it. Good luck with yours.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 08:53 am
@Brandon9000,
At one point in my research career, I was an associate to perhaps, the most famous retinal surgeon in the World, ( also with Harvard and the MGH).

If you can get to a medical book store ( and avoid the Internet), an excellent book for you to read is "Manual of Ocular Diagnosis and Therapy" edited by Deborah Pavan- Langston M.D.

If possible, I'll try to get back to this thread, this weekend and type out what I've found in Dr. Pavan-Langston's book.

If I were you, I'd avoid info on the internet concerning your problem and I would attempt to contact an MD associated with a medical school, who's major professional interest is in the fieled of ocular pathology.

If you're in the US, there is an abundance of medical schools with outstanding faculty and most if not all will also have clinics, that will be able to handle your questions and offer you solid advice on what you should be doing to advance your eye health.
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 09:06 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
In order for them to go away, there would have to be a mechanism for it.

There is. They get absorbed. I have had floaters since infancy, and if they didn't get absorbed my field of view would be blocked.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 02:46 pm
@Brandon9000,
I'm sorry to hear of your condition, about which I knew nothing.
I wish you a speedy return to normal vision and good health.

Until then, here's lookin' at ya!
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 04:41 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:
I'm sorry to hear of your condition, about which I knew nothing.
I wish you a speedy return to normal vision and good health.

Until then, here's lookin' at ya!

Thanks. I hope that yours goes well too when the time comes.
0 Replies
 
 

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