stuck_in_boston

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Hello all, I have a little problem that I was hoping to get some advice with. In the last two years I have developed a slight problem with my vision. In my right eye, there are very faint dark lines in the broken pattern of a circle actually in my field of vision. The lines dont move around in relation to each other but sometimes seem to float around. I don't notice them at all when the light level is moderate to low, but when it's very bright out, or when I'm looking at something bright (i.e. the computer screen or a bright white piece of blank paper) then I can see them pretty clearly. When I 'squint' my eye they become more visible also. And whenever I am walking outside on a really bright day and look up at the blue sky, they really bother me, and I can see them, and the only thing I can seem to do to fix that is start to wear dark sunglasses (which helps a little). There are a few faint lines in my left eye but I don't notice them nearly as much. Anyway, I want to make sure this isn't a real problem. I went in to see what I thought was an opthmo on my school's medical service, about a year ago, and he said that it was just the webbing fibers in my eyes deteriorating and sticking together, which they sometimes do, and that I shouldn't worry about it and it wouldn't get any worse. I described the symptoms to him just as I wrote them now. I just found out today that he is actually an optometrist and not a very well regarded one, so now I want a second opinion, but I called their department and they said I can't see one of the optho's on staff until I get a referral from the optometrist (something he refused to give me). It might be interesting to you guys, that when I explicitly stated that I wanted to see an ophto only, the person on the phone said hmmm okay, then tried to set me up with another optometrist. When I told her that the person she mentioned was in fact an otpometrist (b/c I had their website w/ roster open in front of me), and gave her the two names of the two optho's, and asked for one of them, she put me on hold and then came back 2 mins later saying I would have to go through the original optometrist. Anyway, can you guys give me a little help here, and tell me whether this is something to second guess the optometrist about?
 
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stuck_in_boston

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Actually after I asked to see one of the two optho's, she came back and said that I would have to see one of the other "eye doctors" on staff first, which really bothered me, because after reading some of the posts on here I know that an otopmetrists clinical knowledge is not comparable. Also I should mention that the vision in my right eye seems to have deteriorated from 20/20, although I have no problems driving, just reading some of the signs far away on the highway.
 

Andrew_Doan

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I'm sorry you're having problems, but the internet and SDN does not substitute for a good medical examination and evaluation. Your options are to go see the optometrist at your school or to pay to see an ophthalmologist. With the type of symptoms you're having, I'd go see the optometrist first for a dilated eye examination.

The symptoms you describe are consistent with vitreous floaters, which are usually benign. As long as they are NOT associated with flashing lights (photopsia), sudden increased number of floaters or blobs, black/dark curtains over your vision, or distortions in your central vision - straight lines appear bent (metamorphopsia), then these floaters are not a problem.

I see floaters too, and will try to count them when I am bored.
 

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SteelEyes said:
Could it be the 'entopic phenomenon'?
Maybe that's possible, but his description sounds pretty classic for floaters / swimmers. Also, wouldn't an entopic phenomenon be more noticable in dark light and less noticable in bright light?
 

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Redhawk said:
Apparently not according to Eye-floaters.com (man, they have a website for everything)

http://www.eye-floaters.com/entopicphenom.php
Thanks for the link, for some reason I thought that entopic phenomenon was when you could see the blood vessels of your eyes after closing them due to pressure or some other kind of retinal stimulation.

Regardless, the entopic phenomenon still doesn't fit his description, which is classic for floaters.
 

cpw

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Andrew_Doan said:
I'm sorry you're having problems, but the internet and SDN does not substitute for a good medical examination and evaluation. Your options are to go see the optometrist at your school or to pay to see an ophthalmologist. With the type of symptoms you're having, I'd go see the optometrist first for a dilated eye examination.

The symptoms you describe are consistent with vitreous floaters, which are usually benign. As long as they are NOT associated with flashing lights (photopsia), sudden increased number of floaters or blobs, black/dark curtains over your vision, or distortions in your central vision - straight lines appear bent (metamorphopsia), then these floaters are not a problem.

I see floaters too, and will try to count them when I am bored.
I do that too andrew ;) I'm very annoyed that school has taught me to be more observant of my floaters, cuz now they drive me crazy.

I'm with Andrew on this one. If your school wants you to see an OD first, by all means go. They are thorougly trained to diagnose retinal detachments, vitreous floaters/strands, etc. If they see it's something more serious, they'll send you to a retinal specialist. If you feel your rx is changing, they can help with that too.

hope this helps !
 

UABopt

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I think anyone would agree that it is quite unwise to diagnose one’s self, and nothing can substitute for a visit to your health care practitioner. You should always take any advice from the internet with a grain of salt. In the end I too think that if you are still concerned you should go to the optometrist. If you were not satisfied with the opinion of the first optometrist, go to another. Like most professions, optometrists come in many forms, ranging from very competent to inept.
Just for clarification to those who may not be familiar with the topic: Entoptic phenomena are simply any visual sensations that are produced by either the structures of the eye itself, or structures within the eye. There are many sources of entoptic phenomena tear film opacities, Lens opacities (cataracts), Purkinje Tree (my favorite), and entoptic Haloes, among many others.
It is very interesting that the symptoms are most pronounced when viewing a blue sky as this is ideal for seeing yellow dancing spots. Perhaps what you are seeing (though I tend to doubt it) and what others have mentioned are “Yellow Dancing Spots” which are caused by the shadows of leukocytes within the retinal capillary plexus. They exhibit pulsating movement (with heart beating). Of course they could be floaters within the vitreous humor which are more and more common with increasing age.
In normal circumstances only more posterior opacities will be visible entoptically. Using a pinhole source will allow a person to see both anterior and posterior opacities. It is even possible to estimate the depth of one’s opacity using relative parallax (ie. Apparent with movement for anterior opacities and increasingly rapid against movement for opacities with increasing proximity to the retina).
Seeing phosphenes could indicate more serious pathology. “Flashing Lights” are often described by people with retinal detachment.
Was the worsening of visual acuity noted by the optometrist? Or was it simply something that you noticed yourself. Was he able to refract your symptomatic eye to 20/20 or beyond. I too think it would be a good idea to go back for a full dilated exam.