Eye Floaters/Flashes - but no PVD or Retinal issues

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After a neck injury, I started seeing eye floaters. I got my eyes checked by an Opthamologist and a Retinal Specialist and everything was normal. Several weeks later, I started to see flashes. So, I went back to get tested. They took pictures of the back of the eye and said that they don't see holes or tears. They said it could be neurological due to my neck injury. 

Can we see eye floaters and flashes even when there's nothing physically wrong with the eye? It's driving me crazy as I am trying to get to the bottom of the issue but unable to find answers.

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  • Posted

    Floaters are common. I've had them for years. I'd always heard that when you get flashes in addition to floaters to get eyes checked by an opthalmologist, and you've done that. As long as you trust your doctor I would say you are good.

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    • Posted

      But does this mean that I might develop these conditions in the near future? Should I get tested periodically?
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  • Posted

    The jolt of the neck injury most likely caused the floaters and flashes. The flashes are caused by the gel inside the eye pulling and trying to separate from the retina. Everyone's vitreous(gel) in their eye will eventually start to liquify and separate from the retina but not everyone has symptoms. Your injury just caused yours to start sooner. Make sure to get back to the doctor if there is a change in your vision but for right now there will be nothing they can do. The floaters will eventually become less noticeable and as the gel liquifies they should fall below your line of vision. Once the flashes of light stop would be the time to have your eyes rechecked. Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Don't flashes always indicate a detachment? Are they not seeing it in the test results as it's early in the process of detaching?

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    • Posted

      Flashes do mean that the vitreous gel will separate from the retina ( which is a natural process that happens with age or can happen after trauma, cataract surgery etc.) but doesn't mean there will be a retina detachment. If there was a retina detachment or hole they would see it on the retina OCT or when they use the lens to look at the back of the eye. Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done at this point, its pretty much a waiting game. I personally would not wait a year until your next appt, I would do a 6 month follow up. But definitely get in sooner if there are any changes in your vision. Any dark areas or loss of vision. If this is going to happen it would happen once the flashes stop. As long as you are having flashes then you know the gel is still attached.

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    • Posted

      My Optometrist mentioned that the flashes may mean that the 'vitreous is moving' but it's not PVD. Is it just wishful thinking to believe that I will not have a PVD? 

      How long does it typically take for the docs to find out if it's PVD or not. Should I setup an appointment in a week or two from now and have my eyes retested?

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    • Posted

      Anyone has thoughts on my question? thanks
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  • Posted

    If the vitreous is just "moving" due to the trauma which would be difficult to differentiate from a PVD it doesn;t matter. It is causing the same thing to happen. The vitreous is still pulling from the retina causing you to have the flashes. There is no need to worry about having a Posterior Vitreous Detachment as this will happen to everyone eventually as it is a natural process. You can go to the doctor as many times as you like but they are going to have no way of knowing if there will be a tear or hole in the future. I would check your eyes again once the flashes have stopped or if your vision changes.

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  • Posted

    Eye floaters are those tiny spots, specks, flecks and "cobwebs" that drift aimlessly around in your field of vision. While annoying, ordinary eye floaters and spots are very common and usually aren't cause for alarm.

    Floaters and spots typically appear when tiny pieces of the eye's gel-like vitreous break loose within the inner back portion of the eye.

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  • Posted

    Yes, you can see floaters and flashes without any physical issue with your eyes. I have this and regularly see light and dark shadow floaters and flashes, sparks, patches, all sorts. I've had many, many doctors, eye specialists, opthamologists, neurologists as well as bunches of tests including retinal imaging, visual fields, optic disc, full brain MRI. All came back entirely normal. It's just how I am now, apparently visual phenomenon is very common. If you have been checked by a specialist and they aren't worried about you then I'd try and get used to it and move on. After I made that decision things generally improved thrift my brain ignoring it though it's still a daily occurance for me years later.

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    • Posted

      Did floaters/flashes start for you after an injury? Mine started after a neck injury.

      Apart from the floaters and the flashes, I also have dryness, light sensitivity and strained eyes. I am going to another opthalmologist tomorrow to get another opinion.

      What kinds of treatments helped you to start ignoring the floaters? Past 3 months has been pretty frustrating to me. I've been going to physical therapy but am far from feeling normal. Have you seen a neuro-opthamologist?

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    • Posted

      It's a tough time when something is wrong but you don't know what it is, try not to let it absorb you.

      I saw an eye surgeon opthamologist and neurologist separately, plus 6 other doctors in other fields. Both the neurologist and opthamologist conducted full physical examinations and imaging, of which came back entirely normal.

      Mine began after pregnancy and birth. The things I've found help are progesterone taken timely and daily and not worrying so much. I got myself so worried that I started twitching all over and that has never stopped either. This has been diagnosed as myclonus and again, benign. My brain has got used to it all after the years and I've learned to see and live past it.

      It may just be how you are now, with time you'll adjust and it becomes so much less bothersome. I've had this 2 years and it's just my new normal now.

      Good luck 🍀

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