Floaters after eye exam with pupil dilation

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Hi, I am a 60 year old male who typically wear glasses. Never really had any issues with my eyes. About three weeks ago I lost my regular prescription glasses, not a big deal.... has happened before. A few days later, after attempts to find them were unsuccessful, I went to the optometrist to get a new prescription. Had my vision checked and my pupils dilated. A day (or two) later, a black spot developed in my right eye. I did not know what it was and visited a few days later an ophthalmologist. After a thorough series of tests, which of course included dilation again, I was told that I developed a "floater". The next day the second floater showed up and over the last week or so, several other floaters have developed in my right eye which significantly interferes with what and how I see things through that eye. Very unpleasant. I will see a retinal specialist next week to discuss how and where to go from here....... I am a scientist and do not believe in coincidences. The fact that the first floater appeared right after pupil dilation makes me believe that there is a connection. I found one other post in a different forum from someone that had the same experience and am interested to find out whether there is any further indication that in fact dilation can lead to the formation of floaters.... I do know one thing.... having floaters is undoubtedly changing my life.

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  • Posted

    Your experience does make one wonder if dilation of the eye produces floaters. However, you are also at the age when the vitreous membrane begins to break down and with that along come the floaters. It's also possible you weren't really paying attention to floaters you already had until you lost your glasses and went to the eye doctor and started focusing more on your current vision. The brain is quite good at adapting our vision to ignore floaters and other PVD issues. In any case, if your floaters increase significantly, you see flashing lights, and/or lose a piece of your vision go see an ophthalmologist pronto (or go to the ER). During PVD the vitreous fluid can pull on the retina causing it to detach (this is what happened to me at the age of 63). I spent hours and hours trying to figure out what I did to cause my detachment. But I've always taken care of my health, saw the eye doctor once a year, never had a head injury of any kind. Yet I found myself having emergency surgery to save my sight. It was a shocker. Luckily, surgery was a success and so far so good. The other eye developed a retina tear about seven months later, which was fixed by laser. Did that tear happen because of the way they examined my eyes (let me tell me about the tiny spoon they use to push your eye back and forth so they can see the back of the retina - ugh!). Maybe. Doubtful though. In the eye fixed with a laser I'll see a "glob" and some floaters from time to time, depending on lighting. The eye that underwent the vitrectomy, followed by cataract surgery (a side effect of a vitrectomy) has very clear vision. You don't realize how "yellow" everything is becoming as you develop cataracts. I probably won't need cataract surgery in the 'laser eye' until I'm my 80's though (knock on wood). Anyway, I'm not a doctor or researcher. I can only share with you my experience and opinion. Hope it's a tad helpful!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the elaborate response. I am pretty sure I did not have floaters before the eye exam at the optometrist. In hindsight, I regret agreeing to the dilation as it serves little purpose when visiting an optometrist to get a new prescription for glasses. I am pretty certain that it "triggered" the onset of floaters (which perhaps otherwise would also have developed, who knows). I have been to an ophthalmologist last week and and she also found macular membrane (?) in my right eye. Hence the visit to the retinal specialist (who undoubtedly wants/needs to dilate again).

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    • Posted

      Well, good luck with your upcoming appointment. Please let us know how everything goes. And I do apologize for my rambling (elaborate) response.

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    • Posted

      No apologies necessary..... the more info the better at this point. Still trying to cope with what might become the new "not so normal".

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  • Posted

    I think you are developing the beginning of a PVD,very common as a,person ages,both of my eyes have pvds and floaters . .in number,size,type etc has gotten much more pronounced. Just read up on PVD eye..floaters.

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  • Posted

    I think you are developing the beginning of a PVD,very common as a,person ages,both of my eyes have pvds and floaters . .in number,size,type etc has gotten much more pronounced. Just read up on PVD eye..floaters.

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    • Posted

      I understand the condition and have read up on it.... believe me !! My question was whether pupil dilation actually can "trigger"/"accelerate" the onset of floaters. We'll see where this journey is going to take me....

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  • Posted

    hi... I'm 37 years old. last year I had my eyes checked and it was dilated and after about 2 days got floaters. I have many in both eyes... I was so sure it was either something to do with dilation or the numbing liquid to measure I pressure. my eyes had to undergo so much testing due to one surgeon finding out high eye pressure. however floaters were a side effect. no one could explain why...

    to date I live with it and given in to " what happened, happened" . there is no remedy by the way which is not risky. done my research.

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    • Posted

      Howdy, many thanks for the reply. I wonder how many others have the same experience (i.e. floaters after dilation). Of course my ophthalmologist did not react when I mentioned the "coincidence". I am going to be very careful with my left eye though..... no dilation unless absolutely necessary !!!

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  • Posted

    i would guess you are in the beginning of posterior vitreous detachment. this happens as we age. you may get more floaters and flashes too. have an optho,check your retina but my guess is PVD... annoying but benign.

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  • Posted

    hi all, i am 32 years old. i never had eye exam in my life with dilation. 2 months ago i wen to a doctor for eye examination and after a week or so i started seeing eye floaters. doctor did allt he tests and he says nothing. everytime i had dilation for exam , i am seeing more. is this a coincidence too ?

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    • Posted

      same age as you and had same experience.. my eyes were completely good and wanted to do regular exam .. had eye floaters after a bright light examination .. got more floaters after every dilated eye exam.. its almost 1 yr , still sees a lot in both eye.. either doctor may not aware that eye exam can cause eye floaters or avoiding to tell the truth to patients.. now we see why normal exam recommended after age 40 and 2 to 4 yr once instead of every year check up...

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  • Posted

    hello sir how are you i dont know if you are still interested in your question or not im 22 years of age and have a disease called retinitis pigmentosa ( gradual blindness ) although in my case i heard its normal to develop floaters but what i have realized is everytime i visit my opthamologist ( used to be every month but now every three months ) within the next day if not the third day of visiting him at MOST i develop new floaters i already have many and i know that even with an eye disease you shouldnt experince new floaters so often so no your not going mad i dont think its a coincidence either because YET AGAIN i visited the doctor the other day two days later BANG i have many new floaters in my left eye!!!! its irritating i have to go and get dilated everytime its not a choice but hell is it annoying but dont worry you will eventually get used to them and the brain learns to ignore it so you will not even notice them until you focus i was told the same thing when i first ever developed them and thought no way can i ever ignore but hey im chilllliiiiiiin eventually i did. GOOD LUCK TO YOU !

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  • Posted

    I've had eye floaters for years and am 39, but I had my pupils dilated last year. Before that, I didn't get them dilated in years because of this new machine that they have which just takes a picture of your eyeball. Anyway, the eye doctor told me last year that the picture only covers about 85% of the eye so he recommended the dilation and I said yes. A few days later, I started noticing way more floaters and they have not gone away. Like I said, I've had them since I was a teenager but there are way more in my eyes since the dilation last year. I wondered if it was purely coincidental but maybe it's not. I am going back for an annual check once this coronavirus stuff settles down and I will ask the doctor what he thinks. I will follow up on here.

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  • Posted

    I know what the doctor will tell you..... he will say that it is not possible that dilation results in (more) floaters. I know for a fact that the two times my eyes got dilated the floaters were induced. Specifically the first of these two occasions. I went to a new optometrist (in a Costco store) and my eyes have never hurt as much. I am convinced that the stress on my eyes was the cause of the floaters (that are right now floating "between me and my computer screen").

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