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“I started seeing flashes and floaters that started last week in my right eye.”  When I hear this, it is imperative that a careful evaluation of the retina is performed.  The retina is the tissue that lines the back surface of the eye.  The patient was dilated to allow viewing of the entire retina.  A digital-wide field image was ordered for the patient  to check for any tears or detachment.

From the photo, the patient has a “horse-shoe” shaped tear in her right eye.  33-55% of the time, this can lead to a retinal detachment leading to loss of vision.  Horse-shoe tears are caused by the gel in the eye (vitreous) pulling on the retina, causing it to tear.  Risk factors include older age, being nearsighted, already having a thin retina, and trauma.  She was referred to a retinal specialist for immediate laser treatment to seal the surrounding areas of the tear. The prognosis is good when caught early as in this case.

If you experience symptoms of sudden onset floaters or flashes of light, please contact us immediately at Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria, 925-743-1222.


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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