Sunday I suddenly had extremely bright flashes on the outside of my left eye. These flashes occurred five or six times and then I didn't see anymore. Then about 1/2 hour later, I suddenly had thousands of dots in my entire field of vision in the left eye. about a third of the dots were black and then the rest were clear with dark rings around them. There were so many dots, I really could not see clearly out of my left eye.
Being the stubborn gal I am, I knew I needed to go to the ER but that is asking for hours and hours of waiting at my local large military medical center. Monday morning I woke up with maybe five fewer dots. I had an appointment at Social Security that I couldn't blow off. Driving with all those dots floating around made me so nauseous that I drove home afterward to close my eyes. Last night I knew this had to be dealt with so I called my PCP at home. After chastising me for waiting so long, he told me to get my rear to the ophthalmology clinic ASAP in the morning.
I had a vitreous hemorrhage and a posterior vitreous detachment. The ophthalmologist said that people with inflammatory diseases are more prone to these. He also said that there is an increase in this problem when one reaches 70. I have 10 years and 2 weeks to go before I reach that mark. Since my ankylosing spondylitis has been flaring recently, he feels that the inflammation also affected my eye.
The thousands of floaters should resolve somewhat and hopefully my brain will adjust to them being there. He said the black dots were red blood cells and the clear ones with the rings were vitreous fluid that had escaped during the tear. I have to be careful because I have a high risk for developing a retinal detachment in the next couple of weeks.
Besides the 1000 aggravating floaters, the worst of this was the exam today. After numbing my eye, he used an instrument to push my eyeball partially out to try to determine if the hole would bleed more. Yuck!!!!!!! Not a very good feeling.
So the moral to this long story.....if you get symptoms like mine - bright flashes of light followed by a massive amount of floaters - get thy self to the ER. I was lucky, but approximately 15-20% of people with symptoms like mine actually develop a retinal tear, a true medical emergency.
Moderator Crohn's Disease & Osteoarthritis Forums
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, asthma, severe allergy and a host of other medical problems.