Ophthalmology & Optometry/Floaters

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Question
Hello Dr. Berger
I am an expert in the category of paranormal phenomena at AllExperts. I recently had a question that I feel may be a medical problem rather than anything paranormal. I want to make certain that she seeks medical help if there is even a small chance that this is a medical condition.
I need some help with the following. Can floaters be light colored such as ivory/off white instead of black or grey?
If not, what would cause a light colored 'orb' or disc to randomly appear in one's perceptual vision? She claims to have 20/20 vision so I'm assuming that she does not go in for eye examinations so a vision problem is not likely to have been diagnosed.
Thank you so much for your time.
Greg Pocha

Answer
Dear Greg:

Yes, vitreous floaters can be either light or darkly colored, often presenting in diiferent shapes and different colors. The collagen fibrils in the vitreous body and proteinaceous material is loged often times in the gel and appears as "spots, dots, spiders, cobwebs, soot, and flies", in different colors to different people.  They most likely are caused by a posterior vitreous detachment and is part of the aging process whereby the vitreous undergoes a physiochemical change called syneresis which is associated with some degree of liquification of the gel. The gel usually collapses downward or forward and can effect a stress or force on the retinal blood vessels to produce flashes and floaters, vitreous hemorrhage, retinal tear with or without retinal detachment. this is precisely why, with any above symptoms, a comprehensive eye examination, must be undertaken.

Further, an uncommon condition, called synchysis scintillans, which presents itself , often bilaterally, with glistening white cholesterol crystals and tend to migrate to the bottom of the eye in the resting position. however, upon rapid eye movement, these crystals spring upward in great showers and fly around the vitreous cavity until the eye movement is stopped.  And in yet another condition, Asteroid Hyalitis (Benson's Disease), hundreds of small yellow spheres consisting of calcium soaps are seen in the vitreous and move when the eye moves. So as is evident, there are many reasons for "unidentified flying objects" with the vitreous cavity, which by the way, compiles some 90% of the eye's volume.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Ken  

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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DR. KENNETH BERGER

Expertise

Any and all questions with regard to ocular ailments, eye diseases as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc , eye and visual sympomatology, eyeglasses, contact lenses, low or subnormal vision, pediatric vision conditions,and special and unique ailments will be discussed.

Experience

36 years of clinical experience in opticianry and therapeutic optometry. Still in private practice with special interests in vision conditions, diagnosing and treating ocular ailments, prescibing treatment plans which include medicine, eyeglasses, and contact lenses primarily. Although surgery is not within the realm of my area of expertise, I co-manage many pre and post -op surgical cases which include Lasik and PRK procedures.

Organizations
New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians American Optometric Association

Education/Credentials
B.A.,1968, Hunter College of the City University of New York B.S.,1970, Pennsylvania College of Optometry O.D.,1973, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Administration Certification, New Jersey 1992

Awards and Honors
Clinical Efficiency Award, 1973, Pennsylvaania College of Optometry

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