Ophthalmology & Optometry/Spots on Left Eye Vision


Hi Dr.

Thanks for taking time to look at my case.

I'm a 29 year old Hispanic Male, in general good health, within my ideal weight ranges and I exercise regularly. I work quite a bit and also get out my good share and enjoy having drinks with friends maybe a little more than your average Joe. Although I would argue I don't have a drinking problem I just enjoy having a drink followed by a couple more.

Any way about 5 years ago, I identified a little dot floating around my left field of vision, looked into it a little more in depth and learned about "floaters" and all the mysteries surrounding them. In the last 5 yrs I've visited a couple of professionals, they all tell me the same thing, "you have no retinal detachment, your vision is good, just ignore the floaters" they have progressively increased at a considerable rate in the last couple years, and I can not just ignore them, that's like ignoring a fly, actually more like ignoring a mosquito while trying to go to sleep, not viable. Any thoughts? ideas? suggestions?

I was about to go to see a "specialist" in Florida that claimed to have a laser solution to floaters, but I was warned by more than one expert about this option. Thanks and God bless!

Thank you for your question. I apologize for not responding earlier, this message got filtered in my email.
It is not unusual to see some floaters. These are just shadows projected by small bits of debris floating in the eye.  The question is what is floating in the eye?  For most people, it's small bits of fibers, collagen, cells, etc. These stick together, clump, etc, and with time grow slightly larger. The larger they are, the more shadow they give.
IF there is a leak in a blood vessel, it can cause a small hemorrhage in the eye, and these blood cells will also cause floaters...that's where the retinal detachment, etc, comes in.
Bottom line, if the retina is healthy, there's nothing to worry about.
I would recommend against a surgery to help 'rid' you of the floaters.  There's only two things to do.  
1.  shoot a laser at the floaters and try and break them up.  This will take a big floater, and make many little floaters. But you still have debris floating, and a good chance you'll still see them.
2. do a fluid exchange on the eye...suck out the vitreous and replace it with oil that doesn't have debris/floaters in it.  this is a risky surgery and most surgeons won't advise 'opening' up the eye unless you have to.  
This is a very common problem, but unfortunately, there is no true 'fix.'
Good Luck!

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John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO


As a residency-trained Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry I am able to answer most questions regarding eye and vision health. Anything is welcome, ranging from dry or allergy eyes, bifocal contact lenses, or thoughts on LASIK surgery. As I am not a surgeon, detail-oriented surgical-related questions may be better answered by an ophthalmologist.


Selected to participate in the PCO residency program in Philadelphia at The Eye Institute, where I worked OD and MD specialists gaining invaluable experience in various clinics including glaucoma, cornea and cataract, oculo-plastics, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease, primary care, emergency medicine, and special populations. Have practiced and trained in numerous settings including hospital, academic, retail and private practice. I earned my Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). There are currently only about 3000 active fellows worldwide, and there are only about 70 Fellows in the state of Virginia. I currently own and operate my own optometric practice/clinic.

American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association (Contact Lens/Cornea Section member since 2001), Southwest Virginia Optometric Association, Virginia Tech Alumni Association

“Nyctalopia as the Presenting Sign of Vitamin A Deficiency: A Late Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Denver, Colorado, December 2006, co-authored with Bradley Lane, OD.
“The Importance of Considering Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Differential Diagnosis in Diplopia.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry San Diego, California, December 2005, co-authored with Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO and Cherie Farkash, OD.
“Acute Onset of Halos and Glare: Bilateral Keratitis—An Atypical Presentation of Amiodarone Keratopathy.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Tampa, Florida December 2004. Also Presented to New Jersey Academy of Optometry, Neptune, New Jersey March 2005.
“The Opportunity for an Optometrist to Save a Life.” Clinical Case Study and Grand Rounds Presentation presented at The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2004.
“Corneal whorls cause wonder.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 10/15/2006.
“Acute onset of halos and glare: bilateral corneal epithelial edema with cystic eruptions--atypical presentation of amiodarone keratopathy.” Co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO. Published February, 2006, Optometry.
“Pondering the posterior polka-dots.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 5/15/2005.
Professional Involvement:
“AION: Amiodarone-Induced or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy?” Participated as a peer-review referee for Expert Review of Ophthalmology (London, UK); refereed 10/2006.

Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Virginia Tech. Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Doctorate (OD), Pennsylvania College of Optometry Residency, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Awards and Honors
Winner, First Place, "Best Beside Manner" by Our Health Magazine: 2012, 2013, 2014 Winner, First Place, "Best Eye Doctor" by The Roanoke Times: 2013, 2014 Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, December, 2006 Recipient of the Onofrey G. Rybachok Memorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 Member: The Golden Key International Honor Society Member: The National Biological Honor Society Member: The National Honor Society Eagle Scout awarded 1994

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