Tuesday 22 November 2016

Flashes and Floaters - New educational video by Matheson Optometrists

What should you do if you do notice flashes or floaters in your vision? We hope to give you a better understanding of the reasons that you may experience these symptoms. 

This educational video is intended to enlighten patients about the symptoms of flashes and floaters and what they mean.

What should you do if you do notice flashes or floaters in your vision? We hope to give you a better understanding of the reasons that you may experience these symptoms. 

The symptoms of retinal detachment vary enormously. The most common symptoms will include flashing lights in the periphery of vision, floaters (particles interfering with your normal visual scene which sometimes look like a fly in front of your eyes or opaque dots or squiggles in the way of vision which move when you move your eye) and veils or cobwebs blocking vision.

Dilation involves drops which make your pupil big so your optometrist is able to assess the back of your eye right out into the periphery. We do not recommend that you drive for several hours after you have a dilating drops in your eyes as they can affect vision and cause uncomfortable and distracting glare. You may experience large pupils and more sensitivity to light for up to a day though most symptoms have usually resolved after 6 hours. The optometrist will complete an inner-eye examination, visual field check, pressure check, vision check and often advise an OCT scan to rule out other causes. If you are found to have a tear, break or detachment of the retina, the optometrist will get in contact with you local hospital eye department to arrange an ophthalmologist review.

Retinal detachment has several causes. It is normal that inside of the eye is filled with a jelly called the vitreous. As we get older it is normal for the jelly to pull away from the retina and become more liquid-like. Sometimes the jelly is attached in certain places more than others. When the jelly pulls away, letting go of the retina it is called a posterior (back of eye) vitreous (jelly in the eye) detachment (lets go).

When the jelly in the eye pulls on the retina at a weak link (usually at the periphery) and does not let go, the retina can tear causing a retinal detachment.

As mentioned earlier, you are more at risk of retinal detachment if you are a moderate to high myope (short-sighted/ minus prescription), if you have a family history of retinal detachment, previous retinal detachment in either eye, trauma to the eyes, cataract or other eye surgeries or diabetes.

Differential diagnosis- there are other reasons why you might experience flashing lights and floaters in your vision. These include but are not limited to:

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)
Migraine with aura
Vitreous haemorrhages
Vitreo-macular traction

Information relating to these conditions can be found elsewhere on our website.

Treatment- If the tear, hole or detachment is small and peripheral, it is often treated with laser, which can act like glue, holding the remaining retina in place. If it is larger or the macular is affected, surgery maybe required. This may include using gas or silicone to push the retina back into place. Your treatment will be planned in consultation with a retinal ophthalmologist.

If floaters are due to PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) only with no retinal detachment this normally does not require treatment as many people stop noticing floaters after a period of time. This maybe because floaters break up or because our brain stops noticing them.

It is possible to have persistant floaters removed by having a Floater-Vitrectomy if they are centrally placed and affect your vision adversely. This operation carries risks which vary from individual to individual. It is important to discuss this fully before proceeding with surgery.

You may be referred privately or through the NHS. You may choose the consultant you see, be seen quicker and may have faster treatment through a private consultation.

If you experience new flashes or floaters in your vision, or veils, cobweb appearance or reduced vision, you should be seen as soon as possible. Do not wait to see if the floaters disappear as they could be an indication of a more serious condition. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency!

Further information can be found on the Matheson Optometrists website.

A list of local surgeons can be found in our eyecare providers section.

You may also wish to visit the informative site


A new drug, currently in clinical trials, could potentially treat both macular oedema and wet AMD
The clinical trial of a new drug, known as ‘SF0166,’ has launched in the US in a study of 40 patients with diabetic macular oedema (DMO), alongside a second for those with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The early-stage study will primarily monitor how well the patient groups tolerate the drug, as well as give an initial overview of how effectively it worked over the two-month trial for each disease.
A key feature of the new pharmaceutical, which was developed by pharmaceutical company SciFluor Life Sciences, is that it is able to reach the retina in high concentrations when used topically – in contrast to current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs that must be injected.
SciFluor’s vice president of research, Dr Ben Askew, told OT that: “Getting something to the back of the eye is the challenge.”
However, the potential drug has an advantage over other medications of its kind as it is highly water soluble and is also “greasy,” he explained, adding: “We have been able to fine-tune the properties of the drug.”
Patients will either receive a low, high or no dosage of the medication, which they will administer themselves for 28 days. The DMO study is expected to conclude in February, with the results to follow.
Dr Askew outlined that ‘SF0166’ works by interrupting the body’s response to the “abnormal signals” of DMO and wet AMD, which the eye interprets as a lack of oxygen.
He highlighted that, if successful, the drug could be used to complement or even replace current therapies.
“This is fairly early stage in terms of clinical trials but we’re cautiously optimistic that this will offer a real advantage,” he concluded.

Original post,YDPF,5YY1U6,2O6MM,1

Friday 8 January 2016

Fancy seeing how injections for wet macular degeneration are performed?

Intra-vitreal injections for Wet Macular Degeneration

This video shows the techniques involved in treating wet macular degeneration with intra-vitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs such as Avastin, Lucentis and Eyelea. These drugs inhibit the chemicals that cause aberrant blood vessels to grow into the macula part of the retina from the layer underneath called the choroid. 

Untreated these vessels can haemorrhage and leak fluid into the retinal structures, causing distortion of the photo-receptor layer so that the vision is compromised. If this retinal disturbance is allowed to remain for more than a few weeks the poor vision can become permanent, so it is important that the condition is caught early and treatment started promptly, ideally within a week or two after onset. Regular OCT scanning of vunerable age groups and regular use of the amsler chart can make early diagnosis possible.

These drugs are given by injection into the Vitreous or jelly within the back portion of the eye. This video will show how this is done. Although this may look a bit frightening to the timid or apprehensive patient, the eye is heavily numbed prior to the injection using 2 different types of anaesthetic drops. We use proxymetacaine and tetracaine, although sometimes lignocaine is given either topically or by sub-conjunctival injection.

Next disinfectant 5% iodine drops are instilled into the eye to kill any germs within the tear film.Then the lids and lashes are cleaned with 10% iodine solution.

Sometimes a drape is used, though this is less common nowadays. Some people find the drape makes them feel a little claustrophobic. A lid clamp is then applied to keep the eyes open during the procedure

Further anaesthetic is applied to injection site with a sterile cotton applicator, prior to the injection site is marked with a measuring device. This is normally 3.5 mm from the edge of the limbus.

The patient is then reassured and told to keep eyes still and the drug is gently injected, the needle is withdrawn and a cotton applicator held against the injection site as a tamponade

Artificial tears are instilled and antibiotics as required

Further information can be found at

Andrew Matheson to hold talk

  • Andrew Matheson will be holding a talk on age related macular degeneration and dry eye on Thursday 21st January

  • Venue:

    Herne Farm Leisure Centre, Crundells, off Moggs Mead, Petersfield
  • Address:

    Not Specified
  • Postcode:

    GU31 4PJ
  • Disabled Access:

    Disabled parking, Restricted
  • Week:

    3rd week
  • Day:

  • Time:

  • Website:

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