Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I recently had a contact lens biomicroscopy exam which resulted in my eyes being very red and painful for an hour or two. Shortly afterwards I developed my first eye floaters. Could this exam have caused an anterior inflammation that in turn caused the floaters in my eyes? I am under 30 and otherwise do not have any vision problems.

Answer:
There are times that your ophthalmologist will need to place a lens directly on the surface of the eye to examine particular structures. Although rare, a small corneal abrasion or scratch can occur. This can occur more commonly if you have preexisting dry eyes or other corneal abnormalities. Floaters are not associated with this type of examination. Floaters generally appear after a vitreous detachment, or retinal detachment. In younger people, who are not nearsighted, floaters may occur due to severe inflammation in the vitreous, vitreous detachment, or retinal detachment. Inflammation of the vitreous is generally painless, but associated inflammation of the choroid or iris (the pigmented parts of the middle layer of the eye) may cause pain and redness and decreased vision—this will not resolve spontaneously. A vitreous detachment is a spontaneous separation of the vitreous (the gel substance in the eye that is attached to the retina) from the retina. A retinal detachment is when the retina separates from the eye. I suggest a dilated eye examination by your ophthalmologist to evaluate the vitreous and retina.

Answered by: Robert Melendez, MDDr. Robert Melendez

Categories: Eye Conditions, Vision Correction

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Answered: Apr 25, 2013

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