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Q. I have a very large floater in my eye, and I rubbed it. Is retinal detachment the cause?

Answered by
Dr. Asha Barboza
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 08, 2020

I have a very large floater in my eye, I was taking a shower last night and my eye was itchy and I rubbed it. It’s a holiday here and my eye doctor is closed. I’m worried could I possibly have a detached retina but I don’t want to go to the ER if it’s unnecessary. Eye doesn’t hurt, no redness, no peripheral vision loss, just this large floater. I had cataract surgery in this same eye 2 years ago.

Dr. Asha Barboza

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


Thanks for writing in. Is the floater a single squiggly line, a ring or a bigger shape that is black in colour that obstructs your line of vision? Your correct age is not mentioned or if you had short sightedness before cataract surgery. You might have developed something called a PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) where the attachment of the vitreous to the retina has separated. That can cause a ring like floater or a line in some cases. If they are multiple dots, then it could be an associated hemorrhage. A retinal detachment will cause a curtain like shadow in the side vision and profound visual loss if it's in the center. A PVD will require only observation. You can probably wait a day till the ophthalmologist is available, but ultimately it will require a dilated eye exam. If you have a dark curtain like shadow as I mentioned, you will need to go in immediately. Meanwhile no heavy weight lifting or strenuous activity. Wish I could have been of more help! Please feel free to ask more questions.

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