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Concept: Floater


BACKGROUND: Primary vitreous floaters can be highly bothersome in some patients. In the case of persistently bothersome floaters, pars plana vitrectomy may be the most effective treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of complications, and patient satisfaction, after pars plana vitrectomy for disabling primary vitreous opacities. METHODS: We included a total of 110 eyes that underwent pars plana vitrectomy between February 1998 and August 2010. Fifty-seven eyes (51.8 %) underwent 20-gauge vitrectomy, whereas 53 eyes (48.2 %) underwent 23-gauge vitrectomy. In a retrospective manner, we assessed intraoperative and postoperative complications. There was a considerable range of time between surgery and questionnaire (range: 4-136 months). Patient satisfaction was assessed by a questionnaire based on a modified NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire. RESULTS: A retinal detachment occurred in 10.9 % of cases, and the incidence did not differ significantly between the 20-gauge and 23-gauge vitrectomy groups. In 4.5 % of the eyes, a retinal detachment developed within the first 3 months, and 6.4 % occurred later in the postoperative period. Cystoid macular edema occurred in 5.5 %, and an epiretinal membrane was seen postoperatively in 3.6 % of cases. Development of glaucoma requiring glaucoma surgery, a macular hole, and postoperative scotoma, each occurred in 0.9 % of cases. No cases of endophthalmitis occurred. Eighty-five percent of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the results of the vitrectomy. Eighty-four percent of all patients were completely cured from their troublesome vitreous floaters, and an additional 9.3 % of patients were less troubled by vitreous floaters. Ten patients (9.3 %) were dissatisfied, and six of these patients (5.6 %) had a serious complication that resulted in permanent visual loss. CONCLUSIONS: Pars plana vitrectomy is an effective approach to treat primary vitreous floaters, resulting in a high rate of patient satisfaction. Postoperative complications may be more frequent than previously reported, so patients should be well-informed about the complication rate before reaching informed consent about this surgical intervention. Additional preventive measures should be considered to reduce this complication rate.

Concepts: Vision loss, Floater, Medical signs, Surgery, Diabetic retinopathy, Retina, Vitrectomy, Ophthalmology


PurposeTo evaluate the morphological changes before and after the formation of a full-thickness macular hole (MH) in highly myopic eyes.Patients and methodsRetrospective observational case series. From 2006 to 2013, clinical records of patients with MH and high myopia who had optical coherence tomography (OCT) before the development of MH were reviewed. All patients had been followed for more than 1 year since MH formation to observe the morphological changes.ResultsTwenty-six eyes of 24 patients were enrolled. The initial OCT images could be classified into four types: (1) normal foveal depression with abnormal vitreo-retinal relationship (eight cases), (2) macular schisis without detachment (six cases), (3) macular schisis with concomitant/subsequent detachment (nine cases), and (4) macular atrophy with underlying/adjacent scar (three cases). After MH formation, one case in type 1 and one case in type 4 group developed retinal detachment (RD). In type 2 group, four cases developed RD at the same time of MH formation. The preexisting detachment in type 3 group extended in eight cases and improved in one case. Among all the cases, 14 eyes received vitrectomy and 7 eyes received gas injection. MH sealed in nine eyes after vitrectomy and four eyes by gas injection.ConclusionThe study revealed four pathways of MH formation in highly myopic eyes. MH from macular schisis tended to be associated with detachment. However, the evolution and the results of surgical intervention were not always predictable.Eye advance online publication, 9 January 2015; doi:10.1038/eye.2014.312.

Concepts: Floater, Optics, Scientific method, Ophthalmology, Retinal detachment, Optical coherence tomography, Retina, Myopia


Patients with ‘visual snow’ report continuous tiny dots in the entire visual field similar to the noise of an analogue television. As they frequently have migraine as a comorbidity with ophthalmological, neurological and radiological studies being normal, they are offered various diagnoses, including persistent migraine aura, post-hallucinogen flashback, or psychogenic disorder. Our aim was to study patients with ‘visual snow’ to characterize the phenotype. A three-step approach was followed: (i) a chart review of patients referred to us identified 22 patients with ‘visual snow’. Fifteen had additional visual symptoms, and 20 patients had comorbid migraine, five with aura; (ii) to identify systematically additional visual symptoms, an internet survey (n = 275) of self-assessed ‘visual snow’ subjects done by Eye On Vision Foundation was analysed. In two random samples from 235 complete data sets, the same eight additional visual symptoms were present in >33% of patients: palinopsia (trailing and afterimages), entoptic phenomena (floaters, blue field entoptic phenomenon, spontaneous photopsia, self-light of the eye), photophobia, and nyctalopia (impaired night vision); and (iii) a prospective semi-structured telephone interview in a further 142 patients identified 78 (41 female) with confirmed ‘visual snow’ and normal ophthalmological exams. Of these, 72 had at least three of the additional visual symptoms from step (ii). One-quarter of patients had ‘visual snow’ as long as they could remember, whereas for the others the mean age of onset was 21 ± 9 years. Thirty-two patients had constant visual symptoms, whereas the remainder experienced either progressive or stepwise worsening. Headache was the most frequent symptom associated with the beginning or a worsening of the visual disturbance (36%), whereas migraine aura (seven patients) and consumption of illicit drugs (five, no hallucinogens) were rare. Migraine (59%), migraine with aura (27%), anxiety and depression were common comorbidities over time. Eight patients had first degree relatives with visual snow. Clinical investigations were not contributory. Only a few treatment trials have been successful in individual patients. Our data suggest that ‘visual snow’ is a unique visual disturbance clinically distinct from migraine aura that can be disabling for patients. Migraine is a common concomitant although standard migraine treatments are often unhelpful. ‘Visual snow’ should be considered a distinct disorder and systematic studies of its clinical features, biology and treatment responses need to be commenced to begin to understand what has been an almost completely ignored problem.

Concepts: Phosphene, Floater, Mental disorder, Aura, Symptoms, Migraine, Ophthalmology, Vision


Point of care ultrasound in the emergency department (ED) is increasingly being used to diagnose time-sensitive, vision-threatening conditions. We present a case of a 64-year-old female who presented to the ED with a three-day history of worsening left eye floaters. Point of care ocular ultrasound demonstrated a posterior chamber containing many echogenic opacities of varying size without acoustic shadowing. Movement of the eye resulted in significant after-movement of these opacities, giving the classic “washing machine” appearance seen with vitreous hemorrhage (VH). Based on these ultrasound findings, the patient was diagnosed with a VH and was referred to ophthalmology. The consulting ophthalmologist ultimately diagnosed the patient with asteroid hyalosis without VH. Asteroid hyalosis is a benign condition of the vitreous resulting in calcium phosphate and lipid deposits that can mimic more serious VH on point of care ultrasound. Knowledge of this mimic is helpful for communication with specialists and for awareness of the potential for misdiagnosis with ocular ultrasound.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Hospital, Acoustics, Marco Beltrami, Eye, Floater, Asteroid hyalosis, Ophthalmology


Patients with symptomatic vitreous floaters are common in clinical practice.(1) Current management options include observation, pars plana vitrectomy (‘PPV’) or Nd:YAG laser vitreolysis. Most patients are managed conservatively with reassurance and an explanation of the cause of their symptoms.

Concepts: Ophthalmology, Floater, Vitrectomy


This case series describes a new optical coherence tomography (OCT) specific observation relevant to the differential diagnosis of patients with suspected optic neuritis. A tiny prefoveal floater, only detectable by OCT, was found responsible for the symptoms in three patients, one of whom had been referred with unilateral delayed visual evoked potentials. This case series suggests that with increased use of OCT in routine clinical care, entoptic phenomena can be demonstrated as a relevant differential diagnosis to optic neuritis. Patients should be explained the benign nature of their symptoms.

Concepts: Vision, Medical terms, Scientific method, Optics, Entoptic phenomenon, Blue field entoptic phenomenon, Floater, Ophthalmology


Pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) procedures are used for the surgical treatment of macular hole retinal detachment (MHRD) associated with high myopia. Re-detachment of the retina has been reported in MHRD associated with high myopia. Our aim was to evaluate the 1-year outcomes of vitrectomy, performed using an inverted internal limiting membrane (ILM) flap technique with gas tamponade, in five cases of MHRD associated with high myopia.

Concepts: Ophthalmology, Floater, Diabetic retinopathy, Retina, Myopia, Retinal detachment, Vitrectomy


Neodymium-yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser vitreolysis has been proposed as a treatment modality for symptomatic vitreous floaters. The purpose of this paper is to report two cases of cataracts associated with posterior capsular compromise, induced by Nd:YAG laser vitreolysis for symptomatic vitreous floaters.

Concepts: Floater, Ophthalmology


To report our experience using the T-shaped macular buckle (MB) with or without pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) as primary surgery or with a previous failed surgical approach in patients affected by high myopia and macular hole (MH) with or without macular detachment and with or without macular schisis. The primary goal was to evaluate complete closure of the MH and reattachment of the retina.

Concepts: Physician, Hospital, Anesthesia, Floater, Retina, Retinal detachment, Vitrectomy, Myopia


To evaluate the safety and efficacy of posterior continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis through the pars plana and 23-gauge vitrectomy in surgical management of dense posterior capsule opacification and vitreous floaters.

Concepts: Retina, Ophthalmology, Vitrectomy, Floater