Floaters and Flashes

Flashes and floaters are often a symptoms of posterior vitreous separation. Floaters are rarely visually significant and they can be removed surgically.

What is a Vitreous Separation?

Most of the eye's interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye's light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This is a vitreous detachment. In most cases, a vitreous detachment is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina that you may notice as floaters, which appear as little "cobwebs" or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way. One symptom of a vitreous detachment is a small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. This increase in floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light (lightning streaks) in your peripheral, or side, vision. In most cases, either you will not notice a vitreous detachment, or you will find it merely annoying because of the increase in floaters.

A vitreous detachment is a common condition that usually affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.

Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment. Both of these conditions are sight-threatening and should be treated immediately. If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters or an increase in flashes of light in peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible. The only way to diagnose the cause of the problem is by a comprehensive dilated eye examination. If the vitreous detachment has led to a macular hole or detached retina, early treatment can help prevent loss of vision.

What are Floaters?

Floaters are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and simply an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to "settle" at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome. They usually settle below the line of sight and do not go away completely. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

Are floaters an Emergency?

Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye, slowly shrinks. As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These are floaters.

Floaters are more likely to develop as we age and are more common in people who are very nearsighted, have diabetes, or who have had a cataract operation. There are other, more serious causes of floaters, including infection, inflammation (uveitis), hemorrhaging, retinal tears, and injury to the eye.

Sometimes a section of the vitreous pulls the fine fibers away from the retina all at once, rather than gradually, causing many new floaters to appear suddenly. This is called a vitreous detachment, which in most cases is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment. However, a sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by light flashes or peripheral (side) vision loss, could indicate a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when any part of the retina, the eye's light-sensitive tissue, is lifted or pulled from its normal position at the back wall of the eye. A retinal detachment is a serious condition and should always be considered an emergency. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent visual impairment within two or three days or even blindness in the eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light in peripheral vision, or a loss of peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

For people who have floaters that are simply annoying, no treatment is recommended. On rare occasions, floaters can be so dense and numerous that they significantly affect vision. In these cases, a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes floaters from the vitreous, may be needed. A vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel, along with its floating debris, from the eye. The vitreous is replaced with a salt solution. Because the vitreous is mostly water, you will not notice any change between the salt solution and the original vitreous. This operation carries significant risks to sight because of possible complications, which include retinal detachment, retinal tears, and cataract. Most eye surgeons are reluctant to recommend this surgery unless the floaters seriously interfere with vision.

Vitreous Floaters NEWS

Below are current articles from a Google News Feed on Vitreous Floaters

Aflibercept Injection Approved for Diabetic Retinopathy  Managed Care magazine

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has received FDA approval for EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for all stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR), thus reducing the risk ...

The Global Market for Ophthalmic Lasers, 2019 to 2024 - Highest Revenues Expected for Refractive Error Corrections - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Associated Press

Press release *content* from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

FDA Approves EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for Diabetic Retinopathy  BioSpace

FDA Approves EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for Diabetic Retinopathy - read this article along with other careers information, tips and advice on BioSpace.

Global Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Treatment Market to Offer Increased Growth Prospects for Manufacturers  New Daily Herald

Ischemic optic neuropathy is caused due to a small vessel infraction of the optic nerve and is a major cause of blindness or impaired vision among the inflicted.

“After triage I was fast-tracked for immediate treatment”  AOP

Optometrist at Classic Eyes, Craig Wilcox, and the owner of BiB Ophthalmic Instruments, Tim Baker, discuss an unplanned scan that led to a sight saving referral.

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The market research report of the global “Vitrectomy Systems Market” is a fundamental study carried out by the experts with a perspective of the global market.

What the Cat Dragged In?  Medscape

A 31-year-old woman sought treatment for painless, progressive blurry vision in her right eye. Her unusual presentation helps to highlight symptoms of a ...

What is an eye floater? Symptoms, causes, treatment and more  NBCNews.com

Most people have eye floaters that they learn to ignore, but often notice when looking at a blank wall, white paper or blue sky, according to the National Eye ...

Advances in floater treatment  Ophthalmology Times

Now we can illuminate and clearly visualize floaters, putting effective laser treatment well within our reach, says Christopher F. Wood, MD.

Ellex unveils Eye Prime diagnostic ultrasound  Insight News

ASX-listed Ellex Medical Lasers has announced the market launch of Eye Prime, the company's latest innovation in diagnostic ultrasound technology, after ...

Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment a Serious Eye Problem?  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Posterior vitreous detachment is quite a mouthful. (And sounds a bit scary.) Fortunately, this eye condition usually won't threaten your vision or require treatment.

How to live with floaters, those tiny ghosts in your eyes.  Slate

When floaters first showed up in my eyes about five years ago, I didn't think it was a medical condition; I thought it was a superpower. Honestly—my adolescent ...

Ophthalmic Lasers Market 2019: Dominated By Top Players Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  News Tech Markets

The Ophthalmic Lasers market research report has been prepared on the basis of inputs from the key market specialist and leaders. Hence, a conscious effort to ...

If you see these weird dots or cobwebs in your eye, they are probably eye floaters  ABC News

They are called eye floaters and are quite common for most people due to changes in the vitreous — the gel-like substance that helps make up most of the ...

What are eye floaters?  Bend Bulletin

Q: There are several dark spots and cobweblike strings in my vision. Is this something to be concerned about?Dark spots such as those you describe may be ...

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Ophthalmic Lasers market report provides a comprehensive analysis of Ophthalmic Lasers industry by types, applications, key players and regions. It shows ...

Drug for Leading Cause of Blindness Gets Priority Review  Managed Care magazine

The FDA has granted a priority review designation for RTH258 (Brolucizumab, Novartis) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

BLOG: Evidence supports use of YAG for floaters  Healio

Optometry Blogs | Hovanesian | Much controversy has surrounded the subject of the use of YAG lasers to treat vitreous floaters.The dogma in our specialty has ...

Floating a new treatment: Laser for vitreous floaters  Traverse City Record Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — Donna Griffin had cataract surgery and an astigmatism fixed downstate.

Iatrogenic Posterior Lens Capsule Rupture and Subsequent Complications due to Nd:YAG Laser Vitreolysis for Vitreous Floaters: A Case Report  Healio

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Tri-*Service* General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (K-HH, T-HW, Y-JC, ...

Are These Ocular Symptoms Common or Concerning?  Medscape

Can you correctly categorize these five common ocular symptoms and determine which might potentially indicate a worrisome pathology?

Technological advances improve safety, precision of YAG vitreolysis for floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | An upgrade in YAG laser technology may be a breakthrough in the management of vitreous floaters, offering a safe, effective and ...

Eye Floaters: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment  WebMD

WebMD explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eye floaters, and when to seek immediate medical attention.

Comprehensive Analysis on Vitrectomy Systems Market based on types and application  Influential Businessman

The ' Vitrectomy Systems market' study Added by Market Study Report, LLC, provides an in-depth analysis pertaining to potential drivers fueling this industry.

What should you do about those unpleasant eye floaters?  Harvard Health

For some people, debris from the vitreous in the eye may wind up floating around. These “floaters” may interfere with vision and become bothersome.…

Can we zap eye floaters away? - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health

An experimental treatment can remove a certain type of floater with a laser, but further study is needed before it can be widely recommended.

Worsening of Untreated Retinal Detachment in Boy with Gaucher Type 3 Described in Case Report  Gaucher Disease News

A new case report describes a 14-year old boy with Gaucher type 3 and with retinal detachment in the right eye that worsened rapidly without treatment.

YAG laser vitreolysis improves symptomatic vitreous floaters  Healio

YAG laser vitreolysis was associated with a better improvement in vitreous floater symptoms than a sham procedure, according to study findings.Researchers ...

Tiny Robots Swimming in Your Eye Could Provide Radical New Treatments  Seeker

Researchers have developed a new class of propeller-shaped nanorobots that can swim through the eyeball's dense tissue.

What you can do about floaters and flashes in the eye - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health Publications

Floaters and flashes are a common sight for many, but they can be a warning sign of trouble, especially when they suddenly appear or become more plentiful.

The laser beam that can get rid of those pesky eye floaters  The Conversation UK

Those annoying things that float in front of your vision can be reduced with laser therapy.

Myopia is risk factor for multiple tears during evolution of PVD  Healio

Multiple retinal tears occurring during the evolution of posterior vitreous detachment are more frequently observed in myopic patients, are symptomatic and are ...

Ophthalmic Lasers Market Comprehensive Coverage 2019: By Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  StockNewsMagazine

Global Ophthalmic Lasers market report brings together a detailed study of the present and upcoming opportunities to elucidate the future investment in the ...

William Freeman, MD: Brimonidine as a Treatment for Geographic Atrophy  MD Magazine

William Freeman, MD, discusses the results of a study he led and other potential treatments for geographic atrophy from a session he hosted at ARVO 2019.

YAG Laser Treats Symptomatic Vitreous Floaters  Medscape

YAG laser treatment of symptomatic Weiss ring floaters was superior to sham treatment in a small clinical trial.

5 Eye Problems To Never Ignore - Eye Floaters, Freckles, More  Women's Health

Noticing changes in your vision, from floaters to redness and spots, can be life-saving—and not just for your eye health. Here's your guide to symptoms to look ...

WELL NEWS: 'The bad news is that he's your doctor.'  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

There are thousands of exercises, and you've only got one body, but that doesn't mean you can't try them all.

How to Get Rid of Floaters in My Eyes?  University of Utah Health Care

People may often see little moving proteins—called floaters—in their eyes. Ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Zaugg explains what floaters are, why they occur, and why ...

Eye Floaters: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment  Medical Daily

Eye floaters are tiny gel-like substances that disturb your vision and sometimes signals a retinal detachment.

Australian eye expert explains science behind the ‘floaters’ you see after looking at bright light  Daily Mail

Eye floaters are the little black smudges or wiggly lines that appear in your vision and seem to slide only just out of view, and while they're extremely common, ...

Retinal detachment: Early warning signs can save sight  WNDU-TV

Retinal detachment happens when an injury causes the retina to peel away from the wall of the eye. It can happen quickly, or a small tear can continue to ...

Ophthalmic Lasers Market Analyzing Growth by Key Operating Vendors like Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  openPR

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Woman presents with vision loss and cough  Healio

A 45-year-old woman with no significant medical or ocular history presented to the New England Eye Center with 1 year of floaters and gradual loss of vision in ...

Ophthalmic Lasers market 2019: Strategic Assessment, Latest Innovations, Drivers, Restraints, Challenges to 2025  industryreports24.com

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Scott LaFee: Cancer Deaths Fall, but Smoking and Lack of Exercise Fuel Risk  Noozhawk

Cancer deaths overall in the United States dropped more than 25 percent between 1991 and 2016, but the good news is not uniform and there is room for ...

YAG photoablation effective first-line treatment for vitreous opacities  Healio

Primary Care Optometry News | A 56-year-old certified ophthalmic technician presented for a comprehensive eye examination. He was complaining of persistent ...

Laser Surgery for Eye Floaters, Specks Proves Safe  MD Magazine

The distractive spots floating through fields of vision may have finally met their match.

YAG laser vitreolysis vs. pars plana vitrectomy for vitreous floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | Welcome to another edition of CEDARS/ASPENS Debates. CEDARS/ASPENS is a joint society of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery ...

What Are Eye Floaters? (Video)  South Florida Reporter

Spots, flashes of light or darkness on any side of your vision could be a sign of eye floaters. Most often noticeable when looking at a plain, bright background, ...

Posterior CCC paired with vitrectomy removes PCO, vitreous floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | A posterior continuous curvilinear capsulorrhexis through the pars plana coupled with a 23-gauge vitrectomy successfully managed ...

Annoyed by floating specks in your vision? You may soon be able to zap them away  Science Daily

Millions of people who put up with seeing annoying specks drift through their field of vision may now have a safe, high-tech solution to their problem. A study of ...

Floaters & Flashes: Cause for Concern?  University of Utah Health Care

Jun 21, 2016 1:00 AM. Author: Moran Eye Center. Have you ever looked up at a bright blue sky, or stared at a plain background and noticed little “floaters” ...

Man presents with blurry vision, flashes, floaters and redness  Healio

A 53-year-old Caucasian man presented with a 3-week history of worsening blurry vision of the left eye associated with flashes, floaters and redness. He also ...

Examining Ties Between Chiropractic Treatment and Vision Loss  Michigan Medicine

In rare occurrences, forceful manipulation of the neck is linked to a damaging side effect: vision problems and bleeding inside the eye.

VIDEO: Studies show laser vitreolysis safe, effective at treating floaters  Healio

LISBON, Portugal ― At the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting here, I. Paul Singh, MD, and Roxana Fulga, MD, discuss two ...

Vitrectomy Systems Market Grow with a Huge Growth Rate in Global Market and Continue till 2025  Dacca Times

Vitrectomy Systems Market report offers a remarkable study focusing on the current Vitrectomy Systems market strategy to overcome with maintainable areas of ...

Seeing Bugs And Worms All Over? It's OK. It's Just In Your Eye  Star2

Seeing "worms" everywhere is a common description of having "floaters" in our eye. These floaters are actually caused by age-related changes within the ...

Episode 4: Advances in floater treatment  Ophthalmology Times

Christopher F. Wood, MD, discusses the importance of learning new technologies to treat floaters.

Woman suddenly loses central vision  Healio

Primary Care Optometry News | A 39-year-old Caucasian woman presented complaining of a dark spot in the central vision of her right eye that began 3 days ...

Eye floaters: How I almost went blind in one eye  El Paso Inc.

El Paso leads the nation in diabetes, and blindness is a major side effect of the disease that impacts older Hispanics more than any other group in the United ...

MEDICAL SPOTLIGHT: Quick, Skilled Action By Dr. David Neely Restores Frances 'Bunny' Cummings' Sight |  SpaceCoastDaily.com

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: With two locations serving Brevard, Florida Retina Specialists provides comprehensive medical and surgical retinal eye care.

High blood pressure warning - do you see this sign in your eyes? Symptoms revealed  Express

HIGH blood pressure symptoms include headaches, chest pain and finding blood in urine. You could also be at risk of hypertension signs if you see these ...

Floaters are common as we age but may signal a more serious eye problem  Medical Xpress

Have you ever noticed the sudden appearance of a black dot in your field of vision that moves around when you move your eyes? It could also look like a cob ...

Zap! Laser Repair Of Your Torn Retina: An Interview With Royce Chen, M.D.  American Council on Science and Health

Tears of the retina are fairly common and they can lead to blindness. Fortunately, there's a quick and nearly-painless repair method that requires a few zaps of a ...

Those Random Spots in Your Vision Are Eye Floaters—Here's What to Do About Them  Reader's Digest

Eye floaters are annoying spots that sometimes feel like flashing lights in your eyes. Here's what you need to know about treatment options.

What Causes Eye Floaters?  News-Medical.net

Eye floaters (myodesopsias) emerge as a consequence of opacities developed in the vitreous fluid of the eye.

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WHAT ARE FLOATERS? Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can l...

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Floaters are shadows of the cell strands that are present in the vitreous of the eye. Though many floaters do no harm, there are some conditions in which an ...

Floaters usually harmless, but can be warning sign  FOX 5 Atlanta

ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - What happened to me is apparently pretty rare. Dr. Barry Lee, an eye surgeon with Eye Consultants of Atlanta says most floaters are ...

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Considering it's a marvel of design, the human eye doesn't get a lot of respect. We wake up, we see (often with help from glasses or contacts) and move on with ...

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Dear Doctor: I know that as far as medical problems go, eye "floaters" are pretty minor. But I've just noticed some new ones, and they're really annoying.

Woman presents with blurred vision 1 year after cataract surgery  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | A 65-year-old retired grocery store clerk was referred to the New England Eye Center with more than a year of progressive vision loss in ...

Two techniques effective for YAG laser capsulotomy  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | Posterior capsule opacification, or PCO, is common after cataract surgery, especially after a few years have passed. Even a perfect ...

Floating black spots or flashes in your eye? Get to an eye doctor right away.  The Washington Post

Have you ever had black specks floating around in your vision? Patrick Muffler noticed some one day. “I saw funny V-shaped floaters in my eye,” he says.

At 96 Weeks Brolucizumab Outdoes Aflibercept in Reducing Retinal Fluid  MD Magazine

In patients with neovascular AMD, 24% receiving brolucizumab had intra-retinal fluid and/or sub-retinal fluid compared to 37% of aflibercept-treated patients in ...

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Global Vitrectomy Systems Market research report puts a light on the challenges, industry structures, opportunities, driving forces, scope, and Vitrectomy ...

5 things to know about floaters - News  StarNewsOnline.com

While floaters are typically part of the aging process, a sudden onset could be a problem.

Young woman reports blurry vision in one eye, spots, floaters  Healio

A 29-year-old African American female presented upon referral from a fellow optometrist for retinal evaluation. Her chief complaint was blurry vision in the left ...

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With some emergencies, patients will not have pain, which can lead to missed diagnoses and loss of crucial time, an ophthalmologist who will speak at the ...

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Floaters are common among adults, but for some individuals – especially when accompanied by brief flashes of light – can be signs of an underlying eye ...

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A retinal detachment associated with a retinal tear is a serious ophthalmic condition. It is often a medical emergency and, if not treated quickly…

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FDA Approves Aflibercept sBLA for Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration  MD Magazine

A modified 12-week dosing schedule is now available for physicians administering the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor to patients with wet ...

Should You Worry About Eye Floaters?  ConsumerReports.org

Eye floaters--those specks you may see floating across your field of vision--are usually harmless. Consumer Reports tells you when eye floaters may signal a ...

Scientists Are Working on a Way to Treat Eye Floaters With Lasers  Mental Floss

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Take care of your eyes. Get a better understanding of those strange flashers and floaters you're seeing.

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Asteroid hyalosis (AH) is a degenerative eye condition characterized by the presence of asteroid bodies or calcium-fat globules in the vitreous region of the eye.

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Laser treatment reduces eye floaters  Science Daily

Patients reported improvement in symptoms of eye floaters after treatment with a laser, according to a new study.

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Laser procedure a possible treatment for eye floaters - Harvard Health  Harvard Health

A single treatment of the laser procedure YAG vitreolysis improved the sight of people with Weiss ring floaters—a common type among adults ages 55 and…

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A 32-year-old pregnant woman at 31 weeks' gestational age was referred to the New England Eye Center for a 1-week history of floaters and decreased vision ...

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More than half a million people in the UK are at risk of losing their sight because of undiagnosed diabetes, according to one of the world's top retina experts.

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Floater Vitrectomy

65 year old woman with 7 years of visual problems from dense vitreous opacities. She noticed them after her cataract surgery and they were immediately behind the intraocular lens.

Floater Vitrectomy

70 year old man with significantly compromised visual function for 1.5 years from a vitreous opacity in his better 20/16 eye. Video shows 25 gauge vitrectomy in high definition. Over 99 percent of symptomatic vitreous floaters will improve without any treatment within 6 to 12 months. There are significant risks to surgery for vitreous floaters which have to be weighed against the benefits. Vitrectomy almost always causes a worsening of a cataract, but since this patient had already had cataract surgery that was not a concern.