Acute onset of floaters, flashes may indicate retinal tear, detachment

Vitreous Floaters

Medscape (12/9, Barclay) reported that, according to a clinical review published in the Nov. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, “patients with acute onset of floaters and/or flashes caused by suspected posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)…should be evaluated for high-risk features of retinal tear and detachment.” After reviewing “17 relevant studies,” researchers found that “most cases of acute onset monocular floaters and/or flashes are ocular in nature and caused by [PVD].” The team described a “three-step procedure for primary-care assessment of patients with acute onset of floaters and flashes,” including evaluating “for nonocular causes,” performing an eye exam, and assessing “characteristics predicting high risk for retinal tear or detachment,” because patients “with suspected retinal detachment” require “emergent ophthalmologic assessment.”

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