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floater in right eye
Dec 28, 1999

I recently enrolled in a longitudinal study of CMV in people with AIDS, with the ophthamologist I've been seeing for years. Two days after the first 4-hour exam, which included extensive photographing of the entire interior of each eye, pupils dilated, I developed a floater that looks like a big piece of dust, right in the middle of my right eye. I went back to my ophthamologist a few days later, and she dilated that eye, looked carefully and informed me that since there were no tears, and I did not see any flashing, it was simply a floater, something anyone (including non-hiv people) could develop. As time passes, she said I would become less aware of it, but it was there to stay.

Two questions:

First, could this have been brought on by the bright flashes while my eyes were photographed for the study? She said no.

Second: Will this thing EVER go away, or will it continue to drive me crazy till the day I stop breathing?

Third: Some yoga instructors say not to do inversions (positions where the head is down, the feet up, upside down), if you have cmv retinitis, since this puts a lot of pressure on the eyes. If my floater is NOT cmv, as the doctor indicated, should I be careful in yoga or when exercising?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Your eye doctor is correct-- floaters happen to HIV- people and are more likely to occur as you get older. It may go away by itself or at least become less bothersome once the reassurance that this is not CMV really sinks in. Avoiding inversions and other exercises which would put pressure on the retina makes sense to me, but I'm not an eye doctor, so you might want to check that out with the eye doctor you've been seeing.

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