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David Powell
01-08-2014, 01:53 PM
On Boxing Day i was watching television and I thought a spiders web had fallen across my face. A visit to emergency( and with other appointments pending ) gave the diagnosis that my right eye had become victim to the problem of ' Floaters ' This is a most annoying problem, especially as my right is my "good " eye. Have any of you had this happen? All advice is welcomed. regards David Powell.

KMoffett
01-08-2014, 01:59 PM
Had small ones for years. Had a big one appear a couple of years ago during an unnecessary medical procedure. I was told if it gets really bad, they can operate, suck out the fluid (and floaters) in the eye, and replace the fluid. Otherwise, you sort of get used to it. :(

Ken

chucketn
01-08-2014, 02:03 PM
I had 'floaters' appear after a cataract removal. Very annoying as nothing could be done about it. They have gradually diminished with time.
When the fruit flies, or gnats are around, I can't tell if it's the floaters or the flies, LOL.

Chuck

WhatTheFlux!
01-08-2014, 02:13 PM
A bit younger than some of you folks... and I have floaters in my left eye. Have since the Great Concussion Of 2007. They tell me it's not related... but they also told me that this jar of pills would make me a better person. Really all it did was turn me from a raging asshole into a cold calculating asshole. The friends and family voted and I went off of them... The raging was more fun to be around they said.

Cuttings
01-08-2014, 02:16 PM
I have had floaters for some time. Previously they just looked like a bit of dust floating in the air on a bright sunny day.
Then a couple of years ago I started to get bigger ones and had flashes of light in my eyes when it was dark.
I had a thorough eye examination and it was determined that this was a "normal" occurrence when you get older.
I was checked again about 6 months later and then again with my regular checkup last fall.
I was told that my eyes are quit healthy and not to worry unless I start seeing the light flashes in the daylight.
The floaters are still there but I hardly notice them any more and I can't remember seeing the flashes for a while now.

Weston Bye
01-08-2014, 02:27 PM
Check out "Posterior Vitreous Detachment". I had such an event several years ago, and though I've had floaters as long as I can remember, they got worse in the right eye that had the PVD.

The "spider web" is a classic symptom, but I first noticed "flashing lights" with certain eye movement while laying in bed in the dark.

You need looking at by an opthamologist, sooner better than later, to be sure that it isn't a more serious retinal detachment. I got a serious chewing by my eye doctor for not coming in immediately.

mattthemuppet
01-08-2014, 02:31 PM
I get a few in either eye occasionally, often after getting up quickly from a prone position. Never found them to be a problem and the eye doctor has checked me out yearly since they started without noticing any problems. Means I can pretend I'm in The Matrix occasionally.

dp
01-08-2014, 02:45 PM
I have lots of them. One was so persistent I gave it a name. They morph but don't go away.

adatesman
01-08-2014, 03:19 PM
My favorite is mistaking it for a fly and trying to swat it. Took 3 swings and 2 full spins to realize what it was.

ironnut
01-08-2014, 03:20 PM
As it was explained to me by an ophthalmologist, for younger folks they are the residual material left over when the front of the eyeball was formed prior to birth. Supposedly everyone has floaters normally they are not part of one's vision. Weston's comment and link about PVD is useful. A friend of mine got clocked by a jack handle when he was working on a piece of farm equipment. He ended up with a floater large enough to blur his vision in one eye. Whether it was a PVD event or just an existing one that got pushed into the vision path is unknown. Victims of optic neuritis (ON) have large number of floaters in their eyes making looking in their eyes a bit like peering at the liquid filled little dioramas depicting a rural snowfall scene when you shake them. ON is common in people suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis). My older brother has MS, he is also a physician (tot doc), he let me look in his eye many years ago as he had large numbers of floaters. He wasn't diagnosed with MS until a dozen or so years later. Thankfully his MS is well controlled with medication and has not progressed. Having an eye doctor look at that would be a good thing.

gordon

sandiapaul
01-08-2014, 03:44 PM
I'm 53 and have them in both eyes for 30 years or so. My eye doctors say nothing can be done about them. They are still annoying. Does anyone know if there is in fact a treatment?

Peter N
01-08-2014, 04:17 PM
Yep, I've had them (or something very similar) for abut 10 years since my mid-40s. Mine last about 20 minutes at a time then go away. The best way I could describe them was like watching a snake printed with a barcode wiggling across a heavily cracked mirror. Yeah, weird I know.

Several Hospital Ophthalmology Dept visits later I was diagnosed with 'Age-related Macular Separation' - pretty much exactly the same thing that Weston described under a diiferent name.
Got quite worried as I was only 43-44. But........ at my yearly eye-tests I have discussed this at some length with my experienced Optometrist who says he can see no trace of macular seperation and is more of the opinion that they are just occular migraines and something far less to worry about.

daryl bane
01-08-2014, 04:50 PM
I've had them off and on for years. I have been told that "sometimes" they are due to a vitamin deficiency, mainly B12. Could be BS, I don't know.

Bob Fisher
01-08-2014, 05:34 PM
Iv'e had "floaters" since can't remember when, never bothered me much tho. After cataract surgery on both eyes, I began to experience a blurring of my vision. A visit to the opthomologist set things right.He told me that about 40% of cataract patients experience what he termed a so called thickening of the lens capsule. A 5 min treatment with a laser popped holes in the lining and everything perfect since.BOb.

bruto
01-08-2014, 05:48 PM
I had one of those floaters like the one described occur a few years ago, quite suddenly. One day I didn't have it, and the next I did. It looked as if a bug had died on my windshield. The doctor reasssured me that this is normal at a certain age, and I have gotten used to it. It's still there, but the good news is that over time it has become less obvious, and lightened a little. My eye doctor says there's evidence that lutein supplements might help forestall macular degeneration and cataracts, and recommends that we take some.

ironmonger
01-08-2014, 05:54 PM
Iv'e had "floaters" since can't remember when, never bothered me much tho. After cataract surgery on both eyes, I began to experience a blurring of my vision. A visit to the opthomologist set things right.He told me that about 40% of cataract patients experience what he termed a so called thickening of the lens capsule. A 5 min treatment with a laser popped holes in the lining and everything perfect since.BOb.

The floaters come and go, I like to blame them for bad welds... :)

I'm 65 and have had them for years. About 5 years ago I had some flashes as well. The eye doc said in my case the flashes were due to straining the retinal nerves, They did go away.

I started taking 'Lutien', an vision vitamin supplement. Don't know if it helps, but I feel better. I have the beginning stage of cataracts in my right eye as well, nothing needs to be done for a while though.

The Doc does a retinal scan with a camera that has a VERY bright light. I'm not sure what exactly he's looking at, but he is. This also gives him a yearly record of what everything in the eye looks like, and if there is a change he will have a base line to determine how soon action needs to be taken.

paul

duckman
01-08-2014, 05:57 PM
I have floaters, and last June I had a medical scare thought it was a heart attack but it really was an episode of GERD, ate to much of a good thing I changed my eating habits, cut out fried stuff, cut back on sugar, generally started eating good things, the doc. put me on Metformin he said I was border line diabetic, after a couple of months I noticed that my floaters were not so noticeable.

PStechPaul
01-08-2014, 06:13 PM
I have had floaters since I was a teen. I first really noticed them after I had been riding on a coaster cart and I thought the tires had kicked up some broken glass into my eyes. Since then they have come and gone, and mostly outside the main field of vision and just annoying. More recently I have experienced the flashes of light as described when I turn my head or eyes in certain directions. I just had an eye exam and at almost 65 I still have 20/20 vision uncorrected and I only use 1.00 to 1.50 diopter reading glasses occasionally. I have bifocal safety glasses that are useful for machining.

About five years ago I attended a meeting where a local priest told his story about getting blurred vision rather suddenly and it turned out to be something called ischemic optic neuropathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optic_neuropathy), which is essentially loss of blood flow and resultant deterioration of the optic nerve, in his case from a sort of "stroke". He became legally blind, although he has enough vision to be able to detect objects and walk with minimal assistance.

Not long after that, my good friend's brother-in-law started to experience some loss of eyesight, and since he was pre-diabetic he just thought it was due to that. He did schedule an eye exam, but not immediately. He should have gone to the emergency room. Over a period of a couple of days his eyesight deteriorated to the point where he became legally blind, although still able to detect large shapes. Really a shame, as he was a semi-professional photographer and all-around good guy. Fortunately his wife is able to assist him and they go together on his route as a parts delivery person, where she drives and he carries the sometimes heavy parts.

Not long after hearing of his ordeal, I noticed a zig-zag pattern of flashing light that became larger, affecting both eyes, and floated across my field of vision so I had to read just outside my central field of vision. It scared me, and I was able to drive to a local urgent care center. By the time I got there it was starting to subside and they told me it sounded like a form of migraine. I had an eye exam and all was OK. I still sometimes get these, particularly when I am under stress or concentrating too hard on something. And they have just gone away in a couple of hours.

On my recent eye exam, the doctor also said I have a small cataract, but nothing to be concerned about or do anything about. Perhaps coincidentally, at my dog's vet visit this past summer, I was told that he has early stage cataracts, and even I could see a bit of cloudiness in his eyes. Hmmm. They aren't contagious, are they? Or is it that he has just passed me in dog years?

lakeside53
01-08-2014, 06:24 PM
I've had them as long as I can remember. Sometimes worse than others but they don't really get in the way of life. FAA didn't think it was an issue!

KJ1I
01-08-2014, 06:25 PM
One more floater cause - Pigment Dispersal Syndrome. Effects middle aged men of Scandinavian descent. Dangerous though. Gotta see the eye doc every 6 months. The pigment pieces can block the eye's (I don't remember the actual term) 'vent', causing the eye to over pressure. Bummer.

john hobdeclipe
01-08-2014, 07:06 PM
I've had floaters since I was a child. Imagine the frustration of seven-year-old trying to get the parents to understand that I see a question mark all the time, everywhere I look.

J Tiers
01-08-2014, 07:17 PM
For nearsighted people, they seem to be more common.

HWooldridge
01-08-2014, 07:27 PM
Had 'em for my entire life. Eye doc said they are more common because I am very near sighted. The cause is small pieces of retinal matter that float around inside the eye. Zero or few floaters followed by a lot of them all at once can mean retinal problems (like a detachment) or a stroke near the optic nerve.

Doctor told me years ago that my eyes were in such bad shape from birth that I should be blind but I'm fortunate that between contact lenses in childhood and early corrective cataract surgery as an adult, I've always been able to see well enough to function normally.

Weston Bye
01-08-2014, 07:48 PM
For nearsighted people, they seem to be more common.

That would be me.

Another phenomenon touched upon in the posts is the optic migraine. Originating in the brain rather than the eye, for me it starts as a patch of sparkling light off to one side. It then grows to a sparkling ring surrounding a dark spot. During my worst event, it expanded to block the entire right half of my vision in both eyes. Made it real hard to drive, but subsided in about three quarters of an hour.

trackfodder
01-08-2014, 09:17 PM
Since I had cataract surgery I see 2 stoplights with each eye but you get used to it, With the prismatic cataract they were always at 45 deg. to each other .. Parallel now. Signs are no problem. It is the "Restore" lens that allows focusing at any distance., A reflecting light on the rear surface reveals the several rings and center circle that they are made of. As for floaters if they get in the way I just run my eyes around in the sockets and re-position them. Not as bad as they used to be.

ulav8r
01-08-2014, 09:27 PM
I've had floaters since 1963, maybe much earlier. About 6 years ago had 2 or 3 rounds of ocular migraines that seemed to be triggered by looking a a very bright scene or object while I was in a reduced light area. The floaters have not seemed to be as noticeable the last few years.

TGTool
01-08-2014, 09:33 PM
A little over a year ago I suddenly had a whole bunch of floaters. That sounded to me like loose blood cells so I went right in and they sent me in immediately for laser surgery for a torn retina.

But that wasn't the most interesting thing. At the eye center (OU Medical School) they've got a machine that takes photos into the eye. Okay, that's been around for a while. The most current technology uses several colors of light, scanned sequentially and the results are computer generated cross sections of the back of the eye, courtesy of different wavelengths having different penetrations. In a followup the doctor showed me the section that was causing wavy line distortion on the AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) Amsler chart. Not actually macular degeneration but a thin layer of scar cell tissue on the surface of the retina that shrink and distort the perceived image. Fairly amazing stuff to me, using the conjunction of multiple images and computer image construction.

jhe.1973
01-08-2014, 10:09 PM
Ever since I changed to a high fiber diet I have floaters that don't go down as easily when I flush. :D

My brother-in-law was an investigator for 18 years in a medium sized city's medical examiner's office. They had another definition for floaters! They also called some 'clients' crispy critters.

You figure out why!

ROFLOL

sandiapaul
01-08-2014, 10:23 PM
"Another phenomenon touched upon in the posts is the optic migraine. Originating in the brain rather than the eye, for me it starts as a patch of sparkling light off to one side. It then grows to a sparkling ring surrounding a dark spot. During my worst event, it expanded to block the entire right half of my vision in both eyes. Made it real hard to drive, but subsided in about three quarters of an hour. "

WOW!, This is exactly what happens to me too, but NO ONE including doctors has ever heard of it. Mine actually sound a bit worse, they last more like 2-3 hours and I can't rally see anything when it happens. There is no real pain, my head feels a bot odd but not a super headache or anything. I get them maybe 4-5 times a year.

I guess its nice to know I'm not alone with this. Thanks for posting this Weston.

Paul

bob_s
01-08-2014, 10:34 PM
There is some medical evidence that using the dietary supplement "Lutein" can help to reduce the presence of floaters. This is another anti-oxidant sort of like vitamin E. It is present in the dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, etc.

Don Young
01-08-2014, 10:56 PM
I have experienced this a number of times over a period of about 20 years or so. Mostly pretty mild and I did not even know how to describe it. It is apparently associated with migraine headaches in some people and I am thankful that I have not actually had a headache in more years than I can remember. I also had a scary experience where everything in my vision appeared to move back and forth horizontally. The ER doctor was not able to diagnose it and it has not happened again. It was not an eye movement so was apparently a neurological problem.

"Another phenomenon touched upon in the posts is the optic migraine. Originating in the brain rather than the eye, for me it starts as a patch of sparkling light off to one side. It then grows to a sparkling ring surrounding a dark spot. During my worst event, it expanded to block the entire right half of my vision in both eyes. Made it real hard to drive, but subsided in about three quarters of an hour. "

WOW!, This is exactly what happens to me too, but NO ONE including doctors has ever heard of it. Mine actually sound a bit worse, they last more like 2-3 hours and I can't rally see anything when it happens. There is no real pain, my head feels a bot odd but not a super headache or anything. I get them maybe 4-5 times a year.

I guess its nice to know I'm not alone with this. Thanks for posting this Weston.

Paul

Doozer
01-08-2014, 11:02 PM
OT- WTFlux, My family and friends tried to convince me to take pills.
Turns out I am just a genius with aspergers syndrone and I just see
things more logically than most people, which tends to piss them off.
Logic suits me full well. No pills for me. My world is a wondrous place!

--D

Rich Carlstedt
01-09-2014, 12:03 AM
Another phenomenon touched upon in the posts is the optic migraine. Originating in the brain rather than the eye, for me it starts as a patch of sparkling light off to one side. It then grows to a sparkling ring surrounding a dark spot. During my worst event, it expanded to block the entire right half of my vision in both eyes. Made it real hard to drive, but subsided in about three quarters of an hour.

Boy Weston, I share both the floaters and the optical migraines with you and very similar results
Mine got quite large in the center of vision so you can't drive or read or ...anything.
What I did find was some relationship to MSG...so I don't overdue the Chinese food
Rich

PStechPaul
01-09-2014, 12:34 AM
Bananas are more dangerous than MSG:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zJn4gxCx3c

I am a rather strong environmentalist, so I don't agree with all of what he says, but then again I do believe that there is some real crazy extremism among some "Greenies". ;)

MichaelP
01-09-2014, 01:13 AM
David, I'd strongly suggest you to see a good ophtalmologist or even retina specialist as soon as possible. There is a chance it may require treatment. In some cases (retinal detachment), very early treatment is often extremely beneficial and prevents very serious problems.

ERs are not designed for good ophalmologic diagnostics, esp. if you were not examined by an ophtalmologist.

Good luck and keep us updated.

toolmaker76
01-09-2014, 02:24 AM
I have flashes of light that I see on the outside corner of my eyes, always seems to be momentary but from up going down. Usually the right eye but sometimes the left and sometimes both at the same time. First time it happened, it was at night, I was at the computer, and there was a window to my left. Fortunately it was happening in the right eye, otherwise I would have been convinced someone was outside shining a flashlight into the window.

Been going on for several years and have mentioned it at eye exams- last year the eye doctor sent me to a specialist that did some extensive testing on my eyes, results indicated everything is normal for my age. I believe the specialist said the flashes were probably ocular migraines. I don't have any other symptoms with them.

Not troublesome, just another addition to the "at that age" list!

WhatTheFlux!
01-09-2014, 02:59 AM
OT- WTFlux, My family and friends tried to convince me to take pills.
Turns out I am just a genius with aspergers syndrone and I just see
things more logically than most people, which tends to piss them off.
Logic suits me full well. No pills for me. My world is a wondrous place!

--D

Same here. I decided that people either accept me as is or I don't make time for them. I'm not changing to conform or fit in, took me 30 of my years to learn that.

Seastar
01-09-2014, 08:50 AM
I knew it! I knew it!
There are other geniuses on here besides me!
I could tell.
Hooray!
Bill

krutch
01-09-2014, 12:27 PM
I believe most if not all of us have some kind of floaters that are not a problem. Most won't notice them unless they "look" for them. I think they are from embryonic fluid when we are being "assembled" in the womb.
I have a recent floater which I'm told is a result of a layer of "material" falling away and is expected to eventually settle out of the sight path. I thought I had a chip in the eye and had it looked at by an eye Dr. In the meantime it is annoying and distracting. It has been at least four/five months since it became an obvious issue in my right eye. It has lessened or I have become accustomed to it and is not so bad as once it was.
But you really need to have an eye specialist look at your eyes. Any of us giving advise from our experience may not be in your best interests. There are many things it could be a sign of that we don't have the knowledge of to make you just ignore your problem. Have a professional take a look.

michigan doug
01-09-2014, 02:49 PM
There are half a dozen things that can cause floaters, most of which have been mentioned already. Good job guys!

Most are harmless. Some become less noticeable over time (pvd's). Some get worse over time. Some are signs of impending disaster, like retinal detachment. Some are treatable, some are not.

If it's the kind that's treatable, it's called a vitrectomy, and it's damned invasive. It also brings along its own risks. Here, you can go watch one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ-BK9cKJ4w


If anybody gets new floaters, or more floaters, go see an eye doctor. Don't wait a week.

Yes, I'm an eye doctor.


Finest regards,

doug

saltmine
01-09-2014, 08:03 PM
My youngest brother suffered from "floaters". But the ophthalmologist said they were the result of his diabetes. He once told me he had a difficult time detecting red traffic lights because the fluid inside his eyes was tinted with blood....probably from the same source. Of course, he had problems with his extremities and liver failure before God decided to call him home. He lived to be 45 years old.

jimwill48
01-14-2014, 01:44 PM
Have quite a few floaters in both eyes. They bother me the most when I'm using a microscope....

AD5MB
01-14-2014, 06:24 PM
In the '80s, if you described floaters around people who did not see floaters someone would chant the mantra of the 80's, "Oh my God he must be on druuuuggs"

an explanation by a known sober, erudite and articulate individual would not stop the chanting of the mantra.

KIMFAB
01-14-2014, 09:24 PM
I get that optic migraine thing too.
Starts on the left and progresses across as a loop till I can't see decently.
Was also told nothing can be done. Happened twice in one day, usually a month or so between.

I find if I stop and take two aspirin and sit quietly in a dark area it goes away within 10 or 15 minutes.

andywander
01-15-2014, 12:47 AM
I got floaters about 20 years ago after getting hit in the eye in a karate class. It was really annoying for a while, but I got used to it.

Of course, my glasses are about 10 years old now, so it's hard to tell if I am seeing floaters or just scratches on the glasses.