Eye Floaters_ article

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Applyn59, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Learn About Eye Floaters and Spots-
    Eye Floaters and Spots
    By Judith Lee and Gretchyn Bailey; reviewed by Dr. Vance Thompson
    You may sometimes see small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. They are called floaters. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.
    Floaters may look like specks, strands, webs, or other shapes. Actually, what you are seeing are the shadows of floaters cast on the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye.
    Eye Floaters and Spots Symptoms and Signs
    If a spot or shadowy shape passes in front of your field of vision or to the side, you are seeing a floater. Because they are inside your eye, they move with your eyes when you try to see them. You may also see flashes of light. These flashes occur more often in older people as the vitreous humor thickens and tugs on the light-sensitive retina. They may be a warning sign of a detached retina. Flashes also occur after a blow to the head, often called "seeing stars."
    Eye floaters and spots are usually harmless, but flashes of light may indicate a problem. If you're suddenly seeing spots, floaters, or flashes, get an eye exam to make sure nothing's wrong.
    Some people experience flashes of light that appear as jagged lines or "heat waves" in both eyes, often lasting 10-20 minutes. These types of flashes are usually caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the brain, which is called migraine. If a headache follows the flashes, it is called a migraine headache. However, jagged lines or "heat waves" can occur without a headache. In this case, the light flashes are called ophthalmic migraine, or migraine without headache.
    What Causes Eye Floaters and Spots?
    For most people, floaters occur as they grow older. The vitreous humor thickens and clumps as we age, and floaters result from the clumped vitreous gel. Sometimes pregnant women see spots caused by little bits of protein trapped within the eye. Eye injury or breakdown of the vitreous humor may also cause spots and floaters.
    When people reach middle age, the vitreous gel may start to thicken or shrink, forming clumps or strands inside the eye. The vitreous gel pulls away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment. It is a common cause of floaters, and it is more common for people who:
    * Are nearsighted;
    * Have undergone cataract operations;
    * Have had YAG laser surgery of the eye;
    * Have had inflammation inside the eye.
    Treatment for Spots and Floaters
    Most spots and eye floaters are merely annoying but harmless when they temporarily enter the field of vision, and many fade over time. People sometimes are interested in surgery to remove floaters, but doctors are willing to perform such surgery only in rare instances.
    Cataracts: symptoms & treatment
    Retinal detachment: what to do about it
    If you suddenly see new floaters, or eye floaters accompanied by flashes of light or peripheral vision loss, it could indicate serious conditions such as diabetic retinopathy; vascular abnormalities such as retinal hemorrhages or carotid artery disease, or the beginning of a retinal detachment. The retina can tear if the shrinking vitreous gel pulls away from the wall of the eye. This sometimes causes a small amount of bleeding in the eye that may appear as new floaters. You should see your eyecare practitioner immediately.
  2. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I have asked so many people and none of them
    are aware of their floaters! I cannot believe it.
    I do not dwell on them or focus on them but I see
    them all of the time no matter where I am or what
    I am doing. There is no way to ignore them.
    I asked the eye dr. and he said everyone has them
    but they are not aware! I don't know how you
    can not be aware of them!
  3. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Welcome to middle age!

    The first time a doc referred to me as middle aged i was very shocked...it was recent and a first. But, I guess if the avg woman lives to about 70...we are there...

    Would be easier to take if we hadn't missed the last 5 years or more, eh?!!!

  4. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    It has nothing to do with middle age for me.
    I have had these for ages and ages.

  5. Myth

    Myth New Member

    I always thought the floaters were more common in those of us that are tired all the time. I usually ignore them. I get migraine flashes and auras and really now I see a fuzzy halo around all lights. My vision is very... warpy now, but again I think it is just the sleep deprivation. I plan on going to an eye doc for my double vision but the other things don't concern me much.
    I do have a question though. 'Floaters' are those circles that look as though they are right on your eye and move with your eye. Has anyone seen little sparkes or light (tiny orb particles) all over the place? They pop in and out, zigzag, move right arcross your vision and sometimes collide with each other and bounce away. Some are close by and distinct and others far away and sparkly. But there are hundreds of them. I see these all the time and have always seen them- so they are not migraine or sleep related. They do not move when I move, but just move on their own. Would this be a migraine like thing without the headache? Or could it just be from the fact that i have low blood pressure? Just curious...
    Myth :)
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member


    I didn't realize or remember that.

    I just noticed how the article mentioned that tended to happen in middle age.

    Why do you think you have them?

  7. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    "I always thought the floaters were more common in those of us that are tired all the time. I usually ignore them."

    How can you ignore them??? I see them so much that it's difficult to ignore. I wonder if they are worse with
    stress. Can't remember what the dr. told me.
    I am too stressed out to remember much of anything.

    " do have a question though. 'Floaters' are those circles that look as though they are right on your eye and move with your eye. Has anyone seen little sparkes or light (tiny orb particles) all over the place?"

    My floaters are brown in color and squiggly.
    My "new" floater is translucent but more obstructive
    to my vision.

    Your last question intrigues me. I was talking to
    my eye dr today about these little flecks of mica
    that I see at times. I don't see them as often
    as you by any means. However, I do see them occassionally. When I am outside, I can't tell
    if it's my eyes or particles in the air. I ask
    other people if they see them and they don't ! LOL
    So, it must be in my eye. I wonder if we are talking
    about the same thing.

  8. Myth

    Myth New Member

    Well, with the floaters and such I guess they are hard to ignore. I usually blink alot and rub my eyes and sometimes that helps. They are irritating.
    As for the mystry dots, you are right to me they seem to by outside the eye, but I don't know. They are wierd though. My brother sees them sometimes, but no one else seems to. I see them quite clearly. Maybe my eyes are gimpy and it is effecting how i see the enviroment, beats me- but it sound like you may be seeing something similar. When i make an eye appointment I will definately have to bring it up.
    Myth :)
  9. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    My teen daughter has many of these, and has had since she was old enough to describe them to me. Her eye doctor confirms this. I do not get them (which is odd because very near-sighted people like myself usually do have them) and my daughter used to describe them to me & I didn't know what the heck she was talking about! I'm 47 & still don't have them, but I can confirm from my daughter's experience that younger people get them, too.

  10. skyechild

    skyechild New Member

    I see sparkles for a few minutes after I cough hard or sneeze. And one time when I got really hot and passed out, I saw sparkles. I described it to my eye doc as if someone had thrown handfuls of glitter in front of me. They move all over the place too. He didn't seem concerned. But if it happens when I'm driving, I pull over quick!

    When I start to get a migrane, I see auras, usually a pink haze. If I get Imatrex by that stage, I can usually avoid the full-blown migrane pain.

    I'm also photophobic. That means light sensative. I wear sunglasses all year long, and I don't drive much at night anymore because headlights blind me. If a really bright headlight comes my way, it's like driving in thick fog with your brights on. That can last up to a half hour. If I'm a passenger, I wear my sunglasses at night. **song in my head now** :p

  11. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I am extremely nearsighted. Floaters are common
    with FMS and with Lyme from what I understand.
    Ms, too, I believe.

    The eye dr. thought the shiny flecks could
    be headache related. I don't know.

    I remember when I was a young child that we
    always had to put on towel on my pillow because
    I saw "bugs" all the time. I guess I thought they
    were on the pillow. Beats me.

  12. JQP

    JQP New Member

    generally without the headache. Sometimes when the lines go there is instant pressure relief although I may not have been aware of it in the first place.

    They are very disturbing though and appear from nowhere. I am scared though that one will develop one day when I am driving because of the effect on my vision.

    It is always in my left eye, starts in the middle and eventually pulls fully to the left in the shape of a flashing zig zag 'C', and shortly after goes.

    I had heard of the migraine without the pain, but not with so much detail, so I am very thankful to you for the inforamtion. I am also going to pass it on to my father, and my aunt (his sister) who also suffer.

  13. klarry

    klarry New Member

    I've had floaters since college. I was always told that this is because I am extremely near-sighted. At times they are more bothersome than at other times, but they are there all the time. I also have a rare syndrome, ICE. which caused me to develop glaucoma when I was in my very early fortys. If I had to choose, I would definitely prefer floaters over ICE.
  14. 1by1

    1by1 New Member

    dear all,
    i have had floaters for years and i think i am getting more, or they are just rearranging themselves. you are all right, though; how does the dr. expect you to ignore them? they are a REAL PART of my everday vision!!!!!!! also, one of the eye docs told me once, that they come with lots of stress. no kidding......... anyway, i have had the zig zag lines, too, and my vision is cut off when i have them. i have also heard that those are ocular migranes, too. i don't often get a headache with them, but when the lines go away and my vision is restored, i am really tired.
    hope this helps. lby1
  15. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I was wondering about stress. I have more stress
    right now than ever and they are particularly
    bothersome. I have seen these for at least
    10 years though. I am extremely nearsighted.
    The new floater is a real pain in the neck.
    I thnk my eye dr.told mestress can aggravate
    them, but not sure. He said they change with time.
    Mine don't seem to be going anywhere!

  16. GooGooGirl

    GooGooGirl New Member

    I've had floaters since I was at least 30. I am not always aware of them, more so if I am looking at a large surface that is all one color. But they are so annoying when I can see them! My doctor said they were nothing to worry about. I also saw the zig zag lines in a circle once with flashing lights around it. I thought I was having a stroke or something. I was alone and I was so scared. It was in my left eye and kept moving up and then it was gone. I went to the eye doctor the next day and he said it was an occular migraine. It's actually a hallucination.
    Very strange but even the doctor said he gets them all the time. I never did get the headache, only the zig zags.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/18/2003]