Monday, February 18, 2008

Eye Floaters

Now there are two types of floaters, the nasty one's you sometimes find floating in the toilet or local swimming pool, and the ones that you get in your eyes. The ones I'm talking about here are the latter of the two.
I've had floaters in my eyes for around 6 years or so now. I first noticed what appeared to be a dark strand one day when I was working at my PC. I figured it might go away, it didn't. When I had my regular eye examination I mentioned this and I was told that there's not a great deal that can be done about them, in fact even my optician has a problem with them. Anyway gradually over the years the problem has gotten worse so now both eyes have floaters of varying types.
Some appear dark and others looks like strands made up of little translucent bubbles, some twisted and knotted. In bright light or looking at my PC screen these can be extremely annoying and distracting and some days they really do depress me. Other days I seem to be able to forget about them if I try, but once you notice them you're following them as they drift about in your vision. In subdued light you rarely notice them, so watching TV etc... is normally fine for me.
What Eye Floaters are are particles that are drifting around in the vitreous liquid of the eye, and as light comes in your eye they're casting a shadow on the back of your eye that the retina picks up.
The picture above should give some sort of example of what these floaters look like.
In my most recent eye exam my actual eye sight had barely changed, with my glasses I can see fine, but these floaters are a huge pain that I wish could be cured.
I've heard there is an operation but it's only done as a last resort in extreme cases, they drain the vitreous from the eye and replace it I believe, I've also read that only about 2 surgeons world wide use a laser to break down the particles into tiny particles so they become less obvious in your eye sight.Now I've heard stories of people waking up and suddenly a floater has gone, drifted off and become stuck to the side of the eye, I'm hoping that eventually some of mine might do this, but then again they may just be replaced by new ones.
Oh well something I have to put up with, just wondering if anyone else out there who posts here suffers from this quite common problem.

21 comments:

paulhd said...

Oh wow. Yes, I have noticed these, I never knew it was an actual 'thing'. Can't say I suffer from it so much, just every now and then I notice little shadows drifting. Frankly I'm just glad it's not weird little eye insects skating around.

Dylan said...

I've got em too Alan. I notice them on sunny days and when looking at a white bit on the monitor, and on a page. Seem to notice them when you first look at something bright or move your eyes onto it. Scared myself silly looking up stuff about them on the internet too. Only noticed mine last year, so about the time you got yours.

Dylan said...

Sorry put down alan instead of Andrew, Andrew. Been talking to my neighbour, Alan, about replacing the window in the frontdoor to the flats, which some yobs kindly smashed at about 2am Saturday night.

Graeme Neil Reid said...

You got me staring at the wall now waiting to see if I've got any. My eyesight is shot to hell and I'm in a long, long battle with my wife to persuade her that getting them fixed with lasers is a good idea. She's not sure about the whole thing and I guess there is always some sort of doubt in your mind. Can't say I've had your floaters problem though, I am going cock eyed looking for them though :)

Andrew Glazebrook said...

My eyesight is shot to hell to, I blame the publishers of Razzle, Mayfair and Big Jugs monthly !
You'd know if you had eye floaters, they're a pain in the ass !

Michael G Clark said...

I don't have them, I've got annoyingly good fighter pilot, grade A, eyesight.

It's the rest of me that doesn't work.

Gerard said...

That's a little freaky, I always thought they where like micro organsim's swmimming around other floaters in my eye, I've only noticed them in extreme sun light but not in recent years, other items i've had floating in my eyes include, molten white metal, super glue and resin catalyst to name but a few so I may have scared them off

Fraser Lovatt said...

I have those too -- I was worried about it initially (since eye problems can often be an indicator of something more serious) and then went to the optician who said exactly what yours said -- there's not a lot that can be done.

Since then, I think one has vanished, and another has gotten more distinct. I think it depends on how tired I am, and also I think I've developed a bit of a cognitive filter so I don't notice them so much any more.

It's just part of getting old!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

As you say Fraser it's worth getting them checked in case there's a bigger problem that may arise. Last eye check I had he put drops in my eyes to dilate the pupils wide so he could have a good look around. Trouble is it blurs your vision for a while, but the worst part was when I went outside into the sun my eyes couldn't dilate to adjust to the bright light, so I walked home squinting and looking at the floor because it was way to bright to look up.

allen said...

I had that in high school through early college in my right eye. The thing I hated most about it was that it seemed to track slowly as I moved my eye around. There was always a delay in it's movement. Then one day, it was gone. I just remembered once realizing that it was gone. Mine lasted only only a few years and was just a squiggly line shape, so I can only imaging the horror your are going through.

Last time I had my eyes dialated they gave me paper glasses with tinted plastic lenses...they were extremely embarrassing to have on in public...

I. N. J. Culbard said...

I've had floaters my whole life.

I have 20/20 vision although I recently suffered from exhaustion (having only slept 3 hrs a night for 2 yrs) and my eyesight started to go and ever since I recovered from that my eyesights not been quite as good as it was, still no need for glasses, but it just ain't the same. Never really found the floaters to be a pain in the hoop, but then that's likely because I've never known any different.

Steve said...

Where I come from floaters were no.2's that refused to flush away no matter how many times or how hard you pulled the toilet handle...

Moonwatcher said...

My mate from my last job has these, he said they're annoying, he get migraines too where he gets flashing lights in his eyes. My eyes aren't bad vision wise, I've had glasses for 15 or so years and my eyes have only got a bit worse in that time, I'm long sighted.

Natalie said...

I wonder if your missing socks are pooping floaters into your eyes while you sleep.

I have one in my right eye that has been there for twelve years. It looks like a noose.

I can't have just plain old annoying floaters. No, mine have to be morbid.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Wow Natalie,designer floaters ! There could be a market in that. I want ones that look like Albino Ferrets with cowboy hats riding scooters !

Terry said...

Blimey...yeah, I've watched em since I was a kiddie. Used to think they were actual atoma and molecules in the air, I think I kinda preferred that explanation! Got a ton of em in both eyes - and I'm a sci-fi artist, so maybe theres a link??

James said...

I specialize in treating these annoying eye floaters. I can't treat everyone but I'm getting great results for those I do treat. I'm a Board certified ophthalmologist and I use a YAG laser. My web site is all about eye floaters: http://www.vitreousfloatersolutions.com

ahh...eye floaters said...

hi im 14 and i have a bunch of floaters from getting popped in the eye by an elbow. i have it checked out 2wice both times had my pupils dialated. everyone tells me then that im fine and the floaters are nothing to worry about. i just wish i could stop thinkin bout them but its kinda hard when there always dangling right there...what do you think?

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I'm sure if you've had them checked out by a fully qualified optician and they say it's fine then don't worry. Eye floaters are more of an annoyance than anything else, some days they'll be more annoying than others !!!

satisfEYEd said...

@ahh...eyefloaters, I have a section on my website dedicated to eye floaters in young people: VitreousFloaterSolutions.com/youngfloaters.html

@Andrew Glazebrook: Floaters are benign, but they contribute to persistent distraction and common to have anxiety, depression associated with them as well.

Pooja said...

Eye floaters also known as vitreous floaters which fill up the back 3/4ths of a person’s eye and hence one can observe small shadows on the retina. To individuals eye floaters appear alike tiny flecks, cobweb or cloud-like formation. There are two ways for removal of eye floaters known as vitrectomy and
laser Treatment. Laser treatment is more accurate than vitrectomy. For more details refer eye floaters treatment