Floaters: Help Me Understand Them

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Billy, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Billy

    Billy Guest

    Hi. I just turned 40 and suddenly I started seeing a persistent floater
    last week. It started as a spec flying around in front of my one eye.
    I've noticed this spec for brief moments in the past but it alway
    disappeared. Since the onset of the persistent floater last week, the
    shape and clarity of it has changed in this short timeframe. Why? I
    dont know. It began as a spec on 12/25. Now, it has evolved into a
    larger spec with less clarity but with somewhat of a hair like thread
    attached to it.

    At first, I tried to think of causes.....I'd been sick for the last
    three weeks with a hacking persistent cough (unusual for this long for
    me) and it finally subsided after coughing my "eyeballs" out for a
    while. I also started a vigorous exersize program of running just this
    year. This consists of a whole lot of "stomps" as I run, maybe shaking
    my eyes or brain around too much. hehehe. I also have chewed sugarless
    gum for 6 years straight since I gave up smoking...alot of the
    gum....where the main ingredient is sorbitol. I remember reading just
    about a year ago on Wikipedia that Sorbitol can affect the cells of the
    eye. I'm really interested in knowing more about what exactly Sorbitol
    does to your vision, and what "cells" they refer to. I'm awfully
    suspicious about this being a cause.

    Anyway, I go to my Eye M.D. at a prestigious well known local medical
    group. They dialate my own affected eye and teh pupil enlarges. I start
    to see blurry in that eye and the floater is almost not apparent
    anymore. The M.D. does the checkup and finds the floater. Retina and
    Optic nerve are in excellent condition. When the pupils go back to
    normal the floater is back.

    This is really bothering me. It's annoying as I do computer work all
    day. When I look at people it's like I have a built in black dot laser
    pointer floating in their face. It's stupid. I want to completely
    elimate it even though I understand that they are permanant. I'm not
    sure as to all I read how my brain will get used to them, or how they
    could ever float out of the line of sight.

    Here is now how I intend to solve this issue: by understanding it
    fully, then applying solutions based on that understanding. I learned
    in this short week that when my pupils are more dialated, the floater
    is less apparent. In a darker room, it's non-existent. In the sun, it's
    even there when I close my eye, My goal is to find a way to elimate
    bright light into my eyes at all or most of the time. I will seek to
    determine if prescription sunglases (the ones that change
    automatically) are something for me to consider. Even while working
    indoors on the computer I would wear them.

    Why my pupil size would eliminate or increase a floater's visibility is
    beyond me, but it does.

    Another thing I heard is to train one eye to read instead of the
    floater eye. I dont know if my brain is strong enough to do that, but
    it's worth some practice.

    Anyone with a story of how they cured or ignored their floater to the
    point of near invisibility is what I'd love to hear.

    I also read that there may be special glasses that help elimate the
    floater. Maybe a darker glass on one eye. That would stink but if it
    resolves then I'd be very happy. Just can't live well with this.
    Billy, Jan 3, 2007
  2. Billy

    Fidelis K Guest

    It's not a good idea to wear dark sunglasses for computer work.
    When the pupil is dialated, you lose focus in the near vision. Hence,
    floaters become less noticeable.
    The only way to eliminate floaters is to have vitrectomy, which is a major
    eye surgery. No retina surgeon would perform vitrectomy to eliminate
    floaters unless they significantly blocked the patient's vision.
    You have to live with it. Unfortunately, as you age, you are likely to get
    more floaters. I have several floaters. They used to bother me, but not any
    Fidelis K, Jan 4, 2007
  3. He specified changeable lenses, like photogrey or Transitions, which are
    fine for computer work.
    That is not the reason, as floaters are always more or less in focus to
    the same extent, regardless of pupil size. The reason he notices them
    less in the dark is they are formed by (strong) light casting shadows on
    the retina. Less light, less noticeable floaters.
    An interesting idea. I see no reason he couldn't try that if they
    bothered him enough. Just take an old pair of glasses and have a lab
    tint one lens for you (the one with the worst floaters).

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Jan 4, 2007
  4. Billy

    Billy Guest

    Thanks for the info. Ok this is a little bit Sci-Fi, but here goes.....

    Yes, I was thinking that maybe some genius MD would invent special
    glasses that would eliminate the light that causes the floater. You say
    it's from shadows cast by light on the retina. Well, how about a pair
    of glasses that would somehow artifically mirror the floater on the
    lens on your glasses, with the intelligence to follow it on your
    eyeglass lens as it moves in your eye. The exact shape and size of the
    floater would be molded for you from a retina scan and some type of
    computer/laser measuring/shaping technology used by the doc. The
    floating spec on the eyeglass lens would block the light to the part of
    the retina that allows the shadow to be cast to produce the floater,
    thereby supressing it' visibility.
    Billy, Jan 4, 2007
  5. Billy

    Fidelis K Guest

    W. Tracy wrote in a galaxy far far away...
    Your reply is true under normal circumstances. However, the original poster was curious about why his floater was less noticeable after his pupil had been dialated **with drops by the eye doc.** After a dialated fundus exam, one's near vision is unfocused and blurry. Thus, despite more light coming into the eye and casting the shadow on the retina, one cannot see floaters clearly.
    Fidelis K, Jan 4, 2007

  6. Kind of like that sound neutralizing stuff? No such technology exists,
    but I'm sure someday, someone will do something like that.
    William Stacy, O.D., Jan 4, 2007
  7. Fidelis K wrote:

    4 However, the original
    No, the floaters will be quite visible against a well lit featureless
    background with his eyes fully dilated and cyclopleged. They are
    positioned quite close to the retina, so focusing is not an issue at
    all. They would only be out of focus if they were located anteriorly,
    near the front of the eye.

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, O.D., Jan 4, 2007
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