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Here is a tip from someone who lost his sight last year: If you suddenly see little black spots, don't f&##^ing wait and get your eye(s) checked out by a specialist at once! Have a deadline? A demanding client? Or perhaps it's just a really bad headache? Don't wait.

I literally waited a whole week and thats waaaay to long and saw the curtain close (literally, that's what it looks like: a curtain closing). Finally (and only thanks to my experience with inplant-contactlenses that made the doctor confident I would be able to hold still like a statue when they insert 3 or 4 metal tubes in your freaking eye with only local anesthetics). My eye was fully drained and I was operated at midnight. The nice thing about local anestetics is you'll get to see everything.

After 4 weeks I was able to see again. Another 4 weeks and my brain had made the new 'connections' linking my left and right eye. When I started seeing little black spots with my other eye (half a year later) I took immediate action and dropped everything. The doctors were able to use a laser to burn/isolate the distortion and prefented my retina from ripping up.

TLDR: DO - NOT - WAIT. Drop everything when you see black spots that remain constant. Regular doctors can't help you, even specialists have difficulty finding the little holes in your eye.




Seriously everyone, heed that advice. Don't wait.

Both of my father's retina detached and the only reason he can see today is because he got to the specialist in time for them to fix it. A matter of days can make the difference of vision for the rest of your life. Persistent black spots that "float" around your field of vision need to get checked out ASAP.


I've had several black spots that float around in my vision for over a year now. Is that a sign of retinal detachment? I visited the doctor and he said eye floaters were normal and people with myopia were prone to getting eye floaters.


My understanding is floaters are quite common and many in the population suffer from them. I've had them for a few years, I visited my optician and he said not to worry, and he could actually 'see' the floaters when he looked at my eye (it's litereally bit of debris floating about in there) so he knew it wasn't anything serious like a retinal tear. He said only if there is a rapid increase in them should I seek emergency medical assistance.

I think it's like many symptoms; the first time you should certainly seek a medical check ASAP to ensure it's not a symptom of a more serious underlying cause; but it should be cause for serious worry. I don't think you can walk around with retinal detachment for a year.


You are correct: Floaters are normal. Fixed spots are not. Floaters, well they float. You can easily see the difference when you look left and quickly look right. Floaters keep moving a bit because of the motion. Try it in front of a clear blue sky or white wall for best results.


Floaters can be a real annoyance. I managed to damage my right eye from over focusing four months ago. I now have a brown floater that takes up about 5% of the right eye's vision. Fortunately it doesn't settle directly in my line of focus, but manages to swing by when I shift my vision. Very distracting. It becomes very noticeable in daylight, as it appears that there are many fine threads connected to it that span the lower quarter of my vision.


Wow, I get this, but very minor (the bits are mostly transparent and really small, but I can see them looking at the sky). I didn't know for sure whether they were physical objects or something in my mind, but they way they moved made me think they must be physical. Good to know that's actually a thing!


These are white blood cells moving in the capillaries in front of the retina of the eye.


Those are simply nerves that run in the eye, everyone has them.


They're often just very small dust particles and minor variations in the thickness of the fluid coating the cornea as well. Those would be the ones that seem to float gently downward (sometimes almost forcing you to try to follow them, which is, of course, impossible) but which tend to reestablish their position after every blink. Annoying, but that's all.


IIRC the really small white ones that you see when looking up at a blue sky are actually white blood cells in the arteries on the inner surface of your eyeball.


It's called 'blue field entoptic phenomenon.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_field_entoptic_phenomenon


Yes, Blue field entoptic phenomenon is the name.

I've also heard of visual snow, which seems to be related to migraines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_field_entoptic_phenomenon

http://f1000.com/posters/browse/summary/1090714


There are also distortions that can seem cataracts like when you wake up. That's just a residue/film on your eye that gets rehydrated and cleaned up as you wake up, it's not a cataract.


No, not a detached retina, but get them checked. The first time I had a "floater" was last March. Luckily, I had it checked out. Some blood vessels in the back of my eye were leaking and it was serious enough to require laser surgery. Like someone else said, get them checked the first time and/or if they get worse.


Might be worth seeking a second opinion, or maybe that of a specialist? Certainly can't hurt given what's at stake!


I bet I'm not the only one frantically checking their field of vision for anything resembling black spots after reading this. Glad you recuperated.


Here's a good article on the floating black spots you can experience in your vision: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Floaters/Pages/Introduction.asp...

TLDR; they're pretty common (I've had them for years), but you should go get them checked out if you see a rapid increase in the number of them.


Definitely not; I'm now panicking about the same. The advice is greatly appreciated by those paranoid about losing out eyesight.


“I’ve been seeing spots in front of my eyes.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“No, just spots.”


We aren't talking about those black floaters here, are we? With constant you mean "fixed in position" I suppose.

I think the same thing happened to the author Oliver Sacks, who wrote about it. He noticed it right before Christmas and lost some sight because no doctors were available during the holidays IIRC.


While a sudden increase in floaters could be an indication of a retinal tear/detatchment, so long as they do not continue to increase and aren't directly in your vision (or not easily ignored) you shouldn't worry too much about them.


Yikes... I wonder if there's an equivalent alarming-but-seemingly-innocuous situation for hearing. I'd imagine the analog for this would be something like tinnitus... anybody know?


Any rapid change that you notice in your body should be checked out by a doctor.

Tinnitus is frequently a result of hearing loss, I couldn't tell you if it is ever a precursor.

I have moderate tinnitus in my left ear and also some hearing loss. Tinnitus can be pretty obnoxious, it's one of those weird things that if you concentrate on it, it gets worse.

I'm hopeful for some sort of procedure or drug to someday alleviate it, but for now I just live with it.


I think maybe the same rule of thumb applies to tinnitus; if it starts suddenly without warning and persists then get it checked out. Otherwise, it may be normal. I've had mild tinnitus for years but it never occurs during the day unless I've been listening to very loud music and only rarely happens for a few seconds right before falling asleep. Fortunately, my symptoms also haven't gotten perceptibly worse for the last few years.




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