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.
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 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.
I've also heard of visual snow, which seems to be related to migraines.
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.
“Have you seen a doctor?”
“No, just spots.”
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.
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.