Saturday, April 03, 2010

Float like a butterfly, er, mosquito

When I went to get my vision checked in November last year, the optometrist referred me to an ophthalmologist to check out "some things going on" in my eyes.  Both doctors mentioned the presence of "floaters." Since the floaters weren't in my line of vision, and since the doctors told me they were very common, I wasn't the least bit concerned.

All that changed late Thursday night.  A new floater popped up, one that appears to be hovering about three inches in front and just to the right of my right eye.  It's a group of little black "threads" that have joined together to look like a side view of a fairly large mosquito.  I've known a couple of other people who have had floaters, and they've told me, "Eventually, I got used to it."  I'm counting on that.

In the meantime, it's driving me insane.  I never realized how many tiny eye movements are involved in the routine business of life, but there are thousands of them. And with each little upward or downward or left-to-right flicker, this bug-thing darts in front of me.  Have you ever used a computer mouse that wasn't adjusted correctly so that the slightest movement of the mouse made the cursor jump clear across the screen?  That's how this floater moves.

It's distracting when I read, although its position keeps it from blocking the words I need to see.    If I'm reading the left-hand page of a book, the floater flutters around on the right-hand page.  If I'm reading the right-hand page, the floater crawls around on my hand.  It flies all over the place when I'm looking at the computer screen.

Yesterday, after drinking a cold Diet Coke, I glanced into the glass and saw a "bug" sitting on the pile of ice cubes.   I moved my eyes and, in my peripheral vision, saw it fly away.

The floater is much less noticeable when I watch TV as it seems to get lost in the motion.  I noticed the same thing yesterday when I was driving; it didn't bother me at all.  Maybe I need to do more things that involve movement.

Or maybe I'll just wait and see if I get used to it.

Doctors who advertise on television fascinate me.  They are probably quite competent in the performance of their professional services, but often their amateurish commercials make them seem to lack confidence.

On the other hand, there's one local eye surgeon who speaks with assurance of his abilities and of his experience:  "more than 20,000 Lasik surgeries."  He makes me believe he's  probably quite good at what he does.  Still, there's just something about him...


  1. I also have to see an Ophthalmologist for the same reason. The floaters got on my nerves in the beginning but I did get used to them and they eventually go away....for a while....then new ones appear. I have been told on good authority not to worry, so I'm not going to. My biggest fear is macular degeneration. With my love of reading, it would be so cruel to lose my I don't think about it. I just go every 6 months to get my eyes checked and put my faith in the ones who know all about this stuff. As it is, I'm very near sighted and always have been. (thank God for contacts)
    LOL, looking at that "doctor's" picture, I wouldn't let him operate on me if HE paid ME. He looks a bit deranged to me.
    Take care.

  2. Velvet, I'm so glad to see you back! But I'm really sorry about the floaters...they sound so distracting! I don't know if I could get used to them, although I've been told there is little else I could do in your situation.

    I hope it doesn't keep you from writing more...

  3. Velvet, you have been missed! While I'm most sorry to hear of your floaters... I have them too... so annoying to swat at a bug that isn't there. I feel that I look crazy!

    But the photo.... has me rolling in laughter!

    Hope you are otherwise well and enjoying the new addition to the family!

  4. Val, the fear of suddenly becoming unable to read is a big one for me, too. Since writing this post, I've also started having flashes of light in the same eye, so I've followed the directions of the Internet and placed a call to the eye doctor. I'm waiting for the nurse to call me back and hoping she'll tell me it's just an age-related thing and not the retinal tear the Internet warns about.

    Marion, I'm not used to it yet, but it does seem to be getting better each day. I think the only thing that keeps me from writing is a mile-wide lazy streak.

    Holly, you're young to have floaters. Did you have an eye injury at some time?

    As for the photo, I'm glad some of you share my twisted sense of humor.

  5. I've had floaters for a long time, and sometimes I amuse myself by moving them around by moving my eyes. I lead a very dull life. But I also shoo away "bugs" before I realize they're floaters.

  6. btw, that doctor is scary!

  7. Janet, you're not alone. By the second day I was practicing making my floater go around in a circle.


Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.