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The Joy That is Floaters

The Joy That is Floaters

The way I understand it, we have this gel in our eyes that kinda holds everything in place and helps give our eyes their round shape. It’s called vitreous gel and eventually, everyone’s comes loose… pretty much like all the rest of our body parts as we age. Ha, even our eyes start to sag!

What are floaters?

Well, when that happens, the gel doesn’t disappear, it just starts floating around inside our eyeballs and creates weird shape things that float around in our field of vision. These weird things can be black or clear. They remind me of amoebas floating around under a microscope.

Lucky me

Well, since I am so lucky and special, my super myopic eyes caused my vitreous gel to detach about 40 years too soon. So, I get to enjoy my floaters much longer than most. Yay. At least detached vitreous gel isn’t harmful. In fact, for extreme myops, it can be good because it means our risk for retinal tears lowers to almost none. The gel can’t tear down the retina if it’s no longer attached to it.

Floaters are nothing to worry about

Over the years, I’ve learned that floaters are really nothing to worry about. They’re not a sign of a progression of my macular degeneration, though when I first started getting them, I thought they were. That is a relief to know.

Quick Tip: It’s important to mention that floaters that look like pepper floating around, a dark curtain coming in from any direction, or flashes of lights can definitely be a sign of a problem. If you’re seeing any of these things, it is important to see your doctor right away.

Surprise! Floaters love to come out of nowhere

Floaters love to come out of nowhere. I remember once I flipped my head upside down to dry the underside of my hair… flipped my head back over and I had a new ‘friend’. Great. This is my biggest and darkest floater too. It looks like a little worm.

Strangely enough, I only seem to ‘see’ my floaters when there is a light-colored background. For example, the whiteboard in my classroom or the blue sky while I’m driving. I also notice them when I think about them… so good thing I decided to write about floaters today. I’ve missed them since my drive home from work! I am really glad, though, that most of the time I don’t notice my floaters. They’re really pretty annoying and a reminder that my eyes aren’t ‘normal’.

Because I’m easily entertained and choose to laugh

Sometimes I find myself accidentally moving my eyeballs all around watching my floaters. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s kind of like when your three year old falls asleep and 30 minutes later you realize you’re still watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Floaters are weird to watch because they always seem to be in slow-mo. The faster my eyeballs move, the slower they seem to trail across my field of vision. Don’t judge me, if you have floaters you’ve probably done it too! I won’t tell.

I hope that this helps clear up some questions you may have about floaters…and maybe you even chuckled about them a little bit. Gotta laugh or we’ll cry, right?

Keep swimming,

Andrea Junge

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Linda C Moore
    3 months ago

    Hi, Andrea. I was minding my own business some months after cataract surgery when all of a sudden I had a swarm of bug-like floaters along with their cobwebs! And some flashing lights in the corner! Scared the … out of me. This was before I knew that I’d had a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) which sometimes happens after cataract surgery. The other eye followed after the second cataract surgery. Because I didn’t know what it was, I had my eye specialist check it out. He explained that the new lens is smaller than the natural lens that was removed.I’d already had some changes in the vitreous from age (isn’t everything not fun due to age?). The vitreous shifted and the flashes were from it tugging on the retina. Thank goodness it wasn’t a retinal detachment (thanks for putting the symptoms of that in your article. They need quick attention! Thank goodness things settled down and left me with only a few floaters and occasional flashes of light. I have some cloud-like floaters that pass over my visual field. Against a solid blue sky, they DO look like clouds!
    Thanks again for a great article. Glad you’re easily entertained. Some of the best people are! ::smile::

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