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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Eye diseases (Ophthalmology)

Question: Somethings in my eye!

natureschild1961 - Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:55 am

For several years, I have had something in my eye that is really bugging me. It started out looking like a small clear string. Then, over time, the small clear string has grown and become "knotted:, just as if you had knotted a piece of string in places. It "loops" around, knots again, and now has little dangly strings hanging from it. I notice it most when looking at a white or light object. I also have 2 more, much smaller but not yet "knotted". Any ideas as to what these are? I asked at my last Optical visit, but Dr. just brushed it off. It really bugs me --- not slightlty, but big time because it is always floating around in my vision!
Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:21 pm

Dear natureschild1961,
You are description it appears that you have what are known as eye floaters. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.

Floaters may look like specks, strands, webs or other shapes. Actually, what you are seeing are the shadows of floaters cast on the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye.

For most people, floaters occur as they grow older. The vitreous humor thickens and clumps as we age, and floaters result from the clumped vitreous gel. Eye injury or breakdown of the vitreous humor may also cause spots and floaters.

This is more common in people who are:
    have undergone cataract operations;
    have had YAG laser surgery of the eye;
    have had inflammation inside the eye.

Most spots and eye floaters are merely annoying but harmless when they temporarily enter the field of vision, and many fade over time.
If you suddenly see new floaters, or eye floaters accompanied by flashes of light or peripheral vision loss, it could indicate serious conditions such as diabetic retinopathy; vascular abnormalities such as retinal hemorrhages or carotid artery disease, or the beginning of a retinal detachment. You should see your eye doctor immediately.
Best regards,

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