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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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Last night when I woke up randomly, I looked at the ceiling

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Last night when I woke up randomly, I looked at the ceiling and saw many tiny spiky looking things moving around in my vision. I've been able to reproduce this effect when looking at a bright white screen in a dark room while focusing out. I can see many small spikey objects moving and spinning in circles over my eye. It's really freaking me out, any help?? My eyes feel and look fine on the outside, but I wear contacts so might it be an eye infection?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 6 years ago.
Hello,

The spiky looking things are likely floaters. You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes. Over time it liquefies and can sometimes clump together. When you look in the light, you see the shadows of these things and see them as floaters. Floaters are generally not a problem, though they can be annoying.

New floaters can be an indication of a retinal problem, such as a hole or tear. It is recommended you have a full dilated eye exam to check for any problems.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightening storm, arc of light), or a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.

Remember to press the green ACCEPT button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question and feel free to ask any additional follow up questions.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So floaters can spin in circles constantly, and move around on each other? It almost looks like a big pile of insects crawling on each other which is freaking me out, making me think it's a parasite infection or something. Is seeing 30-40 of them floating around together normal?
Expert:  Dr. James replied 6 years ago.

Yes, what you describe can be floaters. Sometimes bleeding in the eyes can have a similar appearance as well. If you have diabetes, then bleeding inside the eyes are not uncommon. Though it looks like insects or parasites, this is not the case. I'd recommend you see your eye doctor for a dilated exam to look inside your eyes.
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