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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I have some floating black dots in my right eye that appeared

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I have some floating black dots in my right eye that appeared this morning. Should I see my eye doctor or my medical doctor
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.


Your symptoms sound consistent with what are called vitreous floaters. These floating spots or "bugs" as some people call them, are tiny pieces of the vitreous jelly that occupies a large amount of the volume of the back of the eye. This vitreous jelly, when we're born, is the consistency of a jello jiggler (thick jello). As we age it liquifies and becomes more fibrous bands and water.


Because of this liquification and the resultant fibrous bands that are left, there becomes more points of traction that the jelly exerts on the back of the eye where it is attached. As we move our eyes in different directions and as our pupils change shape, or even as we rub our eyes, some of these bands can become unattached from the back of the eye and a piece of it floats around, attached still to the rest of the jelly. These vitreous floaters do tend to happen more the older we get, but can happen at a young age. Sometimes they can happen with pressure transmitted to the eyes, and can even cause a ruptured blood vessel, causing blood to accumulate in the vitreous cavity.


Unfortunately, there is nothing that really can be done to definitively rid yourself of these floaters besides major surgery. Therefore, surgery to remove these floating spots is usually reserved for when they floaters are large or are significantly disrupting your vision and causing problems in your life. Thankfully, these floaters usually tend to get "better" in that either: 1) the brain learns how to ignore them, or 2) they break up somewhat, or 3) they drift out of your view. One of the most important things to understand about floaters is that the process of a new floater happening can rarely lead to a retinal detachment, so it is important to know the 4 signs of a possible retinal detachment. These are: 1. sudden increase in or new floaters, 2. flashing or arcing lights that are persistent and not going away, 3. a shade/shadow/spot in your vision that you can't see light through, or 4. a large drop in your vision which doesn't improve after a few minutes. For any of these symptoms you must see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.


If you are experiencing flashing lights, or if there is part of your vision that you're not seeing light through or much less light or if there is no improvement in these symptoms in the next few days, then I would recommend you see an eye doctor, because that would mean your risk for a retinal detachment would be higher.


Does that make sense and does it help answer your question?


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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.

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