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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10787
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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As I was playing squash today, I noticed a black dot floating

Customer Question

As I was playing squash today, I noticed a black dot floating into my field of view.
It was moving towards the center, and then quickly back to the right.
Initially I thought my glasses were dirty, but unfortunately it persists.
What is that? Is it serious? Will it go away?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

You are likely experiencing a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, a common event that happens in many people.

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may see.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam is precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightning storm), 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.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

Good Evening and welcome to chat. I was just working on your question.

Dr. Rick :

What can you do about the floaters? Well, floaters don't go away, and they don't really get worse. Over time they tend to "sink" out of your central vision and you brain "filters" them out so you don't notice them so much anymore. They almost never cause significant visual problems except, of course, if they cause a secondary retinal detachment as discussed above. The only way to decrease or remove the floaters is with a major surgery called a vitrectomy. As a retinal specialist for almost 2 decades I've only done this procedure to remove floaters in a handful of cases.


 

Dr. Rick :

Are you there?

Customer:

Yes, I've been reading the answer.

Customer:

So, I'm stuck with this for the rest of my life?

Dr. Rick :

I've had one in my left eye since I was 25 years old and I almost never even notice it anymore......

Customer:

It's like a fly, actually breaking my concentration.

Dr. Rick :

You can have a vitrectomy surgery to have it removed but as a retina surgeon myself I wouldn't have it done to my eye to get rid of a floater....the risks are just too high.

Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you