Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
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.
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.
Here is a video of the actual surgery to remove floaters:
Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles. Thanks in advance, Dr. Rick
Hi. Welcome to chat.
Do you have any other questions for me?
I see that you are typing and that could mean a couple of things: 1. you are actually typing or, 2, the chat system has frozen up. I'll give it a few more minutes and if I've not seen anything from you I'll switch over to the Q&A system. That system works a lot like 'text messaging' but, unlike the chat system, it almost never freezes up. We can continue to work on your question there. :o)
So chances are, this will go away on its own? I will definitely go see my doctor to make sure there are no other issues. I was worried that it could be macular degeneration.
That's good to hear. Lastly, it is much bigger than a normal floater and even though I cannot focus on it since it moves away, and it is not in my center of vision, it does seem to distort the vision within the floater. Every where else around it is fine. Not sure if this makes any difference but i wanted to make sure.I appreciate and thank you for your time on answering my questions.
If I look left, it moves left, if I look right, it moves right. It is always to the left of center. It does not move to any other part of my vision.No it has not gotten bigger It is exactly the same size.
Yes, it makes sense. I will be going to the doctor today. Thanks you!
Went ot the ophthalmologist, eye was dilated, Doctor said he could not find any evidence of a detached retina. My retina looks exactly as it did back in August 2012, healthy. He said it was most likely PVD which you stated above. I was very relieved to say the least.