Friday, January 16, 2009

My Floater - Nesdoly

The Grinch, Nature or Old Age gave me a gift on Christmas Eve. I first noticed it as a darting spot on the computer screen when I checked my email.


I rubbed my eyes, blinked numerous times then looked at the monitor again. It hadn't gone away. Instead it hovered right beside the words I was reading and then, the second I moved my eyeball to see what it really was, darted away like a mischievous child.

Now I'd had visual impostors before. Floaters, they're called. Always in the past they had drifted through my visual field - occasional lazy black snowflakes that just disappeared. This was different.

Since I had no pain and could easily function I ignored the nuisance through a hectic Christmas day. However, when it was still there on the 26th I decided to do some deeper sleuthing.

Googling "visual spots" and "retina" yielded some alarming possibilities - retinal tears, detachment, blurry vision, vision loss. Frightened, I made an ASAP appointment with a local optometry clinic.

The result was a relief. A floater it was, though a big one, the optometrist said. The bad news, it will hang around indefinitely. More good news, our brains typically weary of registering such non-objects, learn to ignore them and we become oblivious to their presence. Unfortunately my brain isn't there yet.

This constant companion brought to mind a little poem I memorized as a kid. Here it is, modified just a tad to fit my situation.

My Floater
(With apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson)

I have a little floater that goes in and out with me
And what can be the use of her is more than I can see.
She is very very jumpy like a little black fruit fly
As she swoops and flits and quivers 'round the corner of my eye.

The funniest thing about her is the way she never stares
me full face-on but rather lurks beside me unawares
like a glass chip in a window, cobweb fragment, spot or thread
she’s a bit of protein darting through the humor of my head.

She hasn’t got a notion of how floaters shouldn’t stay
within one’s line of vision but should gently drift away.
The way she hovers near me, paranoia it must be
I’d think shame to stick to anyone like floater sticks to me.

Perhaps one morning early when my desktop is alight
I’ll rise and find my page displays without a spot in sight.
My annoying little floater will be nowhere about
because my brain has finally figured how to tune her out!

© 2009 by Violet Nesdoly

Visit Violet's blogs:
Personal - promptings
Writerly - Line upon line
Murals - Murals and More
Daily devotions for kids - Bible Drive-Thru


Dorene Meyer said...

Hi Violet,
Thanks for sharing that. I have one of those in my left eye - doctor said it would go away in a year or so - it's be about three so far. Mostly, I can tune it out - worse on bright days or when I'm tired - or when I'm thinking about it - like now (smile).
Enjoyed the poem.

Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. said...

People who are nearsighted are more prone to eye floaters. Excessive computer use or near work may contribute to the onset of floaters as well. As one ages, the vitreous gel (which helps maintain the shape of the eye) starts to liquefy, adding more stress on the connective tissue between the vitreous sac and retina, thereby increasing one’s risk of getting eye floaters.

Sometimes an eye floater may be simply debri left over from fetal development where blood vessels no longer needed did not completely dissolve, leaving bits of debri in the vitreous gel. This debri may have just been out of "field of focus", then for whatever reason floated into view.

Anyone experiencing a sudden increase in eye floaters should get examined by their eye doctor.

Diet, lifestyle, and specific nutrient supplementation can play a role in preventing eye floaters.

Based on Chinese medicine, there is an energetic system within the eyes that slowly works on breaking down the eye floaters. This energetic system can be enhanced by cleansing and tonifying the Liver (meridian). The Liver meridian in Chinese medicine “opens to the eyes”, and is the main channel of energy responsible for overall healthy vision.

For more information on eye floaters and ways they may be prevented and possibly helped, go to Natural Eye Care for Floaters

violet said...

Oh my, what a can of worms - or should I say, liverful of floaters. Dorene, what surprised me is how many people, like you, tell me they have the same thing. This is much more common than I knew before I became one of the initiated.

Peter Black said...

Ah, yes, Violet -- a can of worms!
I've had floaters for decades, and some vaguely resemble worms or polywogs because of the little tails that float behind them.

Great treatment on the poem, too. Creased my face with a chuckle and a smile.

Shady Grove Eye Vision Care said...

Most spots and floaters in the eye are harmless and merely annoying. Many will fade over time and become less bothersome. People sometimes are interested in surgery to remove floaters, but doctors are willing to perform such surgery only in rare instances.

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