Let me introduce my new pets, Zippy and Boris. I do not have pictures of them, though my eye doctor does have a picture of Boris. Zippy is far too quick for a photograph.
Zippy and Boris don’t require much care, you see, they live in my left eye. Yes, that would be my dominant eye. I’m left handed, left footed, and left eyed.
I have just recently learned about Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Like most of us, I learned about a medical condition by getting it. This isn’t a disease or even a big problem, it’s just part of aging. You see, your eyeball is filled with a jelly-like substance. As you age (especially if you are very myopic, which I am) the eyeball jelly liquefies, and as it liquefies, it shrinks. Liquid takes up less space than jelly. It pulls away from the walls of the eyeball, and it’s fine, as long as it doesn’t take the retina with it, which it will do in a small number of cases (fortunately, not in mine, it’s pretty rare.) This is why you want to visit the eye doctor as soon as you notice it is happening. Retinal detachment can be blinding, and the quicker you catch it the better for you.
How will you know that your vitreous is shrinking? Will you feel a pain, a pulling? No, no pain, no sensation. What will tip you off are those lovely floating spots in your eyes that you can’t make stay still. They run from you every time you look at them, and them creep up when you look away. They are much like city pigeons.
Then there is the light. That annoying, zippy little light. Well, this is how it happened to me.
I got up Monday morning and noticed (like I could ignore it) a big blobby floater near my nose in my left eye. I checked, there was no blob on my nose or in my eyelashes or on my contact lens, it was hanging out in my eye. I went to the internet and read about the comings and goings of floaters, and not to worry unless you get several in a short amount of time. I went on with my day. While I was painting, a second, large stringy floater appeared in my line of vision, toward the left. I sat Mark down and explained what I’d read and that I wasn’t running into the emergency room but I would keep an eye on the floaters (as if I had a choice.) Then, in the evening, when I was in a darkened room, a flash of light, like a pen light, zipped by vertically at the outer edge of my vision. It kept zipping by with any eye movement. I thought to myself “this cannot be good” and did a bunch more reading on the internet. This is when I found out about Posterior Vitreous Detachment, and that I should get my eyes looked at by a doctor that day, or withing twenty four hours. I figured there are very few eye doctors around at night, and as it wasn’t an immediate emergency, I would call my doctor in the morning. The thing to watch for is any blindness, like a veil being pulled over your vision. That is a very, very bad sign and you want to get help right away, that means the retina is detaching. I had no veils.
I called the eye doctor in the morning and explained my situation, and was told “Come in, no appointment necessary, come in as soon as possible.” That’s always a little upsetting to hear, but as they wanted to make sure my retina was attached and happy, they wanted to look in my eye and photograph it. Which they did. My retina is fine. The first blobby floater has gone away. But my two new pets, Boris the spider (also known as the stringy floater) and zippy the peripheral vision fast moving light will probably stay a little while and fade with time. Zippy only comes out at night, but Boris hangs with my most always, especially when I look at solid light colors, like, say, a computer screen. So, if you happen to be talking to me and I keep jerking my head in a spastic manner, please by patient. I’m only trying to keep Boris and Zippy in check, they are making me a touch crazy.