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Old 02-09-2017, 03:33 AM
SheldonMath SheldonMath is offline
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What can I really see.

Everytime when I think, I like to look at something constant and well the sky to. What I noticed is that there little circles fallin and tiny stars. Everytime that happens I juss thought it was common and out of the question..

Now I juss feel a bit different about it.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:51 AM
Plumpudding Plumpudding is offline
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Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

What is the question?
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:56 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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What you are seeing are "floaters". They are basically bits of undissolved material floating around inside your eyeball. They can show up as rings or dots, like what you are seeing, and can also be more stringy or more cobweb-like.

Generally, everybody gets them and they are no big deal. If you are nearsighted (like I am) you tend to be more prone to them, though I'm not sure why.

I question what you mean by "stars". If you are actually getting small flashes of light like stars twinkling, that can mean that the vitreous is pulling away from the retina and you need to go see a doctor about that ASAP or you can end up with permanent eye damage.

Diabetes, eye disease, and tumors can also contribute to floaters. Most of the time, though, they are no biggie.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:41 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Anyone else have individual floaters that are distinctive enough that you recognize them long-term? I have at least one, in my left eye--it looks like a long string of discs (not dissimilar to this) and is transparent except for a brown spot near the center. I don't know how long I've been noticing that guy, but it must be years.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:30 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheldonMath View Post
Everytime when I think, I like to look at something constant and well the sky to. What I noticed is that there little circles fallin and tiny stars. Everytime that happens I juss thought it was common and out of the question..

Now I juss feel a bit different about it.
Lemme guess... you were never an English major, right?
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:24 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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In addition to e_c_g's fine explanation I wonder if they're occasionally a tiny dust mote that landed on the outside surface of the eye and is slowly drifting around in the layer of tears, eventually to be flushed out.

IME the floater perception, rare as it is, is more common in dusty environments than not. I.e. desert yes, forest no.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 02-09-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:41 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
What you are seeing are "floaters". They are basically bits of undissolved material floating around inside your eyeball. They can show up as rings or dots, like what you are seeing, and can also be more stringy or more cobweb-like.

Generally, everybody gets them and they are no big deal. If you are nearsighted (like I am) you tend to be more prone to them, though I'm not sure why.
They've got their own (thorough and informative) Wikipedia entry.

Occasionally I find them falling across my field of view under the influence of gravity; it's entertaining to "chase" them by tilting my eyeball down. Sometimes their descent is so slow that twitching my eyeball around can toss them back up into my field of view. Hours of fun.

From that page, I was pleasantly surprised to find a link to a phenomenon I sometimes experience:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_f...tic_phenomenon

The image of the hand against a blue sky is animated; click to get a larger version, and watch for the little wandering white dots.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:45 AM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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A stray dust particle on the cornea would normally not be visible, for the same reason that a dust particle on a camera lens doesn't affect the picture. It's way out of focus.

I've had dozens of floaters in both eyes for many years. The reason they're more visible in a desert than in a forest is that the variety of colors and patterns you're seeing in a forest tends to mask the floaters. In a desert where most of what you see is large expanses of a single color, they're much more noticeable. They're also more noticeable in a brightly lit environment, and a desert is generally brighter than a forest. They're most visible for me when looking at a bright unclouded sky.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:56 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Yes, looking at a bright blue sky is an ideal way to see them. If the lighting is right, they do sometimes look like bright little stars moving around, too.

Also, this.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:06 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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I had a dog who would just up and start barking ... the only thing I could figure out is he was barking at his floaters ... just a weird dog ...
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:43 AM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Sub-question regarding floaters: I don't get them that often (or at least I don't notice them), but if I have a bad coughing or sneezing fit I get a bunch. Why?
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:01 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Maybe it makes your eyes loose focus? You see them best when you are doing a thousand-yard stare.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:28 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by watchwolf49 View Post
I had a dog who would just up and start barking ... the only thing I could figure out is he was barking at his floaters ... just a weird dog ...
My previous dog used to go to the dog park, ignore the chaos around him, sit down, look up, and bark away. I always figured he was barking just because he was so damn happy and saying so out loud just made it better.

Whitman's yawp had nothing on that.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 02-09-2017 at 10:28 AM.
  #14  
Old 02-09-2017, 10:42 AM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I question what you mean by "stars". If you are actually getting small flashes of light like stars twinkling, that can mean that the vitreous is pulling away from the retina and you need to go see a doctor about that ASAP or you can end up with permanent eye damage.
I second this - last year late at night I had an episode of what looked like fireworks, but only in my right eye. The next morning there were tens of thousands (not an exaggeration but my educated estimate) of floaters in my vision. I went to an ophthalmologist a couple of days later, and he sent me THAT DAY to an eye surgery center to have it repaired.

The vitreous in my eye pulled so hard that it tore my retina, spilling out debris and blood cells into my eye. Each blood cell was a dot on my vision. The eye surgeon used a laser to tack down the retina around the tear, because if you don't the vitreous fluid can work its way under the torn edge and cause your retina to separate from the tissue behind it, which would cause blindness.
  #15  
Old 02-10-2017, 02:25 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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There are a number of causes for "seeing stars" that are physiological and related to an illness or defect.
see
https://www.verywell.com/why-do-i-see-stars-3422028


He may just be able to set his eye(s) to incorrect focus at will, while he "thinks".


Or he might be imagining it all. Some people smell or feel or even enumerate "("that girl is a 9 !" sort of, what I mean is that the number just pops into their "awareness" when they see.. not that they are evaluating the attractiveness to men of the girl. ..) what they are looking at or thinking about... he might be seeing stars due to deep thought. ... Perhaps its one of the entries ... that thinking like that causes the physiological cause of lack of oxygen, related to changes in breathing ... its probably only this.. he's only getting into "thinking" due to lack of oxygen or overdose of endorphins or being Onan or something.
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