Suddenly seeing a lot of little black dots may not necessarily be something to worry about…but if they are accompanied by occasional, infrequent flashes of white light at the very edges of your peripheral vision, see an eye doctor at once: you are definitely about to have a detached retina. Without immediate attention, you could lose part or all of the vision in that eye. I know, because I happened to read this very factoid the same day my left retina started to detach. Thanks to swift action, I still have 100 percent vision in that eye–and in the right eye, whose retina began detaching a year later. (Unfortunately, both times I was left with permanent “floaters”…but they are only a minor nuisance.) My late friend Donald Westlake, the funniest writer who ever lived, put off seeking attention when his retina began detaching, because he was two thousand miles from home, and he ended up losing most of his vision in that eye.
Welcome to the SDMB, Mr. Long! Just letting you know that we like posters to provide a link to the column in question, like so.