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toyboy Offline OP
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Kind of an odd question here. But just wondering what other people have experienced.

Last fall I had cataract surgery in one eye. It was something of a miracle in my eyesight especially in reading sheet music at the piano. I hadn't had eye glasses to fit perfectly at that distance and had always just used my normal near sightedness to read the music. That improved dramatically after the surgery. I almost had the second eye done immediately after but got too nervous with the pandemic and put it off.

I'm now wondering if I was lucky I did. The other evening while playing, all of a sudden I had the biggest, darkest floater in my eye. From my point of view, it covered the length of two staves. It was so dark and right in my line of sight, I had to stop playing.

The ophthalmologist looked at it the next day and said my vitreous humor had pulled something away from the back of the eye (luckily not the retina) but something that ended up floating around. He "assured" me that it would eventually float down to the bottom of the eye, without saying how long. (A friend googled up some information that it could take 3 to 6 months.)

The large c-shaped thing has now become more of a small circle. But it's still nearly directly in my field of vision and is very hard to ignore.

So in relation to the piano..... I'm wondering what other people's experience with this might be. Not so much with cataract surgery, that's all done, but with floaters - especially big ones and dark ones - either as a result of it, or how they might appear and disappear, or if you get used to them at some point. If you've been distracted by them and how you've managed. Right now, it's become something of a task to read music without constantly have a feeling of trying to swat the floater away!

Last edited by toyboy; 02/07/21 03:42 PM.
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I once had a Weiss floater caused by an accident. It was very big and impossible to ignore. But after 2-3 weeks it disappeared. I hope you're as lucky as I was.

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I think that as you get older it's quite common for the vitreous to detach from the retina. This has happened to me twice, once was in a tennis match and there was no way I could continue or drive. The second time I was on a walking expedition and could not get to an ophthalmologist quickly; possibly or maybe not the vitreous detachment in that case lifted the retina off too and I subsequently had to have laser retina attachment.

My recollection now is my vision was disturbed and I was irritated by the dark visible blobs for 4-6 weeks afterwards, before my brain adjusted or they faded or both. Now, in artificial light, cloudy or dull outdoors there's nothing, but in very bright sunlight and viewed against a white background I see black dots, worse than floaters. I am assured my retina is healthy, my vision is 2020 with glasses, and I'm still playing tennis and piano.

So it's normal part of ageing for many, but still seek urgent eye care if or when it happens. Eventually all becomes restored or normal again.

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toyboy Offline OP
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Thanks for this! You give me a little hope. The doctor didn't give it a name, but I just looked that up, and it describes what the doctor described how this developed. So it does sound like that's what I have going on too.

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The Buddha also gives me some hope! Thank you.

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Floaters! Ugh! My eye doctor told me they would eventually float down to the bottom of my eye but they never did and it’s been at least 10 years. He said aging causes the liquid inside the eyes to thicken. It’s not preventable and not treatable. I’ve gotten used to them so I don’t notice them as much as I used to. Since they are more evident in bright light, dimming your piano light might help a bit.

Regarding cataract surgery, it was the best thing I ever did! I no longer need piano or distance glasses. (I do need them for reading and close up work). The world is much brighter and bluer now. The surgery was so easy, fast and nearly painless.


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It's not an odd question at all, particularly to those of us who read little black dots on a page; even worse when those little black dots aren't on the page!

I've caught myself batting away a black fly or gnat that appeared in my peripheral vision when it, well, wasn't, was it!

I do have occasionally more noticeable floaters than others but I don't recall that there was any increase in them after cataract surgery. I had them before cataract surgery and I still have them.

Such as you have just experienced must be very distracting. I'm glad to read that it's nothing medically serious. I hope that it clears sooner rather than later.

Regards,


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I've got one in my good right eye which appeared about 5 years ago. It's sort of translucent but blobby and when I look left to right, or right to left, or up-down, it darts across. It's bothersome if I try to compare two scores looking back and forth, or if the score is spaced large, or I'm trying to scan something. We follow things that move, so I end up chasing the moving dot which delays finding my way back to where I was on the page.

Meanwhile I do have a cataract in the other eye - delayed surgery due to Covid - so thick glasses for one eye, thinner for the other, extreme difference between the eyes. I persuaded the new optometrist to prescribe "piano/computer" glasses for that distance optimum for each eye --- the old optometrist insisted my brain would "get confused". Well it does work, but I must adjust when I use those or at first I'll see double. Either way depth perception is affected since that needs two coordinated eyes. That part does not work well at the piano distance.

Sorry, too long. You hit a nerve kinda.

So the former dominant eye has the cataract: the non dominant eye has the big floater.

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I've had floaters about 6 years now - I'm 67. They come and go, sometimes awful, usually just annoying. Since there is nothing that can be done for them, I just do the best with what I have. It's all part of getting old...,

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I didn't want to wait so my ophthalmologist performed a vitrectomy whereby the vitreous is removed with surgery and replaced with saline fluid. It took about two weeks to recover but the results are wonderful and my vision is clear.
This is a valid treatment for floaters.
I also will need cataract surgery at some point in the future. I found that using very bright lights in my workspace or to light my sheet music helps overcome the impact of the cataracts.

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Try adding glaucoma, macular degeneration (both wet and dry) and central serous retinopathy to the mix (I have them all to varying degrees). Cataracts and occasional floaters are just frosting on the cake. Larger notes and a brightly lit score help me tremendously, but my page turning days for others are gone forever. grin


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I have one floater in each eye smack in the middle of my vision, and have had them around 4 years. The first one I got I thought there was a fly in my eye or on my eyelash. I think they’re all dark and appear dark gray or black. Mine are not as large as yours, are kind of feathery in shape with an irregular border, and have not impacted my vision. One thing my optometrist told me is some people are able to have their brains ignore them off so they are not noticeable. That has been the case for me and the only times I notice them is when people are talking about them, when I go outdoors into bright sunlight and sometimes first thing in the morning. Right now as I write about them they aren’t noticeable, which is an improvement. I can go for 3-4 weeks at a time without being aware of them. I never notice them when playing piano or reading. They have never moved and floated down to the bottom of my eye, like your doctor described.



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Originally Posted by George Smith
I didn't want to wait so my ophthalmologist performed a vitrectomy whereby the vitreous is removed with surgery and replaced with saline fluid. It took about two weeks to recover but the results are wonderful and my vision is clear.
This is a valid treatment for floaters.
I also will need cataract surgery at some point in the future. I found that using very bright lights in my workspace or to light my sheet music helps overcome the impact of the cataracts.

I asked my ophthalmologist a vitrectomy. He was very reluctant to recommend it, stating it wasn't worth the risk.


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I, too, had a vitrectomy.... for a retinal detachment... indeed, no more floaters in that eye.


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toyboy Offline OP
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I hadn't checked this thread since yesterday and I'm surprised at so many responses. I guess I really hit a nerve with this. I will now file this under "Misery loves company".

To George Smith - the ophthalmologist did describe that procedure and said the cure was worse than the disease. Glad that it worked for you. I'll talk to him some more but at this point, I'm fearing any more work on my eye is adding more risk. I'll hope i can get used to it or it disappears, and then decide later if it remains a problem.

I was just remembering how as a kid, I used to really love seeing my floaters. I remember looking at them the way you can look at clouds, imagining things in all the different shapes and enjoying how they floated around.

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I sometimes enlarge the music by around 10% to make it easier to read. Because of my cataracts I have to concentrate a lot more at looking at the score no matter how many times I've played a piece, and that concentration reduces how much I can concentrate on the musical aspects of playing.

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Originally Posted by toyboy
To George Smith - the ophthalmologist did describe that procedure and said the cure was worse than the disease.

Obviously I can't give medical advice but here's what my doctor has told me:
As we age (over 50) the vitreous starts detaching from the retina. Over time it can cause new problems such as detached retinas or macular holes. Increased numbers and sizes of floaters can be evidence that this is happening.
In adults it actually has no function and is something left over from embryonic and infant eye development. If you take it out, the eye maintains its shape with water.
He said he had a 99% success rate with his surgeries.

A quick Google search would indicate that it's a fairly common solution for severe floaters.

I have found that our doctors often respond to how we answer things and the good ones don't arbitrarily push procedures and medications. If you were to say for instance "my floaters are not that bad and I'd like to keep waiting and see if it gets better" then you get one result. If on the other hand you respond as I (truthfully) did: "this is severely impacting my vision and I don't feel safe driving or operating tools and machinery" then you get a different response which was "well let's fix that!"

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toyboy Offline OP
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Thanks George. I think I have a good doctor. And you're probably right that he errors on the side of caution. He had also told me about some guy in Florida who zaps floaters with lasers and he kind of made a face about that. But I read that clinic has a very high success rate too.

I understand his caution. I wouldn't want anything less.

So far from the time I first experienced this new floater it has shrunk dramatically. It's still there and still a blotch in my eyesight, but now more of a circle than a long tail-like thing.


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