Hello all! Quick question...Are eye floaters a normal occurance with MS? If so, what are the chances that they stay just eye floaters and nothing more serious? I can't decide if I should call my neuro or just deal with it. I still only have one lesion on my spinal cord (per an MRI done about 3 weeks ago) but yesterday these floaters showed up and I am not sure what to think. Just looking for some advice. Thanks! JJ
I recently read some general info about eye floaters. Most of the time they can be a normal occurrence with age. HOWEVER...if you see an increase in eye floaters you need to go to the doctor immediately. Especially if they just "showed up" one day and they weren't there the day before or noticeable.
Do not mess with your vision. Call your neuro or better yet..call a good opthamologist and get looked at. Keep us updated! :)
When you talk about "floaters" do you mean little black spots or something that looks like a streak of cells all clumped together in a line?
My Optho told me that little black lines are true floaters and they can happen to us as early as our early as our 30's. The eyeball hardens as we grow older, believe it or not.
True black spots do not move in your line of vision. They are in a permanent place in our eyeball, or what we see. This I was told from Optic Neuritis.. This is the remnants of the "attack." In some people the true black spot may turn more grey, while others keep that black spot throughout their lives. This is one of the reasons doctor's are in a hurry to treat Optic Neuritis with steroids to stop the attack in it's tracks, before it can do real damage, that may be permanent.
Now this is only what I have heard. I don't know the medical terms for all of this. I am just someone with MS that has had floaters and black spots. (which I say are two different things)
You all are the best! Thank you for your responses! The spots that I am seeing will float around as I move my eyes. There is nothing obstructing my view so I guess that is a good thing. I don't know much about Optic Neuritis and certainly hope I never have to find out...keeping my fingers crossed!! Is it usually associated with pain in the eye? Is that what Doni may have? This stuff is so scary!!!
I know you are scared. Anything that has to do with the eyes is scarey. The good news is that you say that these floaters move around. With Optic Neuritis, it is an inflammation of the Optic Nerve, that causes pain upon any eye movement, sensitive to light and blurred vision. It is exlusive to one eye at a time, as far as I can remember. The pain that you would feel with eye movement, would be sharp pains. If you have any of these kinds of symptoms, call your doctor at once.
99% of all people that I know that have had Optic Neuritis (ON for short) are put on steroids to help get the inflammation down in the Optic Nerve.
You are right to be concerned about anything that has to do with the eyes. Our eye sight is one of the most precious things that we have.
Please don't be scared....we are all here for you, holding your hand.
My coworker just went to the opthamologist yesterday for floaters that just have popped up in the past week. They gave her a cd with a link to this website which explains so much more about eye problems - he told her to look at 14, 17 and 18 as what could cause floaters for her. I hope this lengthy u rl can be copied and pasted!
it is an excellent website
I am sorry for what you are going through. I am suffering the end of a bout of ON (at least I hope it's almost gone). Everyone encouraged me to go to the ER the weekend that I got it and it's a good thing. I might be the exception but Heather said it only happens in 1 eye and that was not the case. I had/have it in both eyes but one was worse and even went color blind in that eye. Severe pain, loss of vision, possible loss of color vision and you can't read, watch tv etc. The pain is worse anytime you move your eyes (not your head).
I had 5 days of IV steroids and the neuro and eye doctor said that steroid pills will not do the trick.
I can't diagnose you but since you don't complain of pain I would think it is not ON because the pain is a 9 or 10 on the ouch scale but don't mess around with your eyes. Call the eye doctor or neuro ASAP and ask to be seen.
The good news is my pain is down to a 2 and my vision is back to 20/100. The bad news is I have the start of a cataract in my left eye now (that was the worse eye) and I am only 41!!!
FYI - the pain of ON can be severe or not present at all. Many people with MS have optic neuritis and never even had any eye symptoms at all, but the lesion can be seen on MRI or they have a positive VEP.
So ON can occur with any pain on the scale from 0 to 11. ("This goes to eleven." - This is Spinal Tap).
I have also read that bilateral ON was unusual in MS, especially at the same time. I don't know what is true about this.
For ON IV steroids calm the inflammation and relieve the symptoms faster. They do NOT save your vision or affect the final outcome of your vision any more than not treating at all. Oral steroids appear to cause more frequent attacks of PN later, but also have no worse or better effect on the outcome of vision.
I had optic neuritis back in 1998, first major symptom, I had no pain at all and vision completely went. Came back 95% after 3 weeks. As for the floaters, I find it difficult to look at the sky or a light colored wall due to the amount of disturbance cause by them. Optician says nothing wrong with eyes apart from the 5% and the floaters. Interesting to note, the ON was in the left eye but both eyes have the floaters.
Hi guys. Thanks for all of the information. I went to the eye doctor today and he did a full exam. He said my vision is perfect and everything inside my eye looked just as good. He said the floaters are probably from the gel in my eye hardening a bit and that is common as people age (seriously...I am only 31!!). As for the blurry/streaking lights, he did a dry eye test and said there was damage on the surface of my eye due to the fact that I don't make good quality tears. (Normal tears will last 15 seconds before drying and mine didn't even last 4 seconds). I am not sure if he would be able to tell if there is anything going on with my optic nerve but everything he said makes sense. I feel like this "possible MS" diagnosis has made me a nutjob!! I worry about every ailment I have and my doctors are probably going to quit seeing me!!! Good thing I have you guys! Thanks again-Nervous Nelly
yep, worrying about what might be going on in our bodies without answers does make us hypersensitive to everything. You're not a nervous Nelly, just a worried one. Its hard to relax through this process - here's hoping you will not be left hanging without answers for very long.
my best, Lulu
PS if your doctors are any good at all, they will hold your hand through this process and not quit on you. They should understand the anxiety and stress that having a possible-MS dx would cause.
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