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assasincz

Eye Floaters

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Floaters - loathe them or love them, they are here to stay! Well, in your eye to be precise.

Although we might not realize it, we see them all the time throughout the course of our lives. I can recall the shape of the most prominent ones better than the face of my own parents! One I particularly hate - because it is right in the middle of my right eye's FOV - looks like a friggin leech under a microscope and is the width of clenched fist at arm's length. It is not much of an imposition when observing DSOs but I have realized how much troublesome these floaters are when doing planetary, lunar or even solar observations. I find it really hard for me to concentrate on subtle details when these suckers float around all the time.

I wanted to start this thread because I want to know how much they annoy other stargazers. Do floaters bug you or you don't care? What trouble do they cause to you, regarding visual observation? Does anybody know the way to get rid of them (do not suggest using CCDs)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_floaters

post-27855-133877704638_thumb.png

Edited by assasincz

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Yeah.

They have been hellish in both my eyes, the last few years.

Most annoying on Jupiter. I tend to swirl my eye in a circular fashion, to try and shift them to the side. Downside is, it can cause balancing problems if I'm standing.

I've heard binoviewers help ease the effect.

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Yes, I suffer from them too mainly in my right eye, or is that because that's my dominant eye? Anyway, they can be a nuisance. Don't know of any way of getting rid of them - certainly my optician has never suggested anything - but find them worse with high power eyepieces with a small aperture (7.5 mm and smaller).

I occasionally see floaters as you describe (and your pic is an excellent representation), but the one I am most conscious of looks like a small slightly out of focus curly hair in my line of sight. As you say, it is with planetary observation that they become most noticeable and infuriating.

Brinders

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Now you mention it - I suffer with them too - and they look exactly like the image -what are they?

Are they inside the eye or on the surface? Mine seem to swirl around with my eye movement in all sorts of directions.

Really interesting thread.

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Now you mention it - I suffer with them too - and they look exactly like the image -what are they?

Are they inside the eye or on the surface? Mine seem to swirl around with my eye movement in all sorts of directions.

Really interesting thread.

I believe they are inside your eye, swimming around in the fluid in your eyeball. A sudden increase in them can be a sign of a detaching retina.

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I notice them when the exit pupil of the scope / eyepiece combination gets too small. The problem usually starts when I'm using a 4mm or shorter focal length eyepiece.

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The admission to having eye floaters is like a meeting of AA - "My name is John and I have eye floaters" :) But yes I have them also but I find they are more noticeable when I am tired. I wear contact lenses as well so I don't know if that makes the problem worse.

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They are within the eye floating within the vitreous humour, I believe. More details here (and I guess this is where the pic came from at the start of the thread):-

Eye Floaters - Causes, Risks & Cure

I think its probably best to just live with them unless they are causing you serious problems.

Brinders

Edited by Brinders

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You can have an operation to have them removed if they really trouble you.

Read more here: Sapphire Eye Care

The surgeon at Sapphire replaced the lenses in both my eyes earlier this year - what a difference! I guess that means I have Mk II eyeballs :)

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I see them all the time it would be nice to have them gone, but that needs an operation, etc....

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I have to shut my eyes real tight squeezing my eyelids as hard as possible onto my eyes....this seems to disperse them to the edges and away from the centre...

I have quite a few - I was told working without goggles when doing machining was the culprit...but H&S when I was younger didn't exist thankfully...as would never had got to do anything practical when an apprentice :)

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I believe they are inside your eye, swimming around in the fluid in your eyeball. A sudden increase in them can be a sign of a detaching retina.

Always worth a trip to the optician if you have any concerns. I started noticing them more a few years ago - fortunately the optician gave my eyes a clean bill of health. Apparently when you get into your mid 40s the geometry of the eye can often start to change and as a consequence the little blighters can come more into focus.

Now I know what they are and that they're nothing to worry about, I don't see them most of the time, they only tend to make an appearance if I'm feeling tired.

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Really interesting - thanks guys. I think I'll live with mine - the thought of any sort of eye treatment makes me feel a bit "woosey".

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I have to shut my eyes real tight squeezing my eyelids as hard as possible onto my eyes....this seems to disperse them to the edges and away from the centre...

I have quite a few - I was told working without goggles when doing machining was the culprit...but H&S when I was younger didn't exist thankfully...as would never had got to do anything practical when an apprentice :)

thats mad same trade and same scope we must related:)

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I have had one or two in each eye since i was young. I am quite short sighted -6.5 in each eye and you get floaters caused by that.

Nothing you can do about them some days you can hardly notice them other days its a swarm.

The last couple of years mine have signifcantly increased to the extent i got them checked out but they told me what i already knew...nothing can be done. Definately getting worse now im almost forty.

Like i say two of them have been with me since i was a kid and i know them like the faces of my family. This summer a couple of bright days when these detached hairs were casting shadows on the retina was just a nightmare....also now notice the odd one float accross one eye whilst reading as the letters go blurry.

Aaahhhh thanks for the thread...i needed that....they are blumming annoying. I have a lot more than the two i started with...

Edited by ncjunk

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Have them in both eyes, left eye particularly bad but to be honest it bothers me more while in bright daylight than looking through a telescope (which I normally do with my right eye anyway).

One trick which works for me, at least temporarily, is to look upwards as far as I can for at least 20 seconds; gravity seems to shift the little blighter down and out of my FOV for long enough to forget about it.

Chris

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Exit pupil is definitely a factor. I was never much troubled by them when using my 12" dob. I was doing a bit of Jupiter watching with my new (second-hand) Megrez-72 and I was a bit irritated by them (lots of ineffectual eye rolling). Using a 5mm on my f/5 dob would have been a 1mm exit pupil while using a 3mm on my f6 refractor would have been a 0.5mm exit pupil. Makes a difference for me anyhow. So basically all you need is a giant dob on an equatorial platform...

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I have a couple in my left eye, they've been there for about 15yrs (43 now).

I always seem to notice them more when I'm fishing and scanning the water surface for sign's of fish. I haven't noticed them while looking through my ep's though!!

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So it's not just me then! I hate painting the walls, going out in the snow etc as all I see are black dots and transparent worms! Drives me mad. I'm ok with DSO's but they really get in the way of planetary detail. I have to spend twice as long looking than i would if I didn't have them! I only started to get them just prior to when I started up observing (the second time round).

I seem to have started having them on a permanent basis from my mid 30's.

Edited by bish

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I think I've had them all my life, but I only notice them in certain situations (looking through my telescope being one of them...). Very irritating, though don't think I'd go to the lengths of having an operation to get it fixed.

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There are 2 types of floaters: firstly, those between the cornea and the crystalline lens, in the aqueous humour. These move downwards slowly because the AH is liquid and the floaters - cells etc that have been shed by the interior of the anterior region simply drift down.

Those in the vitreous humour - between the lens and the retina - can be more troublesome. The VH is like the albumen in an egg, much more viscous, therefore things move more slowly and the VH itself can have threads of denser material which cast shadows.

We just have to put up with them, but if bothered it's always worth having a check up with an Optometrist.

I've seen, in one chap's eyes, an effect exactly like you get in one of those snow globes - it was just a defect in the VH. Must have been hell if he was into astronomy!

Edited by Muphrid

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