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Another Sign of the Times

June 13, 2016

On to more mundane topics.

As if arthritis and the utter (unfamiliar and oddly embarrassing) loss of muscle tone were not enough, along come floaters.

I learned about floaters when, after a couple weeks of staring at this little hair-like line out of my left eye, I emailed my primary and ended up in the office of an ophthalmologist, who, after dilating my eyes and giving them a thorough exam, concluded the line wasn’t a symptom of detached retina (the bad thing they need to rule out) and was, predictably, a floater (a benign sign of aging that concerns nobody but me).

So, yeah, this is annoying, but good, in that it won’t lead to blindness kind of way.

Says the interwebs:

Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape, slowly shrinks. As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These are floaters.

Age-related changes to the eye are the most common cause of eye floaters. As light passes from the front of the eye to the back, it passes through the vitreous humor, that jelly-like substance inside your eyeball.

Changes to the vitreous humor can lead to the eye floaters. This is a common part of aging and is known as vitreous syneresis.

The thick vitreous begins to liquefy with age and the inside of the eyeball becomes crowded with debris and deposits. The microscopic fibers inside the vitreous begin to clump together. As they do, the debris can be caught in the path of the light as it passes through your eye. This will cast shadows on your retina, causing eye floaters.

I like having my eyeballs dilated. It makes everything really bright and is weird and fantastic. But even better, it’s like having brown eyes (well, black eyes, really), which I think, as an ongoing thing, would be really cool (said the person with the disappearing light blue eyes).

A selfie:

IMG_3407

See? Dark eyes. They show up. They pop!

Until the pupils shrank back down.. back to blue. (Hey, didn’t Amy Winehouse write a song called Back to Black?)

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