Anyone else suffer from hyper-awareness of... - Anxiety Support

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Anyone else suffer from hyper-awareness of their vision as a result of floaters?


Hi everyone. I was wondering whether anyone else is or has ever suffered from similar problems to what I am right now. To give some context here, back in August of last year I started developing a very bad (to me anyway) case of eye floaters, mostly in my left eye, which basically resembled two or three giant eye-lashes or worms floating around bisecting my field of vision in that eye every time I made any sudden movements of that eye. Suffice to say, I was in a panic at first because I didn't know what was going on, so I went to my family doctor, who referred me to an ophthalmologist, who explained what exactly they were, albeit in probably the least reassuring way one can imagine; what he said was basically that it was my problem not his, and I'd just have to live with it.

Anyway, eventually I was referred to a second ophthalmologist who specializes in laser vitreolysis treatments, and ultimately he was able to improve that eye significantly (this was back in December). But unfortunately, it seems the damage to my psyche, for lack of a better term, was already done, as I seem to be hyper-aware of pretty much everything relating to my eyes and vision now. So now I'm constantly seeing blue entoptic phenomenon everywhere, little floaters, my brain keeps telling me that I'm losing my peripheral vision despite the fact that two optometrists have told me otherwise and the fact that when I'm looking straight ahead with moth arms outstretched to either side, both of my hands are still within my visual field.

In short, this whole episode has had a profound impact on my overall quality of life and state of mind. I was just wondering whether anyone else has gone through anything even remotely similar to this and can offer me some advice?

7 Replies

I've had anxiety about my vision for many years, like you I wonder about my peripheral vision but when I do the wiggly fingers test I can see them and my visual fields test came back fine. So what was it that caused your floaters that needed laser treatment, not retinal detachment or your vision would have been seriously affected? Was it to do with the vitreous becoming detached from the retina? This happens to almost everybody from the age of 60 onwards. When it happens it can be worrying (for about a week I could see a spiders web pattern) and there is a small risk of retinal detachment but usually the posterior vitreous detachment settles down and everything looks normal.

I've had health anxiety so long I can remember when it was called hyperchondria😊 and I can even remember when social anxiety was called shyness😂 but I don't have that.

But to answer your question, Fanghur, your worries about your vision have caused you high anxiety so you've become highly aware of unimportant little visual phenonena. So long as your opthalmologists are happy with your eyes you should be too.

By stressing and obsessing over your vision you can begin to generate fear and the fear hormone makes your nervous system over sensitised which in turn can cause you to worry much too much about your vision.

Just accept any minor visual defects and remember your opthalmologists have thoroughly examined your eyes and notwithstanding the laser treatment they say your eyes are fine.

Try not to obsess about your eyes, there's no need to pay so much attention to them as they sound like good healthy eyes which will serve you well.

Fanghur1123 in reply to Jeff1943

Yeah, I know. I've never once tried to deny that the ways I tried to cope with them aren't exactly rational, but unfortunately it's just part of my personalit. But to answer your question, we don't know what exactly caused it; it wasn't a vitreous detachment or retina tear or anything like that, which still to this day makes me uneasy as I can't help wonder whether there might be something insidious at work. But no, the floater specialist said it was probably just because I'm very near-sighted, especially for my age (28).

I actually got absurdly lucky in a sense, because in all of Canada there's only maybe two or three ophthalmologists who are willing to actually treat floaters, and the most respected of them happens to work about 12 minutes from where I work. Quite frankly, I was absolutely disgusted when he informed me how dismissive the medical community largely is regarding this particular issue.

Hello, I get floaters on occasion and when I do I look for other health problems. I used to get them before getting a migraine which I don't get any more. Sometimes my Diabetes causes them, If they bother me i use eye drops. I have my eyes checked once a year by my ophthalmologist. I hope this all works out for you , but I would trust my Doctor. Pam

I too am very short sighted/near sighted and I think we tend to notice floaters more than the long sighted. I thought the only way to deal with floaters was to drain the vitreous from the eye and refil it with some fluid, not for me thanks!!! I had a lot if flioters when I had the PVT but they cleared after 6 months. Floaters don't bother me, they are not sight threatening.

Fanghur1123 in reply to Jeff1943

No, there's another safer way as well. They basically use a special laser to vaporize the floaters into a gas which is then reabsorbed by the eye. They don't have to do anything physical to the eye at all, just blast them with nanosecond pulses of laser light. Like I said, it worked reasonably well for me, although it cost me nearly a month's paycheck.

It's called laser vitreolysis, and while it's not completely risk free, if the doctor knows what he's doing, it's probably only somewhat more risky than LASIK. Like I said, I really lucked out by having pretty much the only doctor in the country trained to do this right down the street from me essentially.

For the record, until I learned that the vitrectomy invariably also involves cataract surgery, it was bad enough that I actually was vaguely considering it. Make of that what you will.

Jeff1943 in reply to Fanghur1123

Thanks for that info Fanghur1123, I thought I knew most things about eyes but I've learnt something new, zapping floaters with lasers.

Fanghur1123 in reply to Jeff1943

No problem. Unfortunately, the medical community still regards it as highly controversial in spite of the fact that it's an order of magnitude safer than the alternative.

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