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Eye and Vision Care

Black Spot

11/30/2010

Question:

In the past couple of days, I have been seeing a black or clear spot/circle in my right eye. I suffer from migraines, but I don`t have a headache when I see this. I do experience auras before I have a migraine, but this is different. It seems to move when I move my eye. I am 58 and am not sure if this is something that happens as you age. I go to an eye doctor every year and they have not seen anything in the past. Should I be concerned???

Answer:

What you are most likely experiencing is a floater from a posterior vitreous detachment. The vitreous is a gel like substance inside of the eye that is encapsulated by a membrane. This membrane is attached to the retina for the majority of an individual's life, but it can detach as one ages. When the posterior vitreous detachment occurs, a patient may notice a flash, followed by the appearance of a floater (or a black/clear spot). This spot will also move with the eye, and it typically will not go away.

I recommend that you see an eye care provider simply to make sure that there is not a retinal detachment associated with the vitreous detachment (chances of this are low). The retina is at risk for a detachment for up to 3 months following the start of the vitreous detachment, so it would be wise to have a dilated exam.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University