I woke up this morning to see a flash — as though someone took my picture with a camera flash — while I was putting in my contact. It was weird, but not enough to call my eye doctor.
Then I saw a piece of black thread in my right eye. I ran to take out my contact, but then realized the thread was still there: it was a “floater.” I’ve had those since I was five, but never this bad. These were large and there were a lot of them, swimming around in my eye and distracting me terribly.
I finally called my eye doctor and he said I needed an immediate checkup; it was very possible I had either had a retinal detachment or I might get one, and that’s a serious eye problem that requires surgery to fix.
To make a long story shorter (it was an all-day story), I ended up going to a retina specialist and getting laser surgery on my eye! My retina had torn — just a tiny hole at the back — and that was sealed with a laser. It wasn’t fun. The eye examination was painful, with lots of poking and prodding and terribly bright lights shown right into my dilated pupils, and the green laser pretty much blinded my right eye for a while.
But I got through it and now I’m in the recovery phase. I still have the floaters; it sounds like there isn’t much that can be done about those, though hopefully they’ll dissipate in time. Meanwhile my vision is a little worse in my right eye, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just the floaters interfering or if my eye has gotten worse. At least we caught the problem before it got too bad, though. A detachment sounds really serious, while a tear is much easier to fix.
Anyway, it’s a good reminder to be alert for eye problems as you get older; even a seemingly minor change like a flash and floaters can signal something traumatic.