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From Carrollton, Texas, USA:

My 12 year old daughter recently had her yearly eye exam and got a new eyeglass prescription and for the first time, contact lenses. She has been saying she sees a dot that comes and goes in her vision. Is this a symptom of something? For what should I have her checked?


A dot that comes and goes?

This type of complaint is usually referred to as "floaters". Floaters are most often benign and are seen by most people 25 years old and older. They are more common in older people. Floaters are typically described as webs or strings, but can be described as dots. It does need to be determined if this spot truly floats independent of eye movement or if it is fixed without free movement. Fixed spots may be a "lesion" in the retina and should be evaluated. Free moving spots or webs are typically the jell substance within the cavity of the eye and are more benign. This vitreous jell can have concentrated areas that can cast shadows on the retina causing "floaters". New floaters are routinely evaluated by a dilated eye exam to rule out any trauma to the retina. For someone with diabetes, it is also routine to evaluate new "spots" for a possible vitreous hemorrhage.

Before we get overly concerned, the contact lenses should be inspected for any tears, pits or deposits. Good contact lens cleaning will remove deposits that can be seen as a smudge or spot in the vision. If cleaning the contacts does not "cure" the "spot", it should be evaluated by your daughter's eye doctor.


Original posting 22 Nov 2000
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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