Avatar universal

seeing a semi-transparent smudge with my left eye

New in this forum.  Male, early 50s, no vision problems whatsoever until two days ago.  When I was reading my emails, I noticed that something was off with my left eye. There is a small smudge in my vision, it has a shape of half-moon, it is kind of grey (at least when I am looking at a white background). It is semi-transparent (but not very transparent). While the smudge is not centered in in the middle of my vision field (it is below and left), it touches the center, making reading with my left eye only pretty difficult.  No flashes, no pain. Also, I do not believe it moved over the past 48 hours.

Could it be just an eye floater?  The pictures I saw on the Internet look different. If not, what else could it be? I am of course calling an optometrist tomorrow but I wanted to tap into the wisdom of this community. Also, I am freaking out.  Thank you.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
233488 tn?1310693103
You would do much better to call an MD eye doctor called an ophthalmologist, not a non-MD optometrist.  And ask for an emergency exam on Monday. Tell them you have a stationary blurry spot in your vision that came up suddenly and you consider it an emergency.  If you are unable to get an appointment that way call your family MD and see if she/he can get you in with the ophthalmologist their practice uses.     A floater is just that, it moves with eye/head movement. If the spot does not move and is always in the same spot and near your central reading area  and at age 50 other medical problems must be excluded such as a vascular problem near the reading part of the eye (macula).  You need special tests including Amsler Grid, dilation of the pupils and macular OCT.  Please treat this as an urgent problem. You could call an ophthalmologist today. Because we deal with medical problems all of us have 24 hr on call physicians. Hopefully you could speak with one today.
Helpful - 0
First, thank you so much for your response. I do mean to call an MD.  One clarification, I did a poor job explaining how the spot floats (and does not float).  It does float with an eye movement, i.e. I could not focus my sight on the middle of the spot as it would move away.  What I meant earlier is that it stayed in the same place (left down from my center of vision, and touching the center of vision ) for 48 hours.  However, that is not true anymore, the spot moved away since I had written the first message, and is no longer blocking the center of my vision. Right now, my vision feels pretty normal, I can again read with my left eye only (the smudge is there but below). Regardless, it spooked me enough that I still want to see an ophthalmologist ASAP.  
The movement makes it far more likely to be a floater near the retina and not an actual retina problem.   There is some urgency if you are seeing flashes of light like lightening or any part of your visual field is blocked off or you have a family history of retinal detachment.
Avatar universal
Dr. Hagan gives excellent advice and has helped me thru 2 eye surgeries over the past year and a half with good responses to my questions.  Please DO see an ophthalmologist.  I have had MANY floaters over many decades and they all seemed to present differently!  So you may have a floater but only an ophthalmologist will be able to give you the proper diagnosis and direct you to treatment of needed.  Good luck!!
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Eye Care Community

Top General Health Answerers
177275 tn?1511755244
Kansas City, MO
Avatar universal
Grand Prairie, TX
Avatar universal
San Diego, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Discharge often isn't normal, and could mean an infection or an STD.
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.