Weiss Rings: More than your typical eyeball floaters

Well, this morning I experienced something quite different, called a Weiss Ring.  One moment I’m in the shower with my eyes closed, and the next, when I open them, there’s this very dark, black circle in my right eye’s field of view — not directly in the center, but annoyingly close, like 10 degrees above and 20 degrees to the right of the very center.

Weiss Ring appearance
Weiss Ring appearance

Like most floaters, a Weiss Ring appears to move around as you move your eye, and in my experience, the amoeba-like floaters do actually move around the field of view.  But the Weiss Ring is actually pretty stationary in the field of view.  Here’s my “artist’s rendition” of how it looked to me initially (this occurred around 3:15am this morning — I’ve drawn the appearance against a sunset view just for reference):

Initially, of course, I panicked.  What the hell is that!!??  I tried to remain calm, yet felt obligated to immediately tell Carol what I was experiencing.  Naturally she had that worried look on her face too, and she asked if I was otherwise feeling okay, and if there was any other sympton I was experiencing.  I wasn’t, which was actually odd.  The usually-expected train of thoughts (for a man 2 weeks shy of 59) went through my head:  Is this a sign of stroke?  Could it be precursor to a heart attack?  Had aliens invaded my head, only to find themselves floating around in an un-funny mass of vitreous humor?  (Life note to my readers: Always resort to a little comedy when faced with disaster!)

Carol immediately asked if I had any numbness in my arms or legs, or any chest pains or headache, so I knew her thoughts were tracking mine — except for maybe the alien-invasion thing. But no, really, other than a little bit of emotional panic around this sudden discovery, I didn’t seem to have any other symptoms.

We dried off (yes, doing my part for water conservation!), and emerged into the bedroom to discuss the situation further.  I decided I didn’t want to drive to work in this condition, though there was no pain, and the ring was really more of an annoying distraction than any significant disability.  My thought was to research this a little on the web, and then see if I could find an eye doctor in Casa Grande to see.

Side note: my last visit to the eye doctor was summer of 2011 down in Tucson, before we moved to Arizona City.  I didn’t think it was prudent to drive to Tucson for this, and hadn’t as yet had any reason to establish a relationship with an eye doctor here.

I dressed casually (no, home-casual, not work-casual), helped Carol get on her way to work, set up my work laptop at my one-day-a-week work-at-home desk, and created an out-of-office Email response saying I was on PTO today, followed by sending a note to my Business Team co-workers and several other folks that I would be out today.  I also recorded a “temporary greeting” on voice mail alerting any callers that I was out.  See, I like to communicate effectively.

Then I started surfing the web, starting with such phrases as “eye floaters” and “dark spots in vision”.  Eventually I read a few articles on floaters, which led me to descriptions of what I now know as Weiss Rings.

What surprised me most about what I was reading is that in general, eye doctors don’t do anything with Weiss Rings!  Sure, they can be annoying, but only a handful of eye doctors operate on them, and the risks are great.  Seems like they only recommend surgery in the most extreme cases.

Then I read about Dr James Johnson at Vitreous Floater Solutions.  He is the only eye doctor in the country who does nothing but “floater removal.”  If you have anything like a Weiss Ring, you should really go to his web site and read.  (I just love the way his web site is set up! Every page has questions from readers, and Dr. Johnson answers each one!)  I especially recommend going to his Videos & Stories page and seeing an actual “laser zapping” of a Weiss Ring, narrated in real time by Dr. Johnson.

Weiss Ring 2 hours laterAs I write this, about four hours after the initial onset, my Weiss Ring has dissipated somewhat, looking a little more like this.

At this point, I don’t think I’m heading in to any local eye doctor, for a couple of reasons:

  • Much of the recommendation I read says that as long as dark spots like Weiss Rings are not accompanied by light flashes, there really isn’t anything you can do about them.
  • I’m not experiencing any other symptoms.
  • The circle is gone, and the darkest spots have “softened” a little.

I wrote an Email to Dr. Johnson on his web site, and will continue to monitor this little beastie to see what happens.  If it stays with me for a while, maybe I’ll be making a trip out to the Vitreous Floater Solutions clinic!

In the meantime, I’ll be on the lookout for a game of alien invaders inside my eyeball.

11 thoughts on “Weiss Rings: More than your typical eyeball floaters

  1. Same experience 1 week ago exactly same thing, very intrusive on right eye vision ring 10 degrees to right centre of vision. Searched web, been for eye exam and explained the ophthalmologists quite nonchalent about it but its been driving me bonkers. I’m 50′ and its depressed me. I am fearful it will drive me insane. Has yours faded to any degree or is yag laser only option? I had radial keratotomy in 1990 and have myopia and astigmatism in this eye. Glad I found your blog.

  2. Hello 40 yr old and for much of my life iVe had numerous floaters in both eyes but now ive noticed larger half circular floaters which as some know they ‘float’ the way you are looking,then if you try to look at it directly it moves,like a coward, out of your line of sight.I know I need a dr visit soon again but sorry to say mine have not gone away or got lighter.But it seem to have taken up below on the bottom? of my eyes so I really only noticed if I flick my eyes upward fast or try to look at it.

  3. Same problem for me in May 2013 no change no disapation or break up of the floater you do gradually get used to it however it drives me demented some times will wait a year and if no better laser yag only option

  4. 63 year-old female. I had this ring appear on 1/13/2014.. it’s now 1/22/2014 and nothing has changed other than that the flashes are only one or two a day, as opposed to having them almost constantly on the first day.

    I was out of town when it occurred and after flying home on 1/15, I went directly to the opthalmologist who actually photographed the Weiss Ring. He said it would be reabsorbed over time.

    It’s annoying as hell, especially while driving, as it will occasionally land dead-center in my field of vision…right where I’m looking! Other than that, my vision seems worse in that eye and it feels like the vitreous humor is thicker, or maybe has more tiny floaters?

    I hope it goes away very soon!!

    1. I was wondering if your Weiss Ring improved or went away. I have one as of 2/13/2018 and it is still bothering me. It seems to have a cloudy string attached to the circle and it passes over my eye each time my eye moves – almost constant. Thanks.

  5. Hello,
    I have a PVD in my right eye with a Weiss Ring. It’s like looking through a dirty screen. I had surgery on my left eye for floaters (FOV), floaters only vitrectomy, then had to have cataract surgery in March of 2013. I now need a piggyback lens, but I am waiting to have a Sulcoflex which can’t be done here in the U.S. I am very sensitive to light since my floaters started back in 2010 of October and has been a long long road. What is most distracting is the light sensitivity and also I have afterimages. Does anyone have these problems.

    Thanks and can’t wait to hear from you all.

  6. I have floaters, but most only show up in certain lighting and they look like this: (http://pictures-mania.blogspot.com/2016/05/what-causes-eye-floaters.html).

    This morning about 11am, I noticed a black, solid rectangle, at the bottom left of my vision. Then, a floater appeared (or morphed) into a big circle (the center is transparent, but the outer part is dark). This was a bit left of my center of vision.
    Then, this evening there was a thick, black, long, jagged line, lower-left and stretching to almost the center of my vision (it reminded me of a wire hanger that’s been untwisted).
    Definitely going to see my eye doctor tomorrow. Better safe than sorry.

  7. Mine showed up last Saturday morning. Right eye, circular and cobwebby to the right and lower right (flashes to the upper right which I didn’t notice till Sunday night). I thought I had a smudge of something like makeup in my eye. Used eyewash on Sunday when it hadn’t gone away. Finally broke down and googled it. When I read that if it occurs suddenly it could be a retinal detachment which could cause permanent blindness if not treated within 48 hours, I freaked out and called eye doc on Monday. They got me in the next day because they said if my vision wasn’t affected except for the floater, my retina most likely wasn’t detached. After a barrage of tests, it was determined no retina tear or detachment. Between the time that I first noticed it and the diagnosis, I lived in the shock of possible blindness. The suddenness that they appeared in my right eye gave me no comfort that I still had my left eye for vision. I realized a lot about myself at that point, mainly that everything I enjoy is wrapped in independence, from living by myself in the country to hiking, motorcycling, and running. All of my hobbies such as art (painting, crafting, pastels, ceramics), interior design, thrift store haunting, reading, TV shows, sewing, just all of it would be pointless if I couldn’t see it coming together. I couldn’t drive in to town where I work, actually there isn’t anything I could do at work because I am an electronic technician so I’d have to retire. And I am not in the position financially to retire The point of all this was that after taking a trip into the land of nightmares, when the doc told me I wasn’t in immediate danger of losing my eyesight but would have to live with the floaters, I was so relieved that it almost seems inconsequential. It’s been a week now and I am getting used to it. She said it was one of the larger ones she’s seen so it is definitely noticeable, but the threat of losing my independence makes it pale in comparison.

  8. Having had floaters for as long as I can recall, and even being able to focus in on them (strands and knots of linked cells and their nuclei), a new floater didn’t bother me any more than those I already live with.

    And then the Big O! That one freaked me out. Off to the opthalmologist who, after a thorough exam of both eyes, reassured me that I was fine, that it’s a ring of cells that broke off near the optic nerve that would eventually fade (break down) away.

    He then chuckled and said I was famous! “Famous?”, I repeated back to him. “Yes”, he said, “it’s called a Weiss ring.” You see, my last name is Weiss! And he was correct… It’s gone which took about 2 years.

    Don’t worry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *