View Full Version : Seeing Fireflies

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02-21-2011, 08:24 AM
I have an odd question. The other night at practice, I took a roll and well it wasn't very good. Folded my arm. Anyways, upon coming out of it, I was fairly dizzy, and saw these little firefly like glowing things infront of my eyes. Has anyone else ever had this happen or know what causes it?

02-21-2011, 08:36 AM
Yes sometimes when I take a lot of ukemis I feel dizzy. You can get it too if your blood pressure goes down, the best to recover is to eating something sweet. When we organize a seminar we always put water and little chocolates for the aikidokas.

Janet Rosen
02-21-2011, 11:15 AM
Be careful - something affecting one eye may mean a detached retina, needing immediate medical attention.

Rob Watson
02-21-2011, 01:19 PM
Google-Fu to the rescue since you didn't go to the doctor.



02-21-2011, 08:05 PM
I think I've seen those, both on the mat or in other circumstances. Often NOT associated with exertion, but rather changes of body position (like in your roll). Lasts about 3 seconds or so? Looks like swimming tadpoles? My wife and brothers have seen them too. I was surprised those links didn't talk about the tadpoles, since they are so much more interesting looking than the extra-ocular pressure-mediated stars in the articles. I think these are probably also pressure-mediated, but it is pressure within the blood rather than from outside, so you see light blobs following blood vessel paths. That's my guess anyway..

02-22-2011, 06:19 AM
The "tadpoles" are floaters. They're deposits within the vitreous humor.

Larry Cuvin
02-22-2011, 09:43 AM
May be low blood pressure. Happens to me once in a while. Try getting warmed up good before doing rolls.

02-22-2011, 10:21 AM
I have really low blood pressure, so I get these if I stand up too quick from sitting or laying down. Or... sometimes everything just goes black for a bit. If you tend to see these doing rolls, maybe you should try spotting. Keep your eyes focused on uke as you roll at some point, you will have to turn your head, but dances have to do this as well. You will end up coming to your feet and turning to face them to maintain the eye contact. This photo from Potomac Aikikai (I believe) is a decent photo of this. I found one wihle browsing sites yesterday that was perfect, but I can't seem to find it now....


02-24-2011, 09:02 PM
The "tadpoles" are floaters. They're deposits within the vitreous humor.

Just wanted to point out I meant something different than floaters-- floaters are clear and motionless within the field of view, right? (Of course that means if you try to look at one then they all appear slide to the side, continuously, because it is never in the center of your vision no matter how far you chase it)
The tadpoles are actually luminous. Like little suns. And they don't slide gently to the side, they swim in arcs before disappearing forever, each one lasting about half a second.
Now I am starting to feel crazy. Kids, don't bang your heads on the ground repeatedly just to see the tadpoles!

02-24-2011, 10:16 PM
If in doubt, get it checked out! That sounds like an awesome slogan for a doctor office. Please ignore all my errors in my post. I meant nage instead of uke and dancers instead of dances....

Linda Eskin
02-24-2011, 11:08 PM
Sometimes after a roll or quick change of position (not particularly hitting my head or anything) I see what look like little bits at the end of fireworks (very bright and tiny) out of the corner of one eye for a few seconds. It happens once every couple of months, with no pattern that I can figure out.

I have had a lot of experience with vertigo, and haven't notice any correlation between the "fireflies" and dizziness. (In fact, doing Aikido has helped my vertigo, generally.)

02-25-2011, 04:23 AM
I think those are simply white blood cells.



02-25-2011, 06:20 PM
Jonathan and Linda's descriptions fit what sometimes happens to me, usually when getting up when tired and/or with low blood sugar. If it goes further I can start to black out. It could be related to dizziness, but not from spinning fluid in you inner ear, more the dizziness of not enough blood going to your brain and being on the way to passing out.