What is the origin of "seeing spots" or "to see spots"?

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 28, 2005

In Reply to: What is the origin of "seeing spots" or "to see spots"? posted by the L word on January 28, 2005

: that's all, just want to know where those phrases came from...
: thanks!

I don't know the origin. What I do know is that the retina sometimes responds to trauma, such as a stiff blow, as in boxing, by replacing normal vision in the areas traumatized by a spot where there's no vision. Rubbing one's eye can cause a spot or a seeming series of spots. A very strong light can also cause spots of no vision. When the eye, that is, the retina, is very tired from exhaustion or concentration, one may begin to see spots, usually smaller than those from some trauma. Another source of spots is "floaters," bits of tissue dislodged from parts of the inside of the eye which interrupt vision in their "shadow." I'm no expert--ask someone like Dr. Briggs, who, although not an ophthalmologist, is well-educated in such matters. SS