swim before (one's) eyes

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swim before (one's) eyes

To appear in or cloud one's vision. Usually said of floaters (clumps of fibers in the eye) or rings, spots, or flashes of light (called phosphenes). I stood up too quickly, causing flashes of light to swim before my eyes. A: "My daughter's had these floaters swimming before her eyes recently." B: "Isn't she a bit young for that to be happening?"
See also: before, eye, swim
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

swim before someone's eyes

Fig. [for something, such as spots or visions] to appear in one's field of vision. I was getting feverish and spots swam before my eyes. Visions of total destruction swam before my eyes as the bus skidded in the snow.
See also: before, eye, swim
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
'WALKING through the supermarket door I stopped dead as everything began to swim before my eyes. Bright lights flashed and suddenly everything was a blur.
The world would bounce and swim before my eyes, undulating like reflections in a wavy mirror, and whenever I tried to look at just one thing, to isolate a single object from the onrush of whirling colours -a blue scarf wrapped around a woman's head, say, or the red tail-light of a passing delivery truck -it would immediately begin to break apart and dissolve, disappearing like a drop of dye in a glass of water.'