Have you noticed black spots, specks or even the appearance of a “cobweb”
in your field of vision? These are called
floaters. Typically, floaters are no cause for alarm; they are simply annoying.
While they are most commonly harmless, if you notice floaters, it’s
important to schedule
eye exam to rule out a retinal emergency and determine the eye floater causes.
Floaters are the result of tiny pieces of gel floating around in the eye.
The back of the eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous.
As we age, the vitreous liquefies, but pieces of gel may be left floating around.
Floaters are most noticeable when looking at bright objects, such as the
sky, or a bright, white computer screen. What you see isn’t the
pieces of vitreous debris themselves, but the shadow of these pieces of
debris cast on the retina as light passes through the eye. Floaters are
most visible when looking at bright objects or surfaces because a floater
is created by a shadow.
In addition to floaters, movement of the vitreous gel in the eye can also
cause a flash of light to appear in vision. Like floaters, flashes caused
by movement in vitreous gel are not dangerous, but flashes could also
be a sign of a hole or tear in the retina.
Floaters themselves are not dangerous, but a sudden onset of floaters or
a large number of them may be a sign of a more severe problem. The vitreous
could be pulling away from the retina or there could be a tear in the
retina. In most cases, retinal tears lead to the retina detaching from
the back of the eye. If immediate medical attention isn’t given
to the torn or detached retina, vision may be permanently lost.
If you experience floaters or flashes, schedule an appointment with your
eye doctor to have your eyes examined to rule out more serious conditions.
Contact Key-Whitman today to
schedule your comprehensive exam.
When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest
news and information about our life-changing services at Key-Whitman Eye
Center. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected!