Ever wonder why you sometimes see dark spots or lines in your vision? These are called “floaters” and most are harmless. For some, the appearance of these tiny flecks may just be a nuisance, but for others they may signify a more serious problem.
So what are they? Floaters may result from changes in the vitreous (gel inside your eye) with age, or may actually be present almost since birth. When small opacities within the vitreous cast shadows on the retina, they may appear to you as tiny threads, lines, black or white flecks, or cobwebs.
The longer you’ve had the floaters, the less likely they are to be serious. If you suddenly see floaters that you have never seen before, especially if you are also seeing brief intense flashes of light, you should see one of our eye doctors within one to two days. These symptoms could be related to a tear of the retina, which could lead to more serious problems if untreated.
It’s usually not possible to focus on floaters and spots because they move around in sync with the eye’s movements. Floaters tend to increase with age. The most common question we get asked is “when will they go away?” In fact, there really is no treatment for floaters. Over time they may settle within the eye and become less noticeable.
An eye examination is the best way to determine whether your floaters are harmless or whether they may be related to an eye health problem. Call us for an appointment, especially if you also see light flashes or have a high eyeglass prescription.