What Causes Eye Floaters and Spots?
The floating specks you sometimes see in front of your eyes are not on the surface of your eyes but inside them. Eye floaters or a spot occurring in your field of vision are common as people age. In most cases, these floaters will appear in your field of vision when you look at something bright such as a white screen or the sky. These are spots that you can see and appear to float as you look around. Eye floaters can be present in one or both eyes and can come in many different shapes:
- Black or gray dots
- Squiggly lines
- Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and almost see-through
Floaters are caused by strands, deposits, or liquid pockets developing on the vitreous humor, or the back part of the eye. This is the part of the eye that the light going to the retina passes through. It is a jelly like material that occupies the back two-thirds of the eye.
When the light is blocked by these strands, deposits, or liquid pockets, it casts a small shadow onto the surface of the retina, and the shadows that result are seen as floaters. They are usually black or gray in color. These shadows appear to move as the eye moves, left, right, up, and down. This is why patients often say that they see a dot or spot floating in their field of vision.
Floaters are most commonly experienced as we age and don’t totally go away. About 50% of people who are age 60 have floaters and most people over the age of 70 experience some sort of floater. While many people notice them at first, they may find that after a few months they are less noticeable as the brain and eye begin to ignore or get used to them being there.
While floaters are common, and most people will experience them, it is important to get your regular check-up with the eye doctors at Bissell Eye Care.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY if you notice a sudden increase in floaters or if you see floaters along with flashes of light in your side vision, this may be a symptom of a retinal tear or detachment. Go to an eye doctor or emergency room if you have these symptoms.
Serious eye disorders associated with floaters include:
- Detached retina
- Torn retina
- Bleeding in your vitreous
- Inflamed vitreous or retina caused by infections or an autoimmune condition
- Eye tumors
Annual checkups are key to good eye health. Be sure to maintain your routine visit with Bissell Eye Care and tell the doctors if you notice any changes in your eyesight, such as floaters.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.