What is it?

Spots, or floaters, are tiny clouds within the vitreous (the clear fluid inside your eyes). They move with your eyes and can appear as black or gray spots in your field of vision.

In most cases, spots or floaters are not a cause for alarm. However, if you see a sudden increase of them combined with light flashes or a loss of peripheral vision, it could be very serious. In these cases, your eye may be detaching itself from your retina.

How does it happen?

Many spots and floaters are normal/temporary and can be attributed to staring at a bright light or computer screen. More frequent ones can be due to permanent or serious conditions, such as:

  • Age-related eye changes: As you get older, parts of the vitreous in your eyes may get stringy or clumpy. If any tiny clump blocks light from hitting the retina, you may see spots and floaters.
  • Bleeding or inflammation of the eye
  • A torn retina: If not treated right away, it can detach and cause permanent vision loss.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of eye floaters may include the following:

  • Dark spots in your line of vision
  • Spots that move when you move your eyes
  • Spots that appear after staring at a bright light

More serious symptoms that accompany spots and floaters include:

  • More floaters/spots than normal
  • New floaters suddenly appearing
  • Flashes of light
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Pain along with the floaters

What are my risk factors?

Floaters and spots are fairly common, but there are a few factors that increase your risk of experiencing them. These include:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Eye trauma
  • Older age (50+)
  • Complications from a cataract surgery

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Your eye doctor will conduct an eye exam to determine whether the spots are harmless or something to worry about. This will involve special tools and light to view the back of your eye.

Most of the time, no treatment is necessary. However, in more severe cases when vision is impaired, surgery may be required to remove the spots.

How can I prevent it from happening?

There are no known ways to prevent spots and floaters from happening.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms to spots and floaters, contact us today.

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