Floaters & Spots

Spots (often called floaters) are small, semi-transparent or cloudy particles within the vitreous, which is the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes.
Eye rubbing

These spots can appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs in the field of vision caused by particles floating in the fluid that fills the inside of the eye. Because they are in the eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.

Spots are often caused by small flecks of protein or other matter that became trapped when your eyes formed before birth. They can also appear as the vitreous fluid deteriorates due to aging. Also, certain eye diseases or injuries can cause the appearance of spots.

Most spots are not harmful, and they rarely limit vision. However, spots can be an indication of a more serious problem. See a doctor of optometry for a comprehensive examination if you suddenly start seeing more spots, especially in your central vision. A doctor of optometry can determine if what you are seeing is harmless or the symptom of a more serious problem that requires treatment.

Causes & risk factors

Spots are often caused by small flecks of protein or other matter that became trapped when your eyes formed before birth. They can also appear as the vitreous fluid deteriorates due to aging. Certain eye diseases or injuries can cause the appearance of spots.

Symptoms

These spots can appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs. Because they are in your eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. Floaters and spots rarely affect vision. If accompanied by flashes or a sudden occurrence—this may be a more serious problem and require an immediate eye examination by a doctor of optometry.

Diagnosis & treatment

A doctor of optometry can determine if what you are seeing is harmless or the symptom of a more serious problem that requires treatment. If the issue is related to a more serious problem, surgical management might be necessary.

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