If you notice small black floating spots drifting across your field of vision – known as eye floaters – you might be concerned. Most of the time, these tiny specks and squiggly strands are harmless, but they can occasionally be cause for concern. Here’s what you need to know about black floating spots in your vision.
Usually, eye floaters are nothing more than bits of debris that are left over from age-related shrinkage of the vitreous – the jelly-like fluid inside the eyeball. They become more common as the vitreous ages.
Eye floaters can appear as black or gray dots, lines, cobwebs or blobs. Because the floaters are inside the fluid of your eye, they will move as your eyes move. If you try to look right at them, they will seem to dart out of your vision.
Eye floaters commonly appear when you stare at a bright, plain surfaces such as the sky, a reflective object or blank white paper. Eye floaters may be present in only one eye, or they may be in both.
Once you have them, eye floaters never really go away (though they may dip below your line of sight so you don’t notice them). They’re more likely to develop after cataract surgery or if you have diabetes or have had an eye injury. Eye floaters may also be more pronounced if you’re very nearsighted.
Generally, no treatment is recommended unless eye floaters obscure your vision or are a symptom of a more serious condition.
Occasionally, eye floaters may be a warning sign of a tear or detachment of the retina – the light-sensitive membrane that lines the back of the eyes.
Eye floaters can also be a symptom (along with decreased vision, eye pain and light sensitivity) of uveitis. This inflammation of the middle layer of the eye may extend to the lens, retina, optic nerve and vitreous.
If you notice a sudden increase in eye floaters, especially if this is accompanied by an abrupt loss of vision, flashes of light, shadows, or a gray “curtain” moving across your field of vision – seek emergency help right away.
If you have noticed black floating spots in your vision and would like to learn more, contact Medical Eye Center at 541-779-4711 or www.medicaleyecenter.com today.