Floaters and Flashes
What is a floater?
A floater looks like small specks, dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs in your field of vision. While they seem to be in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside of it. Floaters are small clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous fluid that fill your eyeball. What you see are actually the shadows that these clumps can cast on your retina. You usually notice floaters when you’re staring at something plain, like a blank wall or a blue sky. Individuals with floaters also may have difficulty driving during the nighttime. This is because the oncoming traffic lights can blur your vision on top of the specs that are already getting in the way of your view. Making it almost impossible to see.
As we grow older, our vitreous fluid starts to thicken up or shrink. When this occurs, clumps or strands can form in the vitreous. If it somehow pulls away from the back of the eye, this is called posterior vitreous detachment. Floaters usually stem from posterior vitreous detachment. They are not fatal, or painful, and tend to fade out or go away within time. Severe floaters can be removed by surgery but this is not often the case.
You would be more likely to get floaters in your eyes if you are nearsighted, (which means you need glasses to see far away), if you have had surgery for cataracts, or if you have had inflammation or swelling inside of your eye.