Spots and Floaters
Spots and floaters are very common. Almost everyone sees a few spots at one time or another. The inner part of the eye is made up of a clear, jelly-like fluid known as the vitreous. As time goes by the vitreous begins to shrink and liquify causing us to see floaters. These floaters are easily seen when looking at a lighter background such as the sky or a light colored wall. If you try to look at the spots directly, you will never be able to actually “catch up with them.” They may be of various shapes and sizes and appear as thread like strands or cobwebs within the eye. Most floaters are normal and rarely themselves cause blindness.
But, some spots may be caused by certain serious injuries or eye disease. Thus patients seeing floaters not seen before, a sudden increase in the size or number of floaters or flashes of light with or without the floaters, should have a vision examination to determine the cause immediately. To make sure these are not retinal detachments, the doctor will look into your eye extensively with lighted instruments to observe the spots. If there is a concern for your eyes health or vision, the appropriate care will be recommended.
There is no treatment for spots and floaters if the cause is from shrinking and liquefaction of the vitreous. This is simply a change we see with birthdays.
SYMPTOMS OF RETINAL TEARS TO WATCH FOR:
FLOATERS: Sudden strings, spider webs, or dots in the vision. Patients who already have some floaters in their vision should watch for sudden, dramatic increase in these.
FLASHES OF LIGHT: Bright flashes of light resembling lightning, which often appear off to the side of the vision.
DIMMING OF THE SIDE VISION: A dim or gray area developing in the side vision in any direction, resembling a curtain being drawn.