You may sometimes see small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. These are called floaters. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall, computer screen, or blue sky.
Floaters are tiny clumps of cells or material inside the vitreous, the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. While these objects look like they are in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside it. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina, the layer of cells lining the back of the eye that senses light and allows you to see. Floaters can appear as different shapes, such as little dots, circles, lines, clouds or cobwebs.
When the vitreous gel pulls on the retina, you may see what look like flashing lights or lightning streaks. These are called flashes. You may have experienced this same sensation if you have ever been hit in the eye and seen “stars.” The flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months. Patients who have a new onset of flashes should see their eye doctor for evaluation.
As we grow older, it is more common to experience floaters and flashes as the vitreous gel changes with age, gradually pulling away from the inside surface of the eye. Call Florida Eye Associates at 321-727-2020 if you’ve experienced an increase in floaters and flashes, especially after an injury or eye surgery.