The eye is filled with a clear, watery jelly-like substance called the vitreous humour that helps maintain the eye’s shape. Debris within the vitreous humour casts a shadow on the retina at the back of the eye, and appears to ‘float’ in your field of vision. Floaters can appear in a variety of shapes and sizes such as dots, smoke, shadow or hairs. They are more visible against clear, pale backgrounds such as white walls or blue sky. They move when your eye moves in different directions and seem to dart away when you look at them.
Most floaters are small but larger floaters can be annoying and make activities that require higher concentration, such as reading or driving more difficult. Although most people naturally experience floaters, they are usually harmless.
They can however also be caused by a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) or a detachment or tear of the retina (the light sensitive tissue inside the eye), oher symptoms could possibly be experienced such as flashing lights, coloured ‘sparkles’, temporary loss of vision, blind spots and sudden ‘showers’ of floaters or cobweb effects. If someone is experiencing a combination of these symptoms they may need urgent attention.
Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness but should not be used to self diagnose. Always consult a professionally qualified optician.