Eye floaters are tiny spots, specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision, appearing to float in front of the eye. They may seem like distant objects, but they are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, or gel-like, portion of the eye.
You usually notice floaters when looking at something plain, such as a blank wall or blue sky. Floaters are most often isolated occurrences that are a perfectly normal part of vision. The vitreous gel thickens and shrinks as we age, sometimes forming tiny clumps in the vitreous. These clumps cast shadows onto the retina, and the resulting forms and shapes are referred to as eye floaters.
You are more likely to get floaters if you:
Sometimes floaters have more serious causes, including:
If floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by eye flashes, this may be a sign of a more serious condition and should be immediately brought to the attention of an eye doctor.
Retinal tear or detachment can be a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical care if you have any of these symptoms:
You should contact your eye doctor right away if:
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