Floaters & Flashes – Why Do I See Them

Are You Suddenly Seeing Dark Spots In Your Vision? Dark spots can refer to blind spots or shadows that seem to “float” in your field of vision. These are commonly known as floaters. They may look to you like black or gray specks, strings, or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes. 

Causes of Floating Blind Spots

Floaters can happen for no obvious reason and are often perfectly harmless. However, the clear substance inside the eye (vitreous gel), which fills 80% of the eye, begins to shrink with age. When the vitreous gel shrinks or thickens, particles form in the gel. These small particles liquefy and pull away from the surface of the eyeball, clumping together, causing small shadows which are seen as floaters. 

Normal for Eye Floaters: 

Here are some signs that the eye floaters are completely normal. 

  • They occur when looking at something bright
  • They occur when looking at a plain, light-colored background 
  • They do not interfere with your vision

When to See a Doctor 

  • Contact an eye specialist immediately if you notice: 
  • Increase in the number of floaters you’re seeing. 
  • Flashing lights associated with the spot 
  • Darkness on any side or sides of your vision (peripheral vision loss) 
  • A vision that is blurred or distorted 

Above signs can lead to serious conditions such as:

Retinal Detachment is a serious eye condition that happens your retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye) is pulled away from its normal position at the back of your eye. 

Internal Eye Bleeding is the presence of blood within the eye. 

Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by diabetes. It damages the retina and can lead to blindness. 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It’s caused by deterioration of the macula, a small area in the center of the retina. 

Above sight-threatening condition requires immediate attention. Thus, early detection and treatment are crucial. Treatment options include laser treatment or surgery, and without it, you risk losing your vision. 

Our Expert Ophthalmologist

Dr. Madhava Rao

Consultant Ophthalmology

Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi

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