Ever had those small, moving spots in your field of vision? They’re called eye floaters, and often happen after you’ve been looking at something bright. And while they may be distracting, they usually don’t interfere with your sight.
A normal eye floater is small and squiggly, dot or line that’s black or gray. They are caused by small flecks of collagen, a protein found in the gel-like substance in the eye and shed as we age. They also can occur with:
- Eye surgery
- Eye disease
- Eye injury
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Eye tumors
Sometimes, though, those floaters can be warning of something serious. If you are suddenly seeing a lot of them, or if they are accompanied by flashes of light or a loss of side (peripheral) vision, then it’s a good idea to see your eye care specialist.
In those cases, the floaters can be caused by:
- Retinal detachment
- Retinal tear
- Bleeding within the eye
If you are having floaters and they don’t seem to go away, or if the light flashes and vision loss mentioned above accompany them, it’s important to contact your eye doctor right away. Early detection is key to successful treatment to protect your vision.