Have you ever noticed a small, dark spec in your field of vision? These are known as floaters. Floaters are relatively common, and though they may seem to be in front of the eye, they are actually seen as shadows by your retina.
What Causes Floaters?
A clear gel called the vitreous body fills the inside of the eye. If some of the gel forms clumps, floaters can result. Floaters can also be caused by small flecks of protein or other material that were trapped in the vitreous during the eye’s formation.
In most cases, floaters are a natural part of the aging process and simply an annoyance. Though they can be distracting, they tend to “settle” at the bottom of the eye. Usually they settle below the line of sight, but do not go away completely.
Floaters can also be caused by diabetes, or can occur if you have had a cataract operation.
How are Floaters Treated?
In many cases, floaters are not treated, they are simply ignored. Because floaters are seen as a shadow on your retina, moving your eyes up and down can help the fluid to shift, and move out of your direct line of vision.
In rare occasions that floaters become more predominant, they can be surgically removed.
As always, if you have any loss of vision, you should immediately consult your eye doctor. A vision care exam can help determine the seriousness of your floaters and the overall health of your eyes.