Do you occasionally see cobwebs float through your field of view? Maybe you see tiny blobs that look like bugs flying through your side vision? This phenomenon is not uncommon; many people present similar concerns to their eye doctor, and come to learn they are seeing floaters.  While it may seem like floaters are objects drifting through the air in front of you, they are actually the result of changes occurring inside your eye, and nearly everyone experiences them as we age.

The eye is filled with a clear, gel-like substance called the vitreous.  As we get older, this gel becomes more liquid-like, and proteins within the vitreous begin to clump together and cast a shadow within the eye.  This shadow results in our perception of a floater. Floaters can appear differently to different people; some may describe then as translucent strings, other as dark spots.   Like any shadow, floaters are most apparent in bright-light conditions. People seem to notice them most on bright sunny days or while looking at a well-illuminated computer screen.

Most of the time, floaters are simply part of the eye’s aging process and are completely harmless.  While they may be annoying or distracting, they are not causing your eye any harm. Very rarely, floaters can by a sign of a more serious problem occurring in the back of the eye.  In the case of a retinal detachment, floaters may increase in number and may be accompanied by flashes of light. If you notice symptoms such as this, immediately call to make an appointment.