Q. I see spots floating in my vision. Someone told me that they are called “floaters.” Can you tell me what these are and should I see my eye doctor about these?
A. A floater is a dark spot that seems to “float” around in the field of vision. Floaters are cells or fibers inside the eye that get in the line of sight and cast a shadow on the retina. They are very common and usually just a nuisance and an annoyance related to a normal change in the vitreous “jelly” of the eye.
Occasionally (less than 1% of the time) a floater is the first sign of a retinal detachment which is a serious eye problem. A “shower” of floaters associated with flashes of light and a dark or gray curtain–effect on vision can occur. A dilated eye exam is recommended for these symptoms.
Thomas M. Reynolds, M.D. F.A.C.S.
Chattanooga Vision Center
2 Northgate Park Suite 302
Chattanooga, TN 37415