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About the Anatomy of the human Eye
Eye Disorders & Diseases
About Eye Anatomy and Disorders
 
Floaters
 

You may sometimes see small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. These are called floaters. They are most often seen when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky.

Floaters are actually tiny clumps of cells or material inside the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye, the vitreous. These objects are actually floating inside the eye even if it looks like they are in front of your eye. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina.

When the vitreous gel pulls on the retina, you may see what looks like flashing lights. These are called flashes. The flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months. As we grow older the vitreous gel changes with age and it is more common to experience floaters and flashes.


Treatment

Some floaters require no treatment as they are harmless and fade over time or become less bothersome. Surgery to remove floaters is almost never required.

Floaters may however be a symptom of a tear in the retina, which is a serious problem. The retina may detach from the back of the eye if a retinal tear is not treated. The only treatments for a detached retina are a laser procedure or surgery.