You’re sitting there, just staring off into the distance when suddenly, something floats across your eyes. You jerk back thinking it may have been a fly, but when you don’t hear the annoying buzzing sound zipping by your ears, you know it’s not that. But then, from the corner of your eye, there it is again! These black specks seem to appear and disappear every time you think you’ve locked your gaze on them. What is that?
We promise you’re not seeing things! Those black specks are what you call floaters. Watch Dr. Moos explain what these ‘floaters’ are in the latest edition of #AskAnEyeDoc below.
According to VSP network doctor Nichole Moos, they’re actually inside your eye. “Inside the eye there’s a jelly material that fills the eye and gives it its shape,” explains Dr. Moos. “Little clumps of that jelly floating around in there casts a shadow on the back of the eye and that’s what you see as a floater.” This jelly-like substance is called the vitreous humour.
You are more likely to notice a floater when you’re looking at something plain, like up at a blue sky or a white wall. When you’re engaged in something like a conversation, you’re not likely to notice the floaters. “It’s usually while you’re spacing out or bored or there’s not a lot to look at,” said Dr. Moos.
In most cases, floaters are harmless. Eventually they’ll sink down to the bottom and you won’t see them as much. But Dr. Moos warns, there are some instances with floaters that you should see an eye doctor right away.
- If you see bright camera flashes of light in your vision
- If you see hundreds or thousands of them that are new and sudden
- If you feel like there’s a veil or a black curtain coming over one of the eyes
According to Dr. Moos, if you do see a veil or black curtain over one of your eyes, this is an emergency and you need to go see your doctor immediately.
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Disclaimer: Information received through VSP Vision Care’s social media channels does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment.