I See Little Black Specks Moving Around, What Is That?

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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.

Check out our Find a Doctor tool for a quick and easy way to locate your nearest VSP network provider.

Don’t have a plan? Check out all the available individual plans to meet your eyecare needs.

Remember, if you have a general eye-related question, be sure to comment below or post to social media with hashtag #AskAnEyeDoc.

Disclaimer: Information received through VSP Vision Care’s social media channels does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment.

18 Comments

  • Dave says:

    Nice job, tell me about pigment dispersion.

  • Dale Lopez says:

    What causes bright camera flashes of light in your eyes? I have had that experience only once, but it was quite disturbing. I was in the mountains and blacked out immediately as I was walking from an art gallery back to our car.

  • Jean Walsh says:

    Thank you very much for the explanation. I only see out of one eye and was concerned.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Jean,
      This video is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. This would be something to share with your eye doctor who can better asses your eye health needs. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

  • Leslie says:

    Is it normal, after a corneal transplant, to have a difference in eye color?
    Is it also typical for the transplant to heal as a smaller/lazy eye? Is light sensitivity lifelong after a corneal transplant?
    These are my experiences, since April 28, 2016. I’d deeply appreciate response “from experienced individuals” (i.e. opthamologist,optometrist, former transplant patient).

    #AskAnEyeDoc

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Leslie,
      This video series is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

  • Sherry says:

    Is there anything to do to stop the floaters? Eye drops Etc.

  • Are those over the counter supplements claiming improved eyesight’s, or prevention of certain eye conditions worth the time and money. Or can vitamins do just as good, some of these nutrients can cost an arm and a leg, what is the truth.

  • Kim says:

    What about thousands of black dots, particularly after working outside, and they seem to be moving quickly to the center of the vision field? If you can imagine a black hole or vortex attracting space debris with a gravitational field, that would be a similar observation. #AskAnEyeDoc

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Kim,
      This video is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. It would be best to consult your eye doctor directly about any symptoms you are experiencing especially any changes to your vision. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Kim,
      This video series is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. Any symptoms that affect your vision should be shared directly with your eye doctor. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

  • Laura Crane says:

    Last October I had my lower ducts plugged to retain more fluid in my dry eyes. Few months later, the skin around the upper and lower lids in that area, continue to flake & peel. Very annoying and wondered if the plugs could be causing this?
    Than you

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Laura,
      This video is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. Your eye doctor can better assess your individual eye care needs. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

  • Don Harmon says:

    So science has found no practical way to eliminate these harmless, yet annoying, floaters?

  • Silas Eubanks says:

    When I am fatigued I see something similar to bright flash of light but it lasts sometimes 15-20 and it blurs my vision during that time for slowly starting to completely covering my vision back to nothing; happens 3-7 times a month.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Silas,
      This video is meant only to provide general health information, but we cannot provide medical advice. It would be best to consult your eye doctor about any visual symptoms you are experiencing. If you don’t already have an eye doctor, you can find one near you at the following link: https://goo.gl/PoBa71
      Best,
      Angelina F.,VSP

      • Ken Gee says:

        Instead of posting the same mundane reply over and over and over, why not make that statement in the body of the article just ONCE. Your multi-replies are a bit ridiculous.

  • Rosalinda Alvarado says:

    What are symptoms of a vitreous posterior tear in the eye and what can be done if you are diagnosed with one in each eye?

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