Floaters & Flashes

What is a Floater?

Floater is the word used to describe specks or particles suspended in the vitreous (the protein gel in the back part of the eye) that drift across the visual axis. It varies for everyone but they often appear as dust-like particles, cobwebs, thread-like strands, shadows or flashes.

Because floaters can move in the vitreous as the eye moves, they may appear to dart away when you try to look at them. If these particles are large or clump together they can interfere with vision, though most are hardly noticeable or only enter the visual axis occasionally.

In most cases floaters are a normal part of ageing as the vitreous shrinks and pulls away particles as it does. Floaters can also be caused by certain injuries, eye disease or deterioration of the eye structures.

A sudden increase in the number or size of floaters, a shower of floaters over the vision or the appearance of floaters when there were none before can be symptoms of a retinal detachment. Patient's experiencing any of these symptoms should have a consultation with a specialist ophthalmologist urgently.

For more information: https://ranzco.edu/ophthalmology-and-eye-health/eye-conditions


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