Seeing spots

If you’re seeing spots in front of your eyes it’s important not to be anxious. But what can be causing these floaters in your line of vision?

Seeing spots or floaters is an eye condition which becomes more common the older you get. While floaters can signal a serious condition, such as retinal issues, most of the time they’re just annoying.

Floaters are caused by bits of vitreous, the gel-like material, which fills your eyeball, breaking off, and casting shadows on your retina. This happens when the vitreous starts to sag and weaken, which happens with age. These floaters are often more obvious when you’re looking at a bright background and it is estimated that most people have them by the age of 70. You’re also more likely to get floaters if you’re short-sighted as the elongated shape of the eye causes more strain on the vitreous.

A professional should check any changes in your vision. While floaters are common, they can also be the sign of retinal detachment, which can cause permanent vision loss if not repaired immediately by surgery. If you experience a sudden increase in the number of floaters, plus blurred vision and flashes of light, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Floaters can also be caused by inflammation at the back of the eye, bleeding in the eye or diabetes and should always be checked out.

Written by Debbie McTaggart