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What are floaters?

Seeing floaters in your eyes can be a little alarming, especially if you’ve never noticed them before; so how do you know if this is normal or a sign of an underlying problem?

Floaters

What are floaters?
Floaters are usually described as black or semi-transparent small spots or hairs that drift across your vision.  If you have had them for years your brain becomes very good at ignoring them, and you may only notice them on bright days or when looking at a light surface. Because of this, they rarely cause problems with your vision.
What causes them?
Floaters are small pieces of debris within the vitreous (jelly) inside your eye which cast shadows on the light sensitive layer (retina) at the back of your eye. There are several possible causes of floaters; most commonly they are caused by changes in structure to the vitreous which occur naturally with age. The vitreous shrinks and becomes more liquified throughout life. This process can lead to clumps of gel which is what we see as floaters.  However, floaters can occasionally be a sign of a more serious eye disease such as retinal damage, which can be sight threatening if not treat quickly.
Our Advice
If you notice any new floaters or changes to the ones that you currently have, you must have your eyes checked the same day, either by an Optometrist or by Eye Casualty. This is to ensure that your eyes are healthy and there are no signs of any eye disease which could be sight threatening.

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