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Floaters

Eye floaters are those tiny spots, specks, flecks and “cobwebs” that drift aimlessly around in your field of vision. While annoying, ordinary eye floaters and spots are very common and usually aren’t cause for alarm. Floaters and spots typically appear when tiny pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous break loose within the inner back portion of the eye. When we are born and throughout our youth, the vitreous has a gel-like consistency. But as we age, the vitreous begins to dissolve and liquefy to create a watery center. Some undissolved gel particles occasionally will float around in the more liquid center of the vitreous. These particles can take on many shapes and sizes to become what we refer to as “floaters.”

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You’ll notice that these types of spots and floaters are particularly pronounced when you peer at a bright, clear sky, a white computer screen, or a room with bright white walls. But you can’t actually see tiny bits of debris floating loose within your eye. Instead, shadows from these floaters are cast on the retina as light passes through the eye, and these shadows are what you see. You’ll also notice that these specks never seem to stay still when you try to focus on them. Floaters and spots move when your eye moves, creating the impression that they are “drifting.”

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