Dr. David O’Day, M.D. at Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery is often asked by patients “What are these little black spots that I see floating around when I’m reading”? Once a person begins seeing them, it’s logical to want to know if it is something dangerous going on with their vision. Dr. O’Day immediately assures his patients that this is very common, and while they may be irritating, they are not dangerous.
Aging creates a variety of issues that take place inside the eyes. One of the common ones is small Clouds, Floaters, or Specs that seem to float across your field of vision. You are most likely to notice these lecks, or spots in your eyes between the ages of 50 and 75, especially in people who are very nearsighted (Myopia) or have had Cataract surgery. While they are not harmful, they can be somewhat annoying.
They tend to be most noticed when you are reading, looking at white backgrounds such as walls, or while you are gazing at the clouds. Most of the time people learn to live with Eye Floaters and ignore them. Actually, they sometimes improve over months to years. Only rarely do benign Eye Floaters become bothersome enough to consider treatment.
What Causes Floaters and Spots?
It may appear that these spots or specs are on the front surface of your eye, but they are actually inside your eye. Most Eye Floaters are caused by small flecks of a protein called collagen. The back part of the eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous humor. As you age, the vitreous and its millions of fine collagen fibers shrink and become shred-like. Shreds can accumulate in the vitreous. This can cause a change in the amount of light that hits the retina. This tissue located in the back part of the eye is very light sensitive. This change causes the symptoms of Eye Floaters.
Should You Seek Medical Attention?
A sudden increase in Eye Floaters or Spots can be an indication that something is happening to your retina (the inner back tissue of the eyeball). You could be experiencing vitreous detachments or a detached retina, which must be diagnosed and treated. Other signs that there may be a more serious problem is if you experience flashes of light, vision loss, or you pain along with Eye Floaters.
No matter what your vision-related issues are, it is crucial to have a skilled, caring, and trusted health care provider. If you live in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach SC or surrounding areas, consider visiting Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery for help with a variety of vision-related issues including Floaters and Spots – don’t take chances with your eyesight. Call us at (843) 856-5275 to schedule an appointment today.