What Causes “Eye Floaters”

Daven Hiskey 149
Eye FloatersToday I found out what causes “eye floaters”.

For those who’ve never experienced this phenomenon, eye floaters are little oddly shaped objects that appear in your vision, often when one looks at bright light such as a blue sky.  Their shapes vary greatly, but will often appear as spots, cobwebs, or randomly shaped stringy objects.  These are not optical illusions, but rather something your eyes are actually perceiving.  There are a few different things that can cause this, but in most cases these eye floaters are caused by pieces of the gel-like vitreous breaking off from the back portion of your eye and then floating about in your eye ball.

The vitreous humor, or often just “vitreous”, is a clear gel that fills the gap between your retina and lens, helping maintain the round shape of your eye in the process.  This gel is about 99% water and 1% other elements; the latter of which consists mostly of a network of hyaluronic acid and collagen.  Hyaluronic acid ends up retaining water molecules.  Over time though, this network breaks down which results in the hyaluronic acid releasing its trapped water molecules.  When this happens, it forms a watery core in your vitreous body.

As you age then, pieces of the still gel-like collagen/hyaluronic acid network will break off and float around in this watery center.  When light passes through this area, it creates a shadow on your retina.  This shadow is actually what you are seeing when you see the eye floaters.

Children and teenagers almost never experience these types of eye floaters as there must first be some deterioration of the gel-like substance in their eye, creating the watery core, for these floaters to appear.  However, they do still sometimes experience a certain type of eye floater that often appears more like a crystallized web across their vision.  These floaters aren’t found in the vitreous humor like the above floaters.  Instead, they are found in the Premacular Bursa area, right on top of the retina.  These floaters are microscopic in size and only appear as big as they do because of their proximity to the retina.  Unfortunately, their microscopic nature makes them almost impossible to treat in most cases.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Facts:

  • Interestingly, if the eye floaters would just stay still instead of floating around, your brain would automatically tune them out and you’d never consciously see them.  Your brain does this all the time with things both in and outside of your eyes.  One example of this inside your eye are blood vessels in the eye which obstruct light; because they are fixed in location, relative to the retina, your brain tunes them out completely and you don’t consciously perceive them.
  • The reason you can see floaters better when looking at, for instance, a bright blue sky, is because your pupils contract to a very small size, thus reducing the aperture, which in turn makes floaters more apparent and focused.
  • Individual floaters often won’t change much throughout your lifetime, typically retaining their basic shape and size.
  • The perception of eye floaters is known as myodesopsia.
  • The reason the floating specs never seem to stay still is because floaters, being suspended in the vitreous humor,  move when your eye moves.  So as you try to look at them, they will appear to drift with your eye movement.
  • Eye floaters are examples of entoptic phenomena.  Entoptic phenomena are things we see where the source is within the eye itself.
  • If you ever see a ton of floaters appear out of no where, possibly with some light flashes, you should get to an eye doctor immediately.  There is a chance (1 in 7) that your retina is about to detach from the back of your eye.  If that happens, you have very little time to get it fixed before it effectively dies and you go blind from that eye.
  • Floaters can damage the retina by tugging on it, sometimes producing a tear.  When a tear happens, vitreous can invade the opening in the tear, which will ultimately widen the gap and in 50% of these cases will result in the retina eventually becoming fully detached if not repaired via surgery.
  • “Light flashes” not caused by actual light, also known as photopsia, will often occur when the photoreceptors in the retina receive stimulation from being touched or from being torn.  This produces an electrical impulse to your brain, which your brain more or less interprets as a light flash.  This physical stimulation is often caused when traction is being applied while the vitreous detachment is taking place.  The flashes should subside when the vitreous finally detaches.
  • These flashes will also often temporarily occur when you get a sharp blow to the head.  The sudden jarring causes pressure on the retina; this in turn creates an electrical impulse to the brain which the brain interprets as a flash.
  • Yet another potential cause of these flashes is with migraine headaches, usually caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the brain.  In this case, you will experience the flashes in both eyes at the same time, often followed by an extreme headache, though this doesn’t necessarily have to follow with a headache.  Basically, if you are experiencing these flashes in both eyes at the same time, it is likely caused by either severe head trauma, which resulted in damage to both of your retinas, or more likely by some form of ophthalmic migraine.
  • Aside: as someone who has had about 12 of these type of migraines, with the extreme headache directly following about 15-ish minutes of flashes where you can barely see in between the flashes, I can say, it’s like getting kicked in the balls continually for about 3 hours or so, only the pain is in your head instead of balls and abdomen.  This is all followed by your eyes having a dull ache for a few days.  You will also have major pain in your eyes and possible recurrence of the migraine, if you decide to not wear sunglasses at all times during the few days following this event; including wearing the sunglasses inside where people will inevitably think you are a douche for doing so. ;-)
  • About 50% of all people will have a vitreous detachment by the time they turn 80.
  • If you have had a vitreous detachment and you’ve experienced light flashes with that, you have about a 15% chance of developing a retinal tear.  From there, you have about a 50% chance of having your retina eventually become fully detached from the back of your eye.
  • Nearsighted people have a much higher chance of experiencing vitreous detachments due to their often elongated eye shape.
  • Surgeries do exist for getting rid of eye floaters, if they seriously hamper your vision.  This is typically done by replacing the gel-like substance in your eye with a saline liquid.
  • When your retina is in the process of detaching, you will often see small dots all over the place.  What is happening here is that blood is being leaked into the vitreous and those dots are your visual perception of that blood in your eye.

Fun Link:

  • Check out this optical illusion for another example of your brain tuning something out based on it being fixed relative to motion; for best affect, once the dots disappear, without looking away, press the stop button; they’ll reappear; press the button again to restart the motion and they’ll disappear instantly.

Expand for References:

Share the
Knowledge!
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail
Print Friendly
Enjoy this article? If so, get our FREE wildly popular Daily Knowledge and Weekly Wrap newsletters:

Subscribe Me To:  | 
Check Out Our New Book!»

149 Comments »

  1. Stephen June 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    “Oh squiggly line in my eye fluid. I see you there…lurking on the periphery of my vision. But when I try to look at you, you scurry away. Are you shy squiggly line? Why only when I ignore you do you return to the center of my eye? Oh squiggly line…it’s alright. You are forgiven.” -Stewie Griffin

  2. toronto massage therapy June 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    that is a scary article. thanks for the info. i think i ll book myself into an eye doctor asap. you may have saved my sight

  3. Miro June 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Very interesting article. I also would like to know if someone has seen little black and white circles which kinda look like aims. It looks like an alternating series of circles, for example an outer white circle, a black one in it and a white circle in the middle. There are generally three or four circles with alternating colors in varying size. I mostly see them when my glasses are wet for example from rain falling on them. They behave in the same way as the eye floaters moving away when you try to look at them and appear when looking at a bright object, the sky or some kind of a light.

  4. Donnie June 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Also caused by MDMA. See “HPPV”

  5. Neil June 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Wow! I have always been wondering what those were and then decided they must be uni-cellular creatures like amoeba or something haha. This makes more sense finally!

  6. Mr. Obvious June 4, 2010 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I see more than floaters. Floaters are those that move slowly and can be odd-shaped.

    I see cells moving along constantly… and I saw those while I was a young child [while looking at the sky]. Those cells come from the edge of my vision, move across the whole field, and exit on the other side. They do change direction here and there. Very much like blood flow to me…

    • JimPas September 15, 2014 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      I too have seen those “cells”! They remind me of looking through a microscope at a blood vessel.

  7. chris June 4, 2010 at 12:43 am - Reply

    ive been seeing those since i was like 5… my eyes are pretty bad right now im 18

  8. Charlie June 4, 2010 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Chris, im with you im 24 in a couple days the last year has gotten much worse. I imagine at current rate by the time I am 30 I will need surgery

  9. stapsell June 4, 2010 at 11:02 am - Reply

    I am an eye doctor. Don’t worry about longstanding floaters – everyone has them. They are most obvious on a sunny day when looking up at blue sky.
    New onset floaters should be examined by an eye specialist, especially when associated with flashes of light, but most of these will be OK.
    dont panic!

    • Jules September 25, 2013 at 11:39 am - Reply

      I agree kt because I have suffered from floaters since I was a lad and my Eye Doctor said it was normal and I had nothing to worry about. Over the last few years the floaters have got worse and I have now started to see stars when I brush my teeth or when I cough hard regularly. I haven’t seen an ED for over 10 years and think this is a sign my eyes are getting worse or I possibly need surgery?

  10. Myka June 4, 2010 at 11:21 am - Reply

    I’ve always wondered about these; I’ve had them since I was in middle or elementary school. I have been to the eye doctor since then…I have astigmatism and needed glasses for a few years in elementary school.

    Now I know I’m not alone. :-)

  11. dogpoo June 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    mmm….i think some of my eye floaters are actually scar tissue, i have one big one after i got hit in the eye with a stone

  12. Toby June 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I always thought they were burns in cornea from staring at bright lights or the sun.

  13. Lydia June 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    wow i thought i was the only one with these things! i never knew what to call them (those things that i see when im looking at something bright and it always moves away when i try to look at it….?) so i couldnt google it. very interesting! and scary actually… now i’m afraid that my eyes just suck.

  14. AJC June 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    I have had these since I was in Grade 8, I’m in 9 now and I am starting to have those flashes. I’m going to see my eye doctor soon. Also I am nearsighted so I kind of got a little worried when I read this. Hopefully it can be resolved easily an painlessly. Great article an thanks!

  15. reggie June 4, 2010 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    I remember seeing large floaters since I was 5 years old. That was 40 years ago and now several floaters in my right eye are extremely distracting. Many are very large, and two of the large ones are quite opaque. I am constantly twitching my eye just to read the computer screen, especially on pages with white backgrounds. ;-P

    Thanks for mentioning how surgery is available. All of my eye doctors have said nothing can be done, that I should live with it; but of course I’ve read about lasers and enzyme injections and vitrectomies.

    Great article. Thanks.

  16. happyseaurchin June 5, 2010 at 5:38 am - Reply

    floaters ok
    what about that funny squirming effect when you look at a bright sky?
    like a subtle lightning storm
    almost subconscious sparklers…
    anyone perceive that??
    noticed since i was a kid…

  17. K June 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I just have to point out that “factoid” means unverified or incorrect information.

  18. RobertSeattle June 10, 2010 at 8:31 am - Reply

    I recall seeing floaters when I was a child. Perhaps it was related to my near sightedness – I’m around 20:450 or so.

  19. Here Be Answers! June 14, 2010 at 4:38 am - Reply

    Amazing! Never know eye floaters actually existed. Thought of it as optical illusion only. And as always, Factoids part of full of amazement.

  20. Dalton July 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I read this article thinking it would be another opinion on this phenomenon but it turned out very interesting. The one thing that caught me was the piece where it says “children and teens almost never get it.” This is scary because I have some myself and I am only sixteen. I also have type one diabetes, though I went to the eye doctor for my six-month check up and asked him if it was related to my illness and he replied “no, floaters are common.” I disagree myself for I have never had such an annoyance in my sight like this one. I wish there was a way to rid this from my vision without surgery. :S

  21. Suzanne July 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    what about dark-colored spots, that you see with eyes closed and light on?

  22. V July 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    About half a year ago I started getting three floaters that have been consistent ever since. Now that Im sure of what they are, Id like to know if this means my eyesight is deteriorating. The last time my eyes were checked I was a 20/10 [and very proud]. Lately Ive been dying my hair, in total about 4 or 5 times. Ive heard this can weaken your eyesight, and I wanted to know if thats true. Is there something wrong with my eyesight? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent further deterioration? Im in my teens and I really dont want my eyes to be compromised. Please reply to my email(:

  23. Rachel August 7, 2010 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Im 13 years old and i have these black floaters. I am extremley scared by this and I have been crying myself to sleep constantly worrying about them. I am scared that my floaters wwill become unbearable and i just cant wait till nighttime so that I can go to sleep and forget about them, Is there any help out there for me? I have been to my opticians and she said there is nothing I can do and to just live with it, but i cant!! please help me i cant live like this anymore! :(

  24. leonardshawn August 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I did enjoy these floating floaters when i was napping on the summer afternoons with eyes half-closed. Now my sight is reduced because of long time of reading and watching,and i selom see them these days.hope Let me smash the computer and go napping under apple trees back in my hometown..floaters ,i miss you .

  25. Jérémie August 31, 2010 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    @chris

    dude i got the same problem as you!

  26. Logan October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I have seen these once in a while since I was pretty young, probably around 6, but I wouldn’t remember much before that(I’m just 15 now). Besides that though my vision is fine even though the rest of my family has glasses.

  27. heather December 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    ok………. kinda freaking out right now as i get flashes whenever i go to sleep and i get really bad migraines that pain killers dont cure, i been for an eye test and they said my eyes were fine ??????????? could they be wrong??

  28. Nitish December 17, 2010 at 4:29 am - Reply

    I’m 16 and experience eye floaters,what’s the reason?you have written that children and teenagers do not generally experience this o.O

  29. Chodge December 30, 2010 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Very interesting article, but I have been experiencing eye floaters since I was about 7 or 8 years old. So I must be one of the rare people. I have never really worried about floaters, except for lately; they are starting to get worse. I know it’s time to see my eye dr and I may have to bring all of this up.

  30. srilu January 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    hi,
    thank you for your valuable information..actually i had an lasik in 2008.. now am experiencing this black eye floaters..is it dangerous??? plz any one reply me….iam bit scared of this

  31. Loise Jubic February 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I’ve often wondered about these; I’ve had them since I was in middle or elementary school. I have been to the eye doctor since then…I have astigmatism and required glasses for several years in elementary school.

  32. Martin Reinert February 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    First: Thousand thanks for publishing this article! It is my first time ever to read about this subject and so well researched article also! Greatly appreaciated!

    I agree with Toby and Lydia. And thanks to the eye doctor telling us not to panic :)
    I have had eye floaters since I was 7-8 and I am 46 now. When I was 25 I went to an eyedoctor asking about it, and he told me that nothing could be done and that I better get used to them. He also told me that I should wear sunglasses in order not to see them and to protect my eyes from getting worse. He told me it might very gradually get a little worse, but that it was not a serious problem.
    I always thought it was caused from looking at the sun when I was a kid and especially from looking at the fixed light that came from using magnifying glass in order to burn words into wood – which I loved when I was 8-12 yo.

    When I think of them they get worse. So while reading this article and every comment, I had a lot of them flying around. It has gotten a bit worse over the years, and sometimes when I read webpages with white background on my computer I have to move my head to get the floater out of the way so that I can see the words with out disturbance. Not that I got blind at all. If I take a test I see very well actually, and I see better than most of my family of which few need glasses.
    Most annoying is when it happens (rarely!) that the floaters kind of join together and look like a flying insect and quickly move from one side of the vision across to the other, … I instinctly believe it is a fly and try to get them away with my hand, and other people around look at my like I am crazy.
    I often wear sunglasses, and some people ask my why. I never knew what to explain and thought I was almost alone in the world. Thanks to this very very well written article and great collected information, I now know that I am not alone. I did not know what to call them either. I will save this article on my computer so that I can study this even more.
    I hope that the article and my comments will help enlighten some other people with this problem. You may contact me on my website about this if you like.

  33. Pinotti March 14, 2011 at 11:33 am - Reply

    These eye floaters almost never appear at teenagers, but I’ve been seeing them since I was sixteen, i’m seventeen now and am still seeing them. Not alot, just a few. would that be reason enough to see a doctor? anyway I thought it was normal till I saw this article. It scares me though, I love my eyes very much x)
    Oh what to do without them

  34. jamie June 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    is there an opthalmologist there? anyone i’ve been seeing eye floaters since May and im getting a little bit paranoid about it :(

  35. Danielle July 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Floaters are HORRIBLE! I got a big one with a big cobweb, On the 8th day in the afternoon, I saw it suddenly reduced by 75%. It dissolved enough to give me a great sense of relief. A month later I still have it but it is more tolerable. I have another one. Just notice it because I was ‘searching’ for anything suspicious and found it. It was almost invisible… All my doctors (optic ophtalmologists) say I am fine and have 20/20 vision. Relax… wait a little while. Pray.. and pray… try to sleep as much as you can and enjoy more evening activities when the floaters are not so intruding. I am still praying and thankful it is not anything worse. ;).

  36. Justin August 3, 2011 at 2:03 am - Reply

    I don’t know if it’s me or not, but i can’t seem to read when i have eye floaters. I think ive had them my whole life, because i used to actually play with them… being a kid and being bored you can find anything to do. Sometimes i get so many of them, or something, they get thicker, i dunno, and its actually harder to read stuff. I was trying to do some testing on the computers and i couldn’t read the words because the ‘Eye Floaters’ were my vision’s way. Its very annoying, and i dont know if its a health problem or not, can someone help me?

  37. T.K August 30, 2011 at 11:55 am - Reply

    there is a YAG laser that shoots the floater and evaporates them, just search in youtube.

  38. elwood swartz October 14, 2011 at 10:59 am - Reply

    ok in my right eye when i close my eyes i see a white dot the size of a dime it seams to fill in with blood cells when its filled it just repeats it over and over any suggestions on what it is???

  39. Tiffany October 20, 2011 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I’ve had them since I was 14. The fact is they do exist. And they can be caused by serious things. But they can also be harmless. What do you do?? The only thing you can is go see a eye doctor and get your eyes dialated. They check out your retina. THEN you go back every 6 months – 1 yr depending on your Dr recommendation. Because he needs to see OVER time if there is deterioration…. Your insurances will cover it as it is a medical problem not just a check up. I’m just that unlucky person with floaters and nothing has yet indicated worse.

    If you ever see the flashes or everytime you get a new one they suggest seeing the Dr. its a good idea but you need to build a history with a Dr. just looking at it once tells him if somethings wrong or bad but looking at it over time helps him to make sure its not starting to tear etc…

    ALSO, I was just informed that having severe astigmatisms (like me) can make floaters more Visible. Why???? because astimatisms have to do with the light bending on your eye. Everyone has floaters to a degree, but most people hardly notice them unless looking for it.So if you have severe astigmatisms like me but don’t wear your glasses of contacts like me. You should try doing that and see if it helps make them little less annoying. My astigmatism is so bad in my left eye its as much the ratio is as bad as my prescription. and the left eye is the one I see the floaters the most. With the newer toric contacts I’ve been less annoyed by the floaters. Just need those yearly checkups.

  40. riley October 24, 2011 at 1:33 am - Reply

    does any one else play with there floaters, like try to concentrate on them and when you do you can move it around and if you move your eye back and forth and then stop it floats of somewhere? also i have partial heterochromia in the eye that i can see the floaters in, i havent always had partial heterchromia it developed when i was about 11-12(not really sure someone noticed it, i havent seen an eye specialist about it :( ) im 14 at the moment and worried about these floaters cause they could be connected to the heterochromia :S plz reply if you know anything

  41. Guitarded November 1, 2011 at 7:44 am - Reply

    I have a bad habit about getting scared of what I read. I got prescribed glasses last year to help my migraines. After that, I started getting the flashes. Never had them before. They are not bad, and, Riley, I do play with them. I noticed that it makes them go away sometimes like they just fall out of existence……. only to return again like those turtles on super mario brothers. Thanks, this article scared the crap out of me at first but, then I realize that if something was bad wrong, we would all know it and just a trip to the eye doctor will solve the worries. Thanks!

  42. Nicholas November 15, 2011 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Very neat article! I’ve had these as long as I can remember from my childhood. They cause me no harm, but I always thought it was something completely unique to my eyes. At times I can see them now, rarely, but more than anything they are entertaining.

    I remember trying to ask my mum about them when I was little and she didn’t get what I was talking about.

    It wasn’t until today’s Word of the day at Dictionary.com was musca volitans which means eye floater that I even know about them existing!

  43. wayne ryan December 20, 2011 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Iv had theese floters since a was abour 15 woke up one morning wen i was hung over i always put it down to that . to much booze and also wen having a rare fag they seem to get worse. people say wen looling at the blue sky thay can see um . well i say come and love on england with all these dark clouds tou not bother you then . problem solved ….dont drink or smoke and Always live under a dark cloud x

  44. mary January 13, 2012 at 12:49 am - Reply

    wow this is crazy…its funny how i was watching family guy and stewie starts saying a poem about the squiggly line in his eye and i immediately realize he is describing what i have been seeing in my eye for a while now..im 18 and i have perfect vision which is the wierd part since im noticing it has to do with aging and its pretty common in people with bad vision(thats what i think; i’m not aiming to offend anyone) and well im glad i found this article, now i know what to call it and now i know its not all in my head

  45. L.Shackleford January 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I was at work and i kept swapping at nets, which wasn’t there because i went to a different area at work and the nets(floaters) follwed me. Then i had a series of floaters to appear in ribbon form which scared me. I also have one weepy eyes when i wear my glasses. Now that I know im not losing my mind (and now my eyesite) i will be making an appt. with my eye dr asap

  46. Aleta January 31, 2012 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Okay, this goes out particular to the youngsters out there: listen to what the doctor said and do not panic!

    I’ve had them forever. I recall trying to explain to my teacher when I was 10 or so and asking her what they were; she had no idea what I was describing.

    I had excellent visual acuity; no problems at all except now I need reading glasses due to – ahem! the aging process.

    The best thing to do if you’re worried about this – or anything medical – is see a good doctor.

  47. Anonym February 6, 2012 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Actually, I don’t remember my vision without this crap, so I got used to it and don’t pay much attention. The real problem is i’m only 17 and my sightseeing is bad. Anyway, I’ll keep it. We’ll break through! Hold on and be healthy! Cheers!

  48. Jason February 7, 2012 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Please use this version.
     
    Fibromyalgia causes eye floaters. As a result, eye floaters and facial tingling occur. 

    Stress, anxiety, and migraines also cause eye floaters. Eye infection is another possibility. 

    Computer eyestrain and white bright backgrounds produce eye floaters. 

    Having a retina exam performed is intense. You’ll feel like you’re tearing or detaching your retina during the exam.

    You really have to evaluate all your symptoms. There is likely a source to the eye floaters.

    Physicians are known to be wrong many times. They will misdiagnose patients, thus the patient trusts the advice. This medical advice can cost cause them serious health issues.

    My father almost lost his leg due to physicians telling him not to worry. They told him it’s related to diabetes. Luckily, my best friends brother, who is a physician, diagnosed him a year later with PAD. Othwerwise, he would have lost his leg. Hence, my dad underwent the vein and artery reconstruction to repair the blood flow in the leg. 

    Diabetes is a terrible disease. His eye sight is diminishing. I never asked him whether he has eye floaters.   

    In my opinion, if you experience serious eye floaters along with other symptoms, make an appointment to see your physician to discuss possible tests.

    If you never experienced these eye floaters and now they are showing up more frequently, you have to determine the source.

     The ‘normal’ occurence is an excuse to not investigate further. Eye floaters can be a stress related issue as well. You can have a possible retina problem. It can be due to light exposure when moving to dark to light. Lighted white backgrounds can induce eye floaters. 

    Think about the overall symptoms. Could there be more going on? Underlying health issues? Many conditions can cause eye floaters. The most severe is a retina detachment. Don’t always trust that it is normal and to live with it. 

    It’s your health. Respect your life. 

  49. hatefloaters February 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    ahhhhhhhhhh im a welder my right eye have a whores floaters i have to fly’s and 1 web grrrrr and in to my left eye i have 1 web at the first time i found that i have this i though its just a smoke or wat ever but when i search via google im happy why???
    bcoz i just not only the one who have this spider webs

  50. Brendarosa February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    In 2007 I started seeing floaters and flashlights in my left eye, I went to the doctor for a check up and he told me I have degeneration of the vitrius ( gel like that fills the eye) it was detaching from the back of my eye and was tugging my retina causing a horseshoe shape tear on it; they treated my eye with LASER ( it is painless) and fixed it, the floaters and flashes never went away but I only notice them when I look at a bright screen or white wall. Every year I go to the doctor for a check up. I am nearsighted and probably that is the reason that I have this problem.
    I hope this post helps other people that has the same problem that me to go to the doctor as soon as possible.

  51. Liz March 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    I’m 14 years old, and I think I may have floaters in my eyes. Yet, there’s been another strange phenomenon happening in my eyes my entire life. It looks as if the world is statical, like on a television, and it never goes away, even when I wear my glasses,(For distance). Is something wrong with my eyes???? Please help me!!!!

    • Justin January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Liz – what you are describing is a eye issue called Visual Snow. For some people it just comes and goes, for other (like me) it is a permanent, persistent field of static in your vision. I have had this my entire life (some people get it later on and it comes and goes). basically, my vision has a constant field of multi-colored static in it. even if you close your eyes, you will see this static. very little is known about the phenomenon, and sadly, alot of medical professionals refuse to admit it even exists. (I was told I was lieing about it when I was a child). Other then the static itself though, it doesn’t actually affect your vision. You may need to start to come to terms with the fact that you will have this your entire life. People with Visual Snow also tend to have vertigo and migraines… do a little research on Visual Snow, maybe it will help you understand whats going on with your vision.

  52. George March 21, 2012 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Hi Liz. Have you ever suffered a concussion? That means having banged your head very hard against something solid? I have heard of hockey players describing such a thing after a head injury.. having crashed into someone or something else or fallen on a hard surface with their head hitting it.

    You should talk to your family doctor about this.

  53. Jason March 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I have had floaters occasionally my whole life, from childhood to middle age. They come and go, and have never gotten worse. I used to think they were fibers gliding along the retina.

  54. Emily March 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I see these floaters pretty much every time I look at bright light. Is that bad?

  55. Meg April 13, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    I’m 14 too and have had floaters for years, but I only recently heard about this retina detachment thing – it’s quite scary :( should I expect it to happen?? Or is it quite rare? Also I only start to see my floaters when I concentrate on them so I guess they’re not that serious. I have something similar to Liz, when I look at a clear sky or blank screen etc, I can see almost a static of tiny dots. I told my optician about the floaters a few years ago, he said it was fine I should just ignore them, then I wouldn’t see them (basically he didn’t care :-) )

  56. litematter May 2, 2012 at 11:40 am - Reply

    When it comes to entoptic phenomenons Ive had pretty much all of them. Those static of tiny dots is called blue field entoptic phenomenon and what your seeing is actually the white blood cells moving through your blood vessels. I have floaters also and have got used to them. Was worrisome at first but now i don’t even notice them much. I also get ocular migraines like twice a year which pretty much leaves me half blind for 10 minutes. Its like a squiggly line that pulses in my vision. I also get an array of different colors when i close my eyes (purples and greens mostly) and at night i get sort of strobe light effect when i close my eyes which goes away after a bit. XD Always get yours eye checked though just in case. It will make you feel better also knowing whats up.

  57. K.D. May 15, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    One word-parasites!

  58. jasmine May 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Im only 17 and i have toxoplasmosis, but then the floaters in my eye changed i started seeing more of them so i went to see my doctor and he said that the gel as you get older breaks away and its going to happen to me sooner since i have toxoplasmsis but i was wonder if the gel breaks away from each other whats going to happen to me? will that make me see worse then i do now or will i be blind after that happens?

  59. Martin August 1, 2012 at 2:07 am - Reply

    “Individual floaters often won’t change much throughout your lifetime, typically retaining their basic shape and size.”

    Is wrong because, against general belief, they get naturally absorbed within the eye and so, they do change in shape and disappear over time.

    Floaters do not go away only when there is an on-going problem that needs treating, like diabetes, blood pressure…

  60. Nikita August 20, 2012 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I’m 25 and I’ve had floaters since I was 17 and I dont notice them all that much anymore unless I want to see them. My doctor says because I have toxoplasmsis having floaters is normal because of the damage that was done to my eyes. Less I start to lose my vision I am not going to worry about it. If I do worry, I talk to my doctor or ask to see a specialist.

  61. maurice September 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    At first these floaters really bothered me. I found myself swatting at what i initially thought was flies or other pest. the intensity comes and goes as i am getting more used to them.

  62. kevin October 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    hi i am 44 i blind in my left eye.. my right eye i have glaucoma & floaters,, it i move my eye at all 4 or 5 floaters like a web across my eye the whole time.. cant look at the sky or bright walls, can be so f’##king frustration…..

  63. chris October 9, 2012 at 8:30 am - Reply

    When I was 16 I had floaters they disappeared am now 28 they are back am really worried same eye still…

  64. Chessar October 18, 2012 at 5:56 am - Reply

    I have just turned 15, have exams coming up and I am starting to notice these spots ( I think they are floaters), also I have been noticing different coloured patches, the ones that you get when you stare into the sun. When it starts I get a headache, I feel really dizzy, I can’t concentrate and I feel fatigued. The other day I nearly went home, my eyes went all itchy and the nurse just thought it was hay fever even though I have never had that In my life. My eyes have been randomly unfocusing aswell, ill just be looking at the whiteboard and it will unfocus. I have never had problems with short or long sighted ness, and have always been a very good reader/ had good eye sight. Should I be concerned ?

  65. Ivan October 19, 2012 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Hey! I have great news!
    I also had the issue of eye floaters and they are a real neusance when you are trying to read something in small print. I have fixed the problem!
    Here is what you need to do to have the eye floaters move out of your direct vision:

    -move your eyes up really fast and then slowly lower them back down.
    -repeat this a couple of times and see if you can still see the eye floaters.

    What happens is you shift the eye floaters down in your eye so that you cant really see them anymore.

    Hope this helps!

  66. Igor November 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    NEAR SOLUTION FOR WORKING ON A COMPUTER!!

    I’ve had eye floaters since I was 12, and being 26 now.. it’s been a while!

    Recently I got a job working behind a computer all day long. This is especially annoying for all who have eye floaters, for we know that looking at bright surfaces illuminates the eye floaters all the more. About a week ago I discovered (on Windows 7 operating system) that if you press CTRL-ALT-DELETE, you will be taken to a menu with a set of options (Lock this Computer; Switch User; Log Off: etc). Down in the bottom left corner there is a button; click it! You will be given a number of options. The middle one says “See more contrast in colors (High Contrast). This turns everything BLACK! Check the box, hit Apply, then when you return to your desktop, EVERYTHING will be black with white letters. This makes the floaters all but disappear while looking at your monitor. I’ve been using it ever since the day I discovered it, and man has it helped!

    Bonus tip: If you have Chrome [web browser], you can go to the Chrome store and download a plugin that will do the same thing in your browser :) Just search High Contrast mode in the Chrome store

  67. calandra lamb November 13, 2012 at 6:42 am - Reply

    I am 41 years old now , I have had these floaters in my eyes since six years old . They worry me . I have been to the doctor so many times and the doctors brush it off like it’s nothing but I really worry now after reading up on this. What should I do to make sure I’m going to be okay?

  68. jillh10 January 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I have them through type one diabetes get your eyes checked over because they could be indicative of a bleed behind the eye which is usually undetected from the front view

  69. Philomena March 20, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Hi I’m 14 too and I get these “floater” when ever I look at bright things such as the sky on a sunny day or snow. I sometimes get swarms of them, TONS of linty swigglies moving about in my vision. The first time I noticed this I was snowboarding and I thought there was something in my contacts. But to my dismay it seems as though its my eye. The whole “Detachment” idea really scares me!! Also I get migraine head aches and they sometimes effect my eyesight in one of my eyes. Are my eyes going to detach themselves when I’m like 30? Am I completely screwed?! I didn’t even know this happened to other ppl!! Please help!!

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven Hiskey March 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      @Philomena: Not at all. Eye floaters are common. While ocular migraines aren’t as common, they aren’t generally that big of a deal except for the fact that they are insanely painful. If you get ocular migraines, just make sure to wear good, dark 100% blocking UV/UB sunglasses when outside, particularly on sunny days. Polarized ones work best there (speaking from personal experience). On a sunny day, if I don’t wear such sunglasses outside at all times, if I’m out for more than an hour or two, an ocular migraine always follows. With the sunglasses, I’m fine. Don’t go cheapy on the sunglasses either. That’s just a recipe for migraines if your eyes are like mine. :-)

  70. josh March 26, 2013 at 3:53 am - Reply

    im 17 and i get eye floaters quite a loat sometimes, and they appear in rather darkish sorts of shapes, and as much as i keep moving my eye about they dont seem to go away untill i start focusing on something else. at first i got really worried and thought that it might be my eyes starting to go blind, but i really dont know :(

  71. savannah March 30, 2013 at 6:03 am - Reply

    im 18 and i see in my left eye a circle with a grey dot in the centre, ive had this for about a year and a half now and it wont go away and its driving me nuts, sometimes it multiplies and i can see more circles, i can only see them in the light, ive been to get my eyes tested but my vision is perfect, not sure what to do?

    • Georgia April 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      @Savannah: I think my mother had something similar, and it turned out that she had an eyelash that was growing downwards and touching er eyeball. She said it loked like a circle with a grey bit in the middle, so maybe you should check your eye for that?

  72. Ijeoma Nwokocha April 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Can floatering affects your sleep sometimes?. can it hinder you from catching sleep?i have floatering in my right eyes and once in a while, i cannot fall in sleep as normal i thought is something else, but could it be the floatering that is imparing my sleep.

  73. suhail mushtaq April 24, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

    i am 27 years of age and from past one month i observed the sometimes opaque and sometimes transparent dot in my vision. when i focus on the dot it escapes from the vision and always try to escape from the sight . can anybody tell me what is that and how it happens . infact this dot is not visible in my eye and my eye looks life fine, but the actual problem lies in the vision. this dot is quite visible in the bright background like on the white papers,painted walls etc. plz tell me how it cab be cured(.)

  74. Mystikan May 27, 2013 at 12:03 am - Reply

    I first noticed eye floaters back in 1971 when I was just 5 years old. I remember this because it was on the way home after school in Grade 1, and after noticing the “floaters”, I tried pointing into the sky to them and asked Mum what they were. She said they carried telephone calls.

    So for a fair whack of my childhood I thought that phone calls turned into little spots that flew across the sky to other phones, and I would play a game where I’d try make the spots go to a different place than they were naturally moving to by moving my eyes – my thinking other people doing this was what I thought caused wrong number calls.

    It was only many years later, while reminiscing, I asked Mum why she had told me that, and it turned out that she thought I had been pointing at the overhead telephone wires, not realising that I had actually been trying to point at something inside my own eyes!

  75. ikillueyefloaters July 26, 2013 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Lol that’s funny… you were causing wrong calls with your super powers :)
    I am 29 now and I remember seeing these eye floaters since I was very young. My eye floaters look like worms… quite a few of them…and many dots…argg worms and worm shytts in my eyes… :(
    Go away!

  76. iftikhar August 21, 2013 at 2:46 am - Reply

    i m seeing dots in front of my both eyes , what is the solution for it , Is there any treatment through medicines ? Please tell me know I shall be very thankful to you for this act of kindness
    or i will have to pass through laser operation? reply must

  77. Al August 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    When I was a kid I used to stare at the blue sky and tell people I could see ‘germs’. Now I know what I was looking at. What an idiot I must have sounded like. LOL

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven Hiskey August 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      @Al: Haha, pretty naturally to think that though. I remember staring at them myself and wondering if I was seeing things that other people couldn’t see in the sky when I was little. :-)

  78. kt September 7, 2013 at 7:11 am - Reply

    I think this article was wrong about children not having floaters or that they are reason to worry.i had them since i was like 10 at the very least, maybe younger. so have many of the commenters.. Bad information. Don’t let this article scare you. I think floaters are likely quite normal.

  79. Brad September 24, 2013 at 5:30 am - Reply

    About 6 months ago I had floaters removed from my left eye. The results were great. The method used was fluid replacement. The only side effect from this method is that it will accelerate the growth of cataracts.
    Was getting ready to have my other eye done, when I just developed Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) in the already corrected eye. Started with flashs and then left with vision of many floaters, most of which are a sea or to better discribe it, a school of dots like never seen before. Not now sure of the connection and if it will get any worse, better, corrective or not, surgery on second is on hold.

  80. Pieter October 2, 2013 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Oh thank god…. I was convinced it was caused by teensy weensy aliens in tiny little space ships flying around in my eyes looking for my BRAIN!!!! Now, what about the other probing…..??

  81. Brad October 2, 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Well found out that it was blood, torn retina and has been repaired. I hope I will again see out of it.
    So if you see those dots, be persistent.

  82. John October 27, 2013 at 1:39 am - Reply

    I’ve been dealing with floaters for many years. The best solution for reading is to set your computer background to dark blue and the fonts to light blue,like the screen on a Commodore 64…lol…yeah It’s been that long. it pretty much makes the floater invisible….

  83. Jim November 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    I’ve observed “floaters” in my eye since I was a child. As an adult I assumed they were particles of matter on the outside of my eye. Interesting that the article suggests this is a phenomena more related to older subjects.

  84. pp November 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    after looking at the sun ive just experiencing these eye floaters that look like cells.

  85. UYo December 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Get grandpa sunglasses, the ones they give out at eye clinics when you get your pupils dilated.

    When you wear these people figure out that you got medical stuff.

  86. Etienne January 10, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Thanks for this article. I have had these floaters since I was a child. I am 32 now, and my eye-sight is still good. I use reading glasses to prevent eye-strain, and my left lens is slightly correcting. I use a computer at work all day. I have had an eye test about 6 months ago and the same lenses that I have been using for the past 5 years are still good for me now. Also, since I was a child, when looking at blue sky, I can see what looks like how one would imagine gas or air molecules to look. Countless small feint dots moving very fast. This has also not gotten worse in the last 20 to 25 years. I very rarely notice these visual artifacts, unless I look for them. I am now very thankful that they are not impeding my life or job, and that my eyes are still good.

    • Paul April 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

      Wow this is the 1st time that I can really truly relate with someone type of floters closest to my condition. I have floaters for the last 25 years, I can deal with the moving parts, but the worst part for me is looking at the sky when I driving, all I see is this fuzzy field full of tiny moving thing.. I hate it, sometimes I even get sick since I drive long distances for my daily duties, really annoying. I wish it could be an easy solution for this condition !!!
      I would anything to get rid of the gel & the floaters …
      Thanks for all the opinions & responses … It really helps.

  87. Brad April 25, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Do NOT have them removed. It involves the removal of the vetrous gel in the eye. I had it done and in few months had a detached retina……twice. Was led to think that no big deal and that even though all surgery has risks, Cataracts was my biggest concern. The surgeon did about as good on the retina as I now have double vision, very blurry with little to no use of the eye. Wish I had my floaters back!

    DON’T DO IT!!!!!

    • Clairmont Stanley May 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your response Brad. Sorry to hear that the surgery didn’t go well. I hope that one day that they come up with a better solution to get rid of these annoying floaters. I talked to my doctor about them but he was blunt and said he wouldn’t do it unless it was at the point to where I couldn’t see. Does anybody know of any nutritional ways to keep the eyes healthy?

  88. Brad May 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Wish he had been my doctor.!!!
    Good luck.

  89. sam June 27, 2014 at 1:27 am - Reply

    I wonder if anyone has had a successful treatment, I mean the floaters disappearing totally???? Please give some feedback so we can know what to expect from surgery or laser treatment!!! Floaters in the eye is a misery…

    • JP July 1, 2014 at 6:21 am - Reply

      I personally would not have any treatment that is claiming to “fix” eye floaters or visual snow. I have never seen or read of any successful treatment of either of these issues. I feel like you will be more likely to cause yourself some permanent damage and end up worse then before.
      I have a fairly intense version of visual snow, that I was born with. I would not even consider any eye surgery to “fix” my vision, unless I could get firsthand account from other sufferers that directly told me they were actually cured. These issues are completely subjective, and no one but you can “see” what your field of vision is and judge improvements.
      Occasional eye floaters is nothing compared to living with a full field of static in your vision since birth. or worse, ending up partially blind trying to fix your vision.

  90. Brad July 1, 2014 at 5:42 am - Reply

    I have yet to talk to anyone since mine that has had good luck with theirs. It seems that it’s like a ticking time bomb. I had a retina detachment less than 6 mo later.
    Again I stress do your homework and get 2 or three opinions.
    Do what you feel is right for you but I strongly recommend living with this. I’m living with the alternative and it’s a hell of a lot worse.

    • JP July 1, 2014 at 6:25 am - Reply

      Thanks for the continued warnings to people Brad. Id hate for someone to lose vision trying to fix something that isn’t really that bad, at least not as compared to massive static in your vision, or partial or complete blindness.
      It’s sad, but there is very little awareness of these issues and I think people often get bad/unneeded treatments done by eye docs that don’t believe in visual snow and eye floaters. and yes, there are a lot of these doctors out there…

  91. Josh August 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I am only 18, I have had floaters since I was 17.
    They are very annoying and really effecting my life, I am a programmer and have to look at white screens, this causes me to see the floaters and thus i cannot focus. I am wondering if eye floaters have any correlation with masturbation; I have read an article that it may. thank you.

Leave A Response »