Today was floater day in the office. The most common questions today were all about floaters. The questions were centered around what do they look like, how do they start and what causes them. Not long ago I published in The Eye Doc blog an article about floaters but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. While researching for a future article I came across a very realistic video that does a good job simulating what floaters look like. By the way, most people have some floaters but not everyone has seen their floaters (and some people wish they had never seen their floaters).
If you want to see your floaters look up at the sky on an overcast day or at an evenly illuminated wall and you will most likely see those wispy cobwebs float by your vision. Check out the video below for a good representation of what a floater looks like. Most people don’t have as many floaters as is shown in the video but you’ll get the idea. If you want to learn more about floaters check out these articles I’ve written about them.
Floaters are very common and can be a very scary symptom. Here is an article I wrote for last month for EzineArticles that answers patients’ most common questions about floaters and floaters.
Flashes and Floaters – Get the Facts on This Common Eye Condition
By Dr. Richard A. Driscoll
“Doctor I saw dark spots and flashes of light in my eyes and I thought I should come in and have you make sure everything is alright” are words commonly heard by eye doctors and as a result a common cause of urgent visits to their offices. Flashes or floaters can be the signs of serious problems and as a result they should always be investigated by your eye doctor. Merely having floaters is not generally a problem; it is the recent onset of floaters that requires attention.
Flashes and floaters are the most commonly reported symptoms of changes in the vitreous humor, a very fibrous yet clear gel that makes up the back 2/3 of the eye. Floaters occur when a bunch of these fibers clump together and cast a shadow on the retina, causing a person to see a black spot. Patients often describe these floaters as looking like a cobweb. Nearsighted people experience floaters more often. Most people have some floaters, however they are either small enough that they are not bothersome or the brain has learned to ignore them. With the right lighting conditions almost anyone can see their floaters. Looking up at an overcast sky or a large, lightly colored wall improves ones ability to see their floaters. Continue reading