What are floaters?

Floaters are very common and many people have them, even if they don’t have PVD. They’re floating clumps of cells that form in your vitreous. You can see them because they cast shadows on your retina when light comes into your eye. These floaters do not harm your eye.

Floaters can be different shapes and sizes – dots that can look like flies, threads, circles, clouds, spiders or cobwebs. You may notice that your floaters move around a lot, or they may not seem to move much at all. They tend to be more obvious on a sunny day or when looking at a bright computer screen or a white or lightly coloured background.

You may only have a few floaters or you may have many of them. Floaters may appear quite suddenly, and they may be very frustrating or worrying to you. When they’re at their most intense, you might think that your floaters will always interfere with your vision, but for most people, they become less obvious over time. Floaters never leave the eye but become less noticeable as the vitreous settles down and your brain learns to ignore them.


Although most floaters are harmless if you suddenly start to see them or see an increase/changes in the ones you already have you should have your eyes examined by an optometrist as soon as possible.

For further information see What should I do if I see floaters or flashing lights in my vision?

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