Symptoms of eye floaters may include:
- Spots in your vision that appear as dark specks or knobby, transparent strings of floating material
- Spots that move when you move your eyes, so when you try to look at them, they move quickly out of your visual field
- Spots that are most noticeable when you look at a plain bright background, such as a blue sky or a white wall
- Spots that eventually settle down and drift out of the line of vision
When to see a doctor
Contact an eye specialist promptly if you notice:
- Many more eye floaters than usual
- A sudden onset of new floaters
- Flashes of light
- Darkness on the sides of your vision (peripheral vision loss)
These painless symptoms could be caused by a retinal tear, with or without a retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that requires immediate attention.
Jan. 17, 2015
- Facts about floaters. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/floaters/floaters.asp. Accessed Nov. 6, 2014.
- Sendrowski DP, et al. Current treatment for vitreous floaters. Optometry. 2010;81:157.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed Nov. 7, 2014.
- Riordan-Eva P, et al. Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=720. Accessed Nov. 7, 2014.