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Symptoms of eye floaters may include:

  • Spots in your vision that may look like 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. 24, 2012

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