Floaters look like small specks, dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs in your field of vision. While they seem to be in front of your eye, they are floating inside. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous that fills your eye. These clumps cast a shadow onto the retina, giving the impression that something is flying in front of you, such as a gnat.
As we age, our vitreous (the gel inside the eye), starts to shrink and thicken. If the gel pulls away from the retina, it is called a posterior vitreous detachment. Floaters are very common in patients with a posterior vitreous detachment. Although this condition is not serious, it is imperative that you have your eyes examined to rule out retinal tears or detachments.
Flashes can look like lights or lightning streaks in your field of vision. This may occur for weeks or months but tend to subside. Flashes are a sign that the vitreous is pulling on the retina.
If floaters appear, it is crucial to have an ophthalmic examination to determine the cause. If the symptoms are caused by degenerative changes, you may be eligible for treatment with LFT (Laser Floater Treatment) with a YAG laser. The laser uses pulses of light that evaporate the vitreous floaters and sever the vitreous strands. The floaters’ molecules are converted into gas bubbles which quickly dissolve and are reabsorbed into the vitreous.