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Floaters and Spots

Spots (often called floaters) are small, semitransparent or cloudy particles within the vitreous, which is the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes. These spots can appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs. Because they are in your eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.

Spots are often caused by small flecks of protein or other matter that became trapped when your eyes formed before birth. They can also appear as the vitreous fluid deteriorates due to aging. Also, certain eye diseases or injuries can cause the appearance of spots.

Most spots are not harmful, and they rarely limit vision. But, spots can be an indication of more serious problems. See your optometrist for a comprehensive examination if you start seeing them more often.

Your optometrist can determine if what you are seeing is harmless or the symptom of a more serious problem that requires treatment.

Copyright 2019, American Optometric Association