What’s that floating spot in my vision?

by Dec 15, 2017


A common complaint brought to eye doctors is “What’s that floating spot in my vision?” The technical term for this is a posterior vitreous detachment, but the layman’s term is a “floater.”  They can present in a variety of ways; some people describe them as appearing like flies that move out sight, others may note them as transparent strings or floating blobs.  People notice them most often in bright-light conditions or while looking at the clear, blue sky.  Regardless of how or when they appear, floaters can be a distracting and sometime irritating visual disturbances. 

What's that floating spot in my vision

Floaters occur as a result of age-related changes to the clear substance that fills the inside of the eye, called the vitreous.  In youth, the vitreous is similar in texture to gelatin.  Throughout life, typically beginning in young adulthood, the vitreous slowly begins to liquefy and more closely resembles a texture like water.  This process of becoming a liquid does not occur all at once throughout the vitreous, as some parts of the gelatin texture remains.  These gelatin-like clumps within the vitreous cast a shadow inside the eye, and result in the perception of a floater.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, floaters are a harmless result of the eye’s maturation.  They can occur any time throughout adulthood, and once they appear they do not require any sort of medical treatment.  Floaters remain throughout life, though they may not always be distracting.   As time goes on, most people report that their floaters become less noticeable and more easily ignored.

Rarely, floaters can be a symptom of damage to the retina.  This is often accompanied by a large and sudden increase in the number of floaters, flashing lights, or a decrease in vision. Symptoms such as these may be suggestive of a more serious ocular condition, and should be discussed with your eye doctor immediately. 


The next time you find yourself asking, “What’s that floating spot in my vision?” (610) 828-9701. We serve Lafayette Hill, Norristown, and Philadelphia, PA.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.