Have you ever found yourself seeing fireworks, but it isn’t the Fourth of July?
Seeing spots is an incredibly common phenomenon, and often is nothing to worry about. But other times, they warrant a trip to the eye doctor and further investigation.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the common causes of floaters and spots, and when to be concerned about them. We’ll also go over when it’s necessary to make an appointment with your eye doctor to address them.
Read on for more information on the world of floaters.
How Do I Know If I’m Seeing Spots?
Trust us, you’ll know.
Floaters, although common, are hard to miss. Everyone experiences them at some point in their lifetime.
For example, after you have your picture taken, you may feel like you’re seeing the flash for a good few seconds before your eyes settle. If you stare directly at the sun (which you shouldn’t do, but it happens), you’ll also notice when you look away, you’ll have residual floaters for a little bit.
You may also have floaters that aren’t connected to seeing a bright light or flash. They may appear like a fireworks show, they may be colored or may look like black dots or black lines. Some appear see-through, or a bit like a spider web.
Or, it may feel like you’re staring down a microscope at something, but it’ll pass by in a fleeting moment.
A distinction between floaters and other eye issues is that the floaters will literally float past your field of vision. They aren’t a spot that you see all of the time. If that’s the case, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible.
For the most part, floaters move and disappear. They can reappear, but they won’t be in your line of vision continuously.
Benign Causes of Eye Floaters
There are many different reasons you could be seeing spots, some of them scary, others not so much.
The first reason is that as we age, our vitreous, or the liquid inside of your eyeballs that keeps them round, starts to change, as with everything else in our body. As it does change, it begins to change its shape as well. It can even get a little bit stringy or start to clump.
As it does so, it can block some of the light that passes through your eyes. When this happens, you’ll see floaters passing through, which can make you see spots. This is perfectly normal, even though it does sound a little bit unpleasant.
If you regularly take medication in your eyes, or you’ve recently had an injection in your eye, this can also cause floaters. That’s because the medication can bubble up inside of your eye. This will cause a blockage of light, which will cause a floater on your eye, and make it appear as though you’re seeing spots, even though it’s just the medicine.
Floaters can also occur just after you’ve had eye surgery, though your doctor will likely explain this to you beforehand.
Inflammation in your eye can also cause you to see spots. This can be something to worry about, or it might not be.
For some people, inflammation is part of their everyday life, especially if they live with autoimmune diseases. In this case, some of the inflammation will block the light, causing you to see floaters.
This is typically just a side effect of your condition and nothing to worry about, though your doctor will speak to you about whether or not to be concerned about your vision. With some autoimmune disorders, you need to be on top of this in case vision issues develop.
More Serious Issues
Seeing spots and floaters can be a symptom of something benign or a symptom of something more serious.
If you’re bleeding somewhere in your body close to the eye, you might find you’re seeing spots. This is because blood cells will run over the back of your eye, causing shadows and making you see spots.
In this case, it can be an emergency, especially after an injury. So you should see a doctor right away if you’ve suffered a blow to the head and see spots.
Floaters can also be a sign of a torn retina, which can cause you to go blind if not properly treated.
A torn retina can occur when the vitreous begins to pull on the retina due to its sagging. This is common with individuals who have bad vision.
If untreated, fluid will build up on the retina. This can cause full retinal detachment, which may lead to permanent vision loss that cannot be restored, even with surgery.
Some people also report that they see a pop of light during a retinal detachment. If you suspect you might have a detached retina, you should see a doctor immediately.
When to See a Doctor
You should make an appointment with an eye doctor if you’ve just started seeing spots that you’ve not experienced previously. Although it may be nothing, it is better to have your eyes checked out and err on the side of caution.
If you normally have floaters and they’ve not changed since your last visit to the eye doctor, you should have your vision checked as normal.
Regardless of if you’re seeing floaters or not, you should get your vision checked regularly to ensure your eyes are healthy. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.