Black Dots in the Eyes, named as EYE FLOATERS

Floaters are seen in the form of spots which is sometimes clear and sometimes indistinct. It is seen in front of the eyes without impairing vision. It is a mosquito a particle that has tendencies to drift in front of the eyes. You can see these spots clearly when the patient looks through illuminated objects like a white sheet of paper or a bright blue sky. It charges its place when the patient moves their gazes. If you try to focus on that spot, you will see that they move erratically and dart away in that time.

You can see those spots in various sizes like dots, squiggles or strands. Cobwebs and hollow rings are seen in the case of posterior vitreous detachment. Some people also see these in O or C shaped. This is the image that is already formed on the retina by the condensed protein fibrils floating in the vitreous.

They don’t harm the vision initially but cast irritating shadows which causes worries to the patient. Sometimes, the patient faces the problem of blurriness after these spots but that is not because of the floaters, that is because the debris in the vitreous which casts a shadow on the retina and make the image blurred.

If the eyes are closed or in darkness, eyes floaters aren’t seen. They don’t disappear or move with any movements of the head or the eyes or blinking of the eyes. But if you want to discuss this, you have to remember the difference between floaters to flashes. Continue reading this article to know more about this.

Reasons behind the floaters?

Vitreous humor is a gel-like structure or a kind of jelly. It is placed in the back of the eyes. Vitreous humor or vitreous is loosely adherent to the retina which is a light sensitive portion in the periphery. This gel consists of protein fibres and later this embeds in the form of a gel matrix.

When time passes, these protein fibres start to clump and condense and get separated from the liquified gel-like matrix. Posterior vitreous Detachment or PVD is the collapse of the vitreous gel. These clumped fibres are responsible to cast shadows on the retina and that is perceived as floaters or something floating inside the eyes.

Those protein fibres which is attached to the retina get pulled and resulting in bright flashes of light dancing on the eyes. That pulling helps to stimulate the retina cells and as a result, the eyes see brilliant lights even when there is no light. It is more visible in PVD or Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

At the time of PVD, small blood vessels on the retina tend to rupture and causes slight bleeding inside the eyes. As a result, it showers a little, few new floaters in addition to the previous ones.

A posterior vitreous detachment is not retinal detachment. The second one is a server vision disorder that needs medical and surgical attention for vision preservation when Posterior Vitreous Detachment is comparatively innocuous while finding.

Floaters can also add the reasons mentioned below:

  • Eye injury or trauma causes bleeding inside the eyes.

  • Diabetic eye disease causes the leak of the blood vessels as the new vessels made on the retina to become fragile.

  • Any type of inflammation or swelling of the inner coats of the eye pars the planitis and vitritis with treaties and that include the choroid or the brown layer of the eye also. This inflammation happens for the autoimmune condition or other infections. Systemic diseases like sarcoidosis and tuberculosis etc are some instances.

  • Crystalline deposits in the vitreous as seen in diseases of the vitreous like synchisis scintillans and asteroid hyalosis.

  • Though it is rare, eye tumours also cause floaters.


There are other reasons which result in floaters

Dry eye

Dry eye problem causes floaters and that is because the protein particles are suspended in the tear film and disappear on blinking. They have no particular shape or size. As a result, it can be distinguished from the floaters because of retinal or vitreous diseases.


Visual symptoms like coloured haloes and flashes are associated with an ophthalmologic migraine and migraine with aura. This often involves both the eyes and the last transient. A severe headache that resolves entirely between episodes sets those apart from floaters which happens due to vitreous or retinal disorders.

Know if the appearance of floaters is vision-threatening or not?

There are a bunch of reasons for the appearance of floaters. One of them is ageing. This is very common in the age group above 50. Patients with high myopia which is high minus the power of the glasses suffer from floaters. Eye patients, after their cataract surgery also suffer from this disease. It disappears after six months or a year. But when the problem is ignored for years it causes considerable anxiety and visual disturbances to some patients.

You have to remember that all floaters are not innocuous or self-limiting. It may indicate serious eye diseases.

If there are floaters over time that haven’t increased in their size or numbers, you need not worry or seek immediate medical attention.

In which situation you must visit an ophthalmologist?

If you follow these below-mentioned symptoms you must seek immediate help from your eye specialist

  • If you see there is the sudden appearance of floaters.

  • If you feel floaters and that is accompanied by flashes of light

  • If you lose your side vision or a curtain like phenomenon in one part of the field of vision.

  • If you feel a decrease in your central vision.

  • If you feel that your eyes are not liking any type of light and there is redness or pain.

  • If you have gone through any type of trauma or intraocular surgery which has included cataract surgery or Lasik.

Are floaters common to all?

It is seen that the patients who come to the ophthalmologist are the patient of floaters. Patients who have crossed 60 of their age have a PVD in at least one eye or both eyes and they experience floaters. But if someone is suffering from PVD in one of their eyes the other eyes tend to get this problem within 18 following months.

Some risk factors develop floaters

  • Increasing age: The chance of having floaters at least in one eye to the people who have crossed 70.

  • High myopia which is higher than -5D.

  • Diabetes

  • Vitreous haemorrhage because of PVD, Diabetes, trauma or the following surgery

  • Patients with the diseases like lymphoma, leukaemia, etc.

  • There are some certain systemic diseases like sarcoidosis, syphilis, tuberculosis, Collagen vascular diseases are included in the list.

How to treat floaters?

Most of the eye floaters doesn’t need immediate treatment if someone haven’t crossed fifty. But if you go to your doctor, they will dilate your eyes for a comprehensive eye examination. After examination, if they find that there is no hole in the retina, they will ask you to ignore the floaters. But in this case, you have to go through an eye examination which is essential to ignore your eye floaters.

But in case they are creating any problem with your reading or casting any shadows in the near work you may immediately clean it at a certain point by moving your head up and down. It is more effective than moving your head from side to side.

If needed doctor advises surgeries like vitrectomy or ND YAG laser disruption to treat persistent floaters that are interfering with your vision.

If the doctor finds that the floaters are not because of age-related issues or natural ageing he or she may advise you to go through specific treatment. They may include diagnostic tests like blood tests, imaging, ultrasounds etc.

There are some surgical treatments that a doctor often suggests in this case and they are vitrectomy, vitreoretinal surgery for retinal detachment. There are some other treatment procedures in this case and they include steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, laser or surgical treatments of new vessels, injections into the vitreous etc. 

Who to choose for the best treatment?

All ophthalmologists are trained and educated enough to treat your eye floaters. Your doctor may suggest you go to any retina specialist who had especially been certified to take care of the disorders of the vitreous and retina in case he finds any reason to ask for a specialist’s opinion.

Alternatively, you can choose to seek an appointment with a retina specialist to save time and multiple eye examinations.

But if you want to avoid multiple eye examinations and go directly to the best ophthalmologist in the City you can visit Indovision Cataract & Laser Eye Centre, Pune