Floaters; MINUTES ON...
Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD
It's quite common to see small specks, known as floaters, that appear to drift in your field of vision.
Although floaters seem to lie in front of the eyes, they are in fact fragments of tissue in the jelly-like vitreous humour that fills the back of the eye.
These fragments cast shadows on the light-sensitive retina.
They move rapidly with any eye movement but when the eyes are still they drift slowly.
The reason for most of these floaters is not known.
They rarely affect vision but you should consult your doctor immediately if floaters suddenly appear in large numbers or interfere with your sight.
However, a sudden increase in the number of floaters may indicate a serious eye disorder that requires urgent treatment, such as separation of the retina from its underlying tissue, or a leakage of blood into the vitreous humour.