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OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY!

When people report that they are seeing “spots” in their fields of vision, they are quite probably referring to “floaters.” These dark specks, squiggly lines, and other shadowy shapes are caused by tiny clumps of debris that float around in the gel inside the eyeball (vitreous humor). Floaters are most evident when seen against a clear, bright backdrop such as a cloudless blue sky. While they may develop at any age, they are most commonly experienced by older individuals, who are most likely to undergo changes in their vitreous humor (such as shrinkage). For the most part, these slightly bothersome specks are nothing to worry about unless they appear suddenly, in multiples, and/or are accompanied by vision changes. Although seeing “floaters” typically does not signal a problem, there are some instances where a retinal detachment may occur.  Just as you routinely have your teeth cleaned and blood pressure checked, you should also have your eyes examined. Floaters that appear suddenly and are accompanied by vision changes, and spontaneous flashes of light in the visual field may be indicative of a retinal tear or detachment, which requires immediate treatment. Although seeing “floaters” typically does not signal a problem, there are some instances where a retinal detachment may occur.  Just as you routinely have your teeth cleaned and blood pressure checked, you should also have your eyes examined.