Floaters can occur in various different shapes and sizes, such as:
- small dark / black dots
- small shadowy dots
- larger ‘cloud-like’ areas
- longer, narrow strands e.g. with the appearance of tiny lengths of thread.
Such opacities, which are commonly called floaters, cast shadows onto the retina that may be perceived as dark shapes or blobs "floating" in the field of view.
Causes and effects:
Floaters can develop as part of the normal ageing process. Although some people may find them irritating or distracting (especially when tired), floaters do not usually interfere significantly with the affected person's overall vision.
More about Ophthalmology:
This section includes short definitions
of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).
Other related pages include
- A diagram of the eye
- Definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye
- A concise description of the human retina
- Definitions of parts of the retina
- Clinical and surgical procedures re. eyes and human visual system
For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.