Eye floaters vary on people, from different shapes and shades to moving or wavy lines, to small black dots in your vision. Floaters are not a medical concern but a visual annoyance. Although a sudden increase of floaters is concerning because it could be a retinal detachment symptom and it requires immediate medical attention.
Wavy or squiggly lines are the most usual floaters in your vision. They are sometimes called “cobweb” floaters because they resemble broken pieces of cobweb drifting around your vision. These form when the vitreous humor or the gel-like fluid inside the eye shrinks. The tiny fibers bundle up forming visible eye floaters.
Some floaters have little rounded spots or oblong oval shapes. Just like wavy floaters, rounded floaters are of the same type, they only differ in their vitreous fiber formation shapes.
Weiss rings are larger ring-shaped floaters. When the vitreous from the part of the retina surrounding the optic nerve in the back detaches, Weiss rings are formed. Ring floaters and other floater shapes are harmless but are possible severe condition symptoms.
Transparent, Shadowy, or Black Dots
Eye floaters also vary in their colors. Some floaters are nearly transparent, slightly shadowy, or almost black.
While eye floaters appear to be longer and wormlike, others appear in your vision slightly more than black spots or dots. Floaters can be seen most when a single-colored object is looked at in bright light like the clear skies in the daytime or a wall with light color.
Light Flashes or “Stars” in Vision
People usually see small light flashes or “stars” in their vision now and then. These light flashes or photopsia are not physical formations but it can be related to floaters.
Floaters happen when the little fibers of protein in the vitreous humor bundle together, creating “floating” strands in our vision. As the vitreous’ thicker part attached to the retina is pulled away from it, the pulling on the retina results in sensations of light flashes.
These light flashes are a possible tear or detachment in the retina symptom. If you suddenly experience light flashes in your vision, it is advised to seek immediate medical care.
When to Visit an Eye Doctor
If you are seeing new floaters or the existing floaters increased, you must book a comprehensive eye exam.
Although floaters are typically harmless, certain situations show that these could mean a serious health concern that needs immediate treatment.