Recognizable as small clouds or specks that move across the field of vision, floaters are particularly visible when gazing at a blank background such as the sky or a wall. The objects are not in front of the eye, as they appear, but within it. They are composed of tiny cell and gel clumps suspended within the eye’s gel-like vitreous fluid. Common shapes include circles, lines, dots, and clouds.
The cause of floaters is posterior vitreous detachment, which involves the gel-like substance pulling away from the back of the eye. This can occur as people age, and the sudden appearance of a floater is a concern and needs to be seen promptly as it can result in a retinal tear or detachment. This is a sign that one should quickly visit an ophthalmologist or retina specialist!