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Flashes And Floaters… Are They Normal? in Medicine Hat

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What are those tiny black spots that I see floating inside my eye? Is it normal? Does it get worse with time? Seeing ‘floaters’ is a very normal thing that does indeed become more common with age. Here’s why they happen:

Our eye is filled with a jelly-like substance made mostly of water (this is called the vitreous humour). There are also other components to this jelly, such as collagen. Over time, the consistency of this jelly changes and the heavier proteins will clump together, forming small dense spots that have the potential to block light. Any time one of these heavier clumps floats in front of our central vision, we see a floater. What we are actually seeing is the shadow that it casts onto the light-detecting tissue of the eye (the retina). Because the floaters are actually inside our eyes, if we try to look directly at them, they will drift and move with our eyes.  Floaters are more noticeable when looking at things like a bright blue sky or a white computer screen.

Although seeing floaters is quite normal, if you are seeing a new or a sudden increase of floaters or if you are seeing flashes of light in your vision, other more serious conditions may be developing.

Written by Dr. Clark Hyde

Dr. Clark Hyde graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2011. While in optometry school, he completed clinical externships in both Michigan and Utah, focusing on pediatrics and ocular disease.

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