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Specks, dots and cobwebs in your vision.

"Doc, I have these specks or dots in my vision...what are these things?"

This is a question both Dr. Fose and myself get asked often in practice.

Luckily, these small specks and dots are normal for most people and are quite common in the general population.  The terminology for this medical condition is called "vitreous membrane strands", but is commonly called "floaters" by both doctors and patients.

Floaters are small dots, specks, or cobwebs in your field of vision.  While they seem like they are on the surface of your eye, they are actually inside the eye.  Floaters are tiny clumps of cells or solidified gel inside the gelatin-like vitreous that fills the inside of the eye.  The vitreous helps protect the eye from trauma and maintains the eye's shape.  So, when you see a "floater", you are actually seeing the shadows of these tiny clumps as they cast onto your retina.

credit: aao.org

As we get older, the vitreous in our eye starts to condense and thicken, leading to an increased amount of small floaters.  So, remember, several small floaters are usually harmless, but large floaters, sudden floaters, flashes of light and other odd visualizations can be more serious and warrant evaluation by your optometrist.

Hope you enjoyed this small ocular medical summary.  As always, Dr. Fose and I are available to answer any further question you have about eyes.  Always remember to have yearly eye exams to keep your eyes healthy and have a great spring 2018!

Dr. Evan Strong

Blue Valley Vision of Overland Park

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