Have you ever spotted web or peck like structures floating in front of your field of vision, which tend to flit away the moment you try to chase them. The experience can be quite frustrating, especially when these structures begin to obstruct your vision. However, you might wonder if you happen to be the only person suffering from such a condition. If that’s the case then you might feel a little comfortable after knowing that there are millions of people across the globe who suffers from such a vision related problem, which is termed as floaters or flashes. In fact, stats suggest that 7 out of every 10 people experience this problem at some or other time in their lives. And the condition is not only found in people who are past their prime but even teenagers as well. In most cases, it is not considered as a very serious medical problem. However, if you are experiencing multiple flashes or floaters then it can actually be an indication of retinal tear. In such a situation, it should be treated immediately or it could lead to permanent loss of vision.
What exactly is the reason behind the occurrence of floaters? And what are floaters?
As you would already know, our eyes are filled with a gel like substance called as vitreous humor. It is this substance that helps maintain the shape of our eye balls without obstructing the passage of light to reach the walls of retina. Retina is located right at the back of our eyeball. It is composed of several nerve cells whose job is to perceive visual signals. When this gel like structure called vitreous gets older or some of the gel gets shrunk or thick, it leads to the condition we call as floaters or flashes. When the light passes through this shrunken gel, it tends to form a shadow on the walls of retina. It is these shadows that appear in different shapes such as webs or spots in front of our field of vision.
There are many reasons behind the creation of shadows. One of the common reasons is the formation of protein clumps. This is a common condition and most people often ignore them. Sometimes, floaters are also caused when blood vessels located in the retina get burst leading to minor hemorrhaging. This condition sometimes creates floaters that often appear as dots in front of our vision.