Ever wondered about the little blobs or squiggles that can drift around in your vision? Known as “floaters”, they often come to our attention if we are looking at a large, blank space, such as a clear sky or white wall.
So, what are floaters exactly?
Our eyes are filled with a jelly-like substance known as vitreous humour. The floaters are caused when the vitreous humour becomes slightly liquefied, as a result of ageing. Microscopic fibres tend to clump together within the vitreous, which then cast shadows onto the retina – and voila, you’re seeing floaters.
Don’t stress, though, because floaters are harmless – for most people, anyway.
Dr Con Moshegov, of Macquarie Street Laser Eye Clinic, explains that floaters are “very common… but not all are troublesome,” particularly for those over 40.
Floaters might annoy you once you notice them – why won’t that thing just get out of my line of sight?!, you may fume – but don’t worry because your brain will eventually get used to them and then start to ignore them.
“I reassure patients that their brains will learn to ignore the floaters in the same way you don’t notice the frames of your glasses in your vision,” says Michael Ehrlich, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Yale School of Medicine. (Post continues after gallery.)