​Eye Floaters

Eye floaters are the tiny specks or flecks that move around in your field of vision. They may appear as black or grey spots, strings or cobwebs, and are especially noticeable when you look at something bright, such as the sky during the day. Ordinary floaters are common and usually do not indicate any serious disorder.

Eye floaters become more common as you age, when the gel-like consistency of the vitreous fluid inside the eye thins down, becoming more watery. Some gel particles may remain undissolved and float around, taking on many shapes and sizes. Shadows of these over the retina cause eye floaters. Other eye disorders, such as inflammation or bleeding in the eye or tearing of the retina can also cause eye floaters. Floaters can also be a symptom in eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, blocking of blood vessels to the retina or swelling of the middle layer of the eye (uveitis).

Witnessing floaters occasionally is not alarming. However, floaters which appear as showers and are accompanied by flashes of light are not supposed to be ignored and must be evaluated by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist), as this can indicate that the retina is becoming dislodged from the inner lining of the back of the eye.

You will notice black or grey specks, strings or flecks in your field of vision. Typical symptoms of eye floaters include:

  • Spots or strings in your vision which move as you move your eyes

  • Eventual settling down of the spots

  • Spots are more noticeable against a plain, bright background, such as white paper

  • In severe cases, flashes of light may accompany the spots

  • At times, cobwebs or ring-shaped floaters may be seen​

Floaters usually aren’t a cause for concern, but if they appear suddenly as a shower, you must get your symptoms evaluated by an eye doctor. Sudden flashes of light, loss of vision at the sides, or too many floaters could indicate retinal detachment and must be assessed by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).

You can be assured of receiving multidisciplinary care at The Aga Khan University Hospital for diagnosis and treatment of your eye floaters. You can safely and privately discuss your symptoms and gain advice from our expert team of ophthalmologists at the Eye and ENT Service Line and receive personalized treatment and care.

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

A detailed medical history will be taken to find out how frequently you have eye floaters and whether you have experienced any serious symptoms, such as flashes of light or a large number of floaters at the same time.

After this, your doctor will conduct various eye examinations including a visual acuity test to check your vision, a slit lamp test to check the front of your eye and back of your eye. Your eye will be dilated with the help of special drops, and the doctor will examine the inside of your eye with the help of special instruments. This test will help the doctor examine the retina and identify any abnormalities in its structure and placement

Occasional eye floaters may not require treatment and just need you to get used to them.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

​​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.