When a person is seeing spots, he/she is actually perceiving floaters located inside the eye which give the impression that there are objects like small specks, circles or strands floating in the visual field. These floaters are not immobile, instead they move together with the eye and may also drift on their own. These changes in vision are most prominent when looking at a plain background.
How do Floaters Occur?
Floaters are located in the vitreous of the eye. They may affect people of all ages but are still more frequent when people get older. The vitreous is normally transparent. It keeps the retina in place and in case it shrinks, the vitreous may pull tiny bits of retinal tissue which will appear as floaters.
Further shrinkage of the vitreous is associated with vitreous detachment, which may in the long run also induce retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition characterized by a sudden increase in seeing spots and flashing lights.
Floaters may not be serious if they occur gradually and there are no addition eye problems. However, sudden occurrence of floaters and associated symptoms such as pain in the eye or severely damaged vision requires prompt medical attention. Persistent floaters require evaluation as well.Causes of Floaters and Seeing Spots
The process of aging is typically accompanied by the formation of floaters in the field of vision. Furthermore, as mentioned vitreous and retinal detachment are two more reasons behind this visual disturbance.
It is also possible to experience floaters after an eye injury and the condition may be congenital too.
Finally, floaters eventually occur in diabetic patients and point to the presence of more complex eye problems induced by inadequately regulated blood sugar levels.
It is also essential to mention seeing spots when experiencing migraines. However, in such patients there are no actual floaters in the eye, but the brain play tricks with vision and this gives an impression that there is something in the eye.
Seeing Spots and Additional Symptoms and Signs
Even though seeing spots is commonly an isolated problem, patients may sometimes complain about additional symptoms such as headache, seeing flashes of light and even more serious problems like blind spots, dark, shadowy area in the peripheral vision, sudden appearance and increase in flashing lights in peripheral vision or sudden increase in floating objects. If the mention occurs as well, one is due to seek immediate medical care. By doing so a person may prevent the most serious complication - vision loss.