Ever wonder what those little drifting shadows in the corner of your eye are?

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Have you ever been looking at something bright (like the sky or a piece of paper) and noticed a small shadow drifting across your vision? If so, you are not on your own.

These small shadows are called floaters and lots of people experience them at some point. While they can be irritating, they’re mostly harmless, in fact, if you do see floaters occasionally you will probably see that they improve over the course of months or years.

Floaters come in lots of shapes and sizes. If you’ve noticed them before you may have seen hair-like lines, squiggles, dots, or cobwebs. Mostly, they are caused by protein flecks which come from the back of the eye.

Your eye is filled with a jelly called vitreous humor. The vitreous and its collagen fibres (protein) shrink over time to become fine shreds. These shreds accumulate in the vitreous and alter the amount of light that enters the retina. This is what causes these little floaters.

If you’ve ever had eye surgery you may have noticed floaters afterwards, but they usually occur with no clear reason. People can be affected at any age, but at Eye Emporium, we find that people between the ages of 50 and 75 who are long-sighted or have had cataract surgery seem to also see floaters in their vision.

Very rarely, floaters can be a sign of something more serious. Under certain circumstances it is advisable to visit your optician if you are seeing floaters in your vision…


–         If you don’t usually experience floaters in your vision and suddenly see lots, speak to your optician who will give your eyes a thorough check

–         If you ever have flashes of light or impaired vision at the same time as floaters (or on their own), have an eye examination as soon as you can

–         If you experience any pain along with your floaters you should see your local optician

–         If you’ve had surgery on your eyes or a recent eye trauma and start seeing floaters, go back to your optician


It’s likely that everything will be ok, but it’s always a good idea to have things checked out.

At Eye Emporium we always say that prevention is better than cure, and this is never more relevant than when it comes to your eyes and vision. If you notice a difference in the amount of floaters you see in your vision, or if you’re even slightly concerned, give us a call and we will be more than happy to examine your eyes thoroughly and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, we see all kinds of eye problems so we will be able to put your mind at rest with our in-depth eye examination and expert team.

For more information or to arrange your eye exam, simply call Eye Emporium on 0800 020 9202.