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Should I worry about those spots in my vision?

Many of us have spots that appear in our vision from time to time. Usually, they are few and only noticeable infrequently. Sometimes they can suddenly increase in number and become visible constantly. These images in your vision may be caused by several different events happening in your eye. Sudden changes in the appearance of these spots are understandably unsettling and warrant an evaluation by an eye doctor.

The tiny, faint wandering spots are typically a clouding of the gel in the eye associated with aging. They sometimes are visible even during adolescence and may slowly increase in number as we get older. Most people only notice these occasionally, and specifically in bright environments. When these spots suddenly increase in number, size and frequency,  it may be a warning sign of something more ominous.  A dilated eye exam is needed to determine if a sight-threatening condition has occurred and what steps may be necessary to address it.

As mentioned before, aging plays a big role in causing these changes. For most of us, the spots (floaters) are benign reminders of our accumulating birthdays. Other times, aging leads to health problems that can put us at risk of vision threatening damage in the eye. The most common of these problems associated with sudden onset of floaters include bleeding in the eye, retinal holes or tears, and retinal detachments. These are problems that are best identified quickly so they can be managed in a manner to preserve your vision.

Sudden onset of floaters can be concerning. Any time such changes in your vision are noticed, please contact your eye doctor and explain what symptoms you are experiencing. If she/he deems there may be a more serious problem, an immediate eye examination will be scheduled.