In EyeCare Blog

Posterior vitreous detachment or PVD are described as a blob, bug, or jellyfish shape in the sight of a patient. Also, eye floaters look like bugs, cobwebs, hairs, or dust floating in a person's vision. Flashes of light, shooting stars, and lightning streaks can be seen at the site of the vision as well. On the left we see a normal eye. On the right is an eye with PVD where the vitreous has detached from the retina. The retina like a liner inside the eye that the vitreous is attached to. Below the two eyes are two examples. One of floaters that look like little white threads on a blue sky background and one with white circles on the same background.Are spots in my vision normal?

The answer is….maybe. It is VERY common to have “floaters” in your vision, they can occur with age. Floaters some patients describe as cobwebs, hairs, or dust floating in their vision. A burst of new floaters can be concerning and an appointment should be scheduled with your eye doctor.

Your eye is filled with a gel-like fluid called the vitreous. Over time, the gel begins to shrink and liquefy. These pockets that form from shrinking (seen in the image) create a spot in your vision. Some describe it as a “blob”, “bug”, or “jellyfish”, among others. If the gel shrinks enough, it can detach from the retina. This is what we call a posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD. These are normal aging changes and create a larger spot in your vision. 

Flashes of light in my vision

Occasionally the vitreous adheres a little too tight to the retina. As you turn your eye, it will tug at the retina, causing a flash of light. There are no pain receptors on your retina so it is painless, and you only see light. This can continue for weeks until it breaks loose. If it holds on too tight for a period of time, it can actually tear the retina as it shrinks, leading to a detachment.

The bottom line is if you are experiencing any new flashes, floaters, or dark shadows in your vision, it’s a good idea to get a dilated eye exam to make sure you do not have any retinal issues. Retinal tears and detachments aren’t really preventable, but the faster they are treated, the better your visual outcome.

To schedule an appointment fill out this form or call 218.720.3553.

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