Why am I seeing funny shapes and spots?

VITREOUS is the name of the clear material that fills the eyeball. About 80 percent of the eye’s volume is vitreous, just like a small spherical fish tank! You may recognize the Latin word “vitreous” as molten glass. Human vitreous has a similar appearance and physical properties.

The vitreous in children is very firm and gelatinous. In older folks the vitreous turns to water. That means
there’s a transition period during which the gel “melts.” The medical term for this process is SYNERESIS.
During syneresis some of the gel is still partially formed in chunks. These free-floating chunks represent
your floaters. Although they are clear, these chunks cast an optical shadow on the retina, giving them a
dark appearance.

Floaters typically don’t appear in colors, but floaters can appear singly or in multiples. They appear in
various shapes and sizes.

The vast majority of folks with floaters do not develop retinal detachment. When the vitreous separates
from the retina along the wall of our “fish tank,” it can stimulate light flashes in the retina. These can be
plain or colorful. Persistent or progressive flashes should alert you to get a comprehensive eye exam.

Whether you see clusters, specks, black dots, most floaters go away over time. Either the gel completely dissolves, or the chunks settle down to the bottom of the eye, or (most likely) your brain learns to simply ignore them. There is no medical therapy available to eliminate floaters.

Serving Coral Springs and South Florida

Dr. K is the premiere eye doctor and professional sports & athletic optometrist based in Margate, FL.

Office Hours

Monday   9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesday  9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Wed        9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Thursday 9 A M. to 5 P.M. Friday      9 A.M. to 5 P.M.


Dr. Steven R. Koganovsky | Board Certified Optometric Physician
101 North State Road 7 Suite 103      Margate, Florida 33063
Office Telephone 954-972-6934      Fax 954-972-6946