Common Eye Problems: Eye Floaters

Have you ever been staring at the sky, looking at the beautiful clouds, and suddenly a little squiggly line darts across your field of vision? You’re wondering, what the heck was that? Am I seeing things? The good news is, no, you’re not crazy. You actually DID see something. It’s called a floater, and they’re fairly common.  

Eye Floaters 101

Eye floater symptoms

These can come in many different shapes. They move around in your eye, and dance around when you try to focus on them.

Shapes include:

  • Black or gray dots
  • Squiggly lines
  • Threadlike strands
  • Cobwebs
  • Rings

What causes eye floaters

They’re caused by a protein called collagen. There is a gel-like substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous, and as you age, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous shrink down to little shreds and clump together and cast shadows. These shadows are the floaters.

When to see the doctor

In most instances, you don’t need to do anything. Floaters are pretty normal. However, you should go to the doctor ASAP if you notice any of the following:

  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • A loss of side vision
  • Changes that come on quickly and get worse over time
  • Eye pain

Most of the time eye floaters are harmless. Maybe a little annoying at times, but nothing to worry about. So if you currently have eye floaters, you most likely don’t need to do anything to keep your vision sharp.

But if you are interested in getting an eye exam to discuss any eye problems you may be having, a VSP vision plan can help! Check out for vision insurance plan rates and benefits on eye exams, glasses and contacts.