Floaters are small shapes that some people see floating around in their field of vision. They can be different shapes and sizes. These floating shapes are small pieces of debris that float on the eyes vitreous humour. The visual effect is caused by the debris casting its shadow on the retina.

In most cases, floaters do not cause significant problems and don’t require treatment. However, in rare cases, they may be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment. If you notice an increase or a change in your floaters (especially white flashes) over short space of time it is advisable to see your GP.  Your GP may recommend you see an ophthalmologist who can check your retina for tears.

In benign cases, when floaters don’t require treatment, your brain will learn to ignore floaters and you may not notice them. If your floaters do not improve over time, or if they significantly affect your vision, a vitrectomy may be recommended. This is a surgical operation to remove the vitreous humour in your eye along with any floating debris and replace it with a saline (salty) solution.