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What are these mysterious black dots floating in my eye?

You’re on the roof, look­ing out onto the NYC sky­line. You let your eyes drift from one end to the oth­er, tak­ing in the splen­dor of the city when you notice a small dot some­where in your per­cep­tion. In an odd way, you still try to steady your gaze and exam­ine the dot. Then you blink, your eyes go down and it moves down. You scan, test­ing for the dot or dots and sure enough, there it floats with you, in sync with your every move. We call these, eye floaters.

What are eye floaters, you ask?

Floaters in the eye are a lit­tle pecu­liar in their exis­tence, but noth­ing to fear. There’s a part of our eye between the lens and the reti­na that con­tains this clear, gel-like sub­stance. Let’s call this the jel­ly. As we get old­er, the jel­ly starts to liq­ue­fy, but not all of the jel­ly dis­solves at the same time. With no oth­er place to go, jel­ly par­ti­cles float around in the new, watery sub­stance. As hard as we try and focus to see the lit­tle dots, or the jel­ly par­ti­cles, we can’t. In fact, we aren’t actu­al­ly see­ing the eye floater par­ti­cles them­selves. As light pass­es through the eye, the floaters’ shad­ows are cast on the reti­na, and those are the dots we see. It’s amaz­ing how sen­si­tive the human eye is.

March 23rd, 2016|Comments Off on What are these mysterious black dots floating in my eye?

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.

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