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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I have a floating black mark in my vision. It just started

Resolved Question:

I have a floating black mark in my vision. It just started out of no where. What is this? And what can I do for it?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 6 years ago.

What you are describing is commonly called a "floater". You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes. Over time it liquefies and can sometimes clump together. When you look in the light, you see the shadows of these things and see them as floaters. Floaters are generally not a problem, though they can be annoying.

New floaters can be an indication of a retinal problem, such as a hole or tear. It is recommended you have a full dilated eye exam to check for any problems.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightening storm, arc of light), or a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.

Overtime, your brain will learn to ignore the floater and it may also settle to the bottom of your eyeball, out of your field of vision. This, however, may take weeks to months to occur. Laser and surgery have occasionally been done for floaters, but in most cases the risk outweighs the benefits. Therefore, these procedures are not recommended.

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