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You may have read in the news about Phillip Schofield undergoing surgery to remove floaters in his eye. Daniel Hardiman-McCartney MBE FCOptom, Clinical Advisor at The College of Optometrists, explains a bit more about the condition.

“Floaters are a common condition and appear as small dark or transparent dots or strands that can look like a hair or small pieces of a cobweb floating inside your eye. They are formed when the vitreous, which is the jelly inside your eye, separates into watery fluid and wavy collagen fibres. They appear to float in front of your eyes and move when you try to look at them.

“For most people, floaters are fairly mild and nothing to worry about. Usually, no treatment is required once your optometrist has reviewed them. However, in some instances, like in the case of Phillip Schofield, they can have a more profound impact on a person’s eye sight, and treatment may be helpful.”

Are there any symptoms I should look out for?

Floaters are often harmless and people get use to them. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, it is important you seek advice from your optometrist as soon as possible:

  • a sudden increase in floaters, particularly if you also notice flashing lights
  • a new, large floater
  • a change in floaters or flashing lights after you have had a direct blow to your eye
  • a shadow or cobweb spreading across the vision of one of your eyes.
July 22, 2022