On call: Floaters

Published: September, 2010

Q. I'm 55 years old, and I only need glasses for reading. Recently though, I've seen tiny black specs that move around in random directions. My eyes are not red, watery, or painful, but I'm worried that I may have the start of an eye disease.

A. The short answer is that your symptoms suggest a common and medically unimportant problem called floaters. But since your eyesight could suffer if you neglect flashes or the sudden appearance of large or numerous floaters, a long answer may be helpful.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »