Help and frequently asked questions

Why do I have blurred vision in one eye?


Floaters' is the name commonly given to the small shapes that sometimes become visible in a person's field of vision. These small bits of debris can be many different shapes and sizes, including tiny black dots, long strands and even ovals or rings. The debris is floating in the eye's vitreous humour, a clear, jelly-like substance that fills the space in the middle of your eyeball. Floaters cast a shadow on the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye called the retina, and it is these shadows that you see.

Most floaters are natural signs of ageing and while they can be annoying or distracting, the brain usually learns to ignore them. If a floater is directly in your line of sight, moving your eye up and down quickly can shift the debris.When floaters do not improve or they significantly affect your vision, you can undergo a vitrectomy. This is an operation to remove the vitreous humour in your eye, along with any floaters, and replace it with a saline solution.Floaters can also occur due to posterior vitreous detachment, which is when the outer parts of the vitreous humour begin to shrink and pull away from the retina. This tends to happen in about 50 per cent of people aged over 50. However, in rare cases a floater can indicate a more serious condition - a retinal tear.

Furthermore, retinal tears can lead to retinal detachments, which is where the retina breaks away from the vessels supplying it with blood. This can have extreme ramifications for your eyesight, so it's worth checking with an optometrist if you are concerned, especially if you are seeing flashing lights along with floaters. Retinal detachments eventually result in total loss of vision and surgery is the only way to reattach the tissue to the blood vessels. A large majority of people only need one operation to rectify the issue.