"I see spots in my vision"

We really only like to see the spots on Dalmatian dogs or even cheetahs, however seeing spots in your vision is not something that we’d like to experience. A common patient concern that comes to my office regularly is “I see spots in my vision”.  Some important things for you to note are…

  1. Which eye do you see the spots in?
  2. How many spots are there?
  3. When did you first start noticing the spots?
  4. Are the spots getting worse or better?
  5. Do you or did you see flashes of light?  more urgency if you answered yes

Causes of spots in vision:

  1. Vitreous detachment

    1. Most common causes of “spots” aka floaters
    2. Not usually a big problem happens to everybody eventually (a 50 year old will have a 50% chance of having this and a 60 year old a 60% chance…)
    3. Occasionally a retinal tear can be caused by a vitreous detachment so you should have your eyes dilated by an optometrist to check for this
  2. Vitreous hemorrhage

    1. Blood in the eye from one of three sources: leaky abnormal vessels, ruptured normal vessels, or blood from an adjacent source
  3. Ocular migraine

    1. These spots usually only last approximately 15min and are sometimes followed by a low grade headache
    2. The spots tend to surround the visually field on both eyes and sometimes zigzags can be seen
  4. Retinal detachment or tear

    1. Needs to be treated immediately
    2. Flashes of light would be the most common first symptom seen
    3. A retinal tear can be fixed relatively easily with a laser treatment
    4. A retinal detachment requires more difficult treatment which may require you to sit facedown for a period of time

To determine what is causing the spots in your vision it is best to book a same-day appointment at our office. 

Teri Hines