Vision is one of the most, if not the most, important senses that human beings use to do their day-to-day activities. That’s why it is very important to have a clear vision and always make sure that your eyes are working properly.
But unfortunately, sometimes your vision may become blurred and you start to have black spots in your vision. If you already have this problem and are wondering what could have caused it, this article gives you’re the 8 most common reasons you could be having black spots in your vision.
What Are the Black Spots in Your Vision?
Also referred to as eye floaters, these black spots appear in the form of black or grey dots, threads, or cobwebs that float around when you move or roll your eyes. Sometimes they dash away when you try to stare at them.
While these black spots are harmless, they can affect your work productivity, especially if they are too many. There are many reasons why you could be having floaters in your vision.
8 Causes of Black Spots in Your Vision
First of all, it is important to mention that almost all eye problems manifest the same symptoms, including blurry vision, light sensitivity, and floaters. However, their causes are somewhat different. Here are some of the causes of floaters.
Although people say 50 is the new 40, your eyes have a different plan altogether. As you age, your eyes will go through different changes that will leave you with blurry vision and other eye problems. To put it into context, you need to understand that your eyes are full of a material known as vitreous, which looks like a thick gel.
As you grow old, your vitreous becomes increasingly watery. Eventually, this material will become too thin to cover all the corners of your eyes. When it pulls away from the corners of your eyes, this material develops clumps and stringy particles, which look like floaters in your vision. Sometimes you will experience flashes of light when your vitreous becomes completely thin.
At least 80 percent of people will experience this problem as they grow older. It usually starts to happen as you approach the age of 65. Although these floaters will have you worried about the health of your eyes, they are natural and harmless.
2. Eye Injuries
Sometimes your eyes will get hurt without presenting any serious problems at that particular time, only for you to later realize that they took more damage than you had thought. If you take a serious blow to your eyes, you are likely to develop black spots immediately, or shortly after. These floaters are because of the bleeding in your eyes.
In this case, the black spots are the actual blood cells in your eyes that are interpreted by your vision as floating spots.
3. Eye Medication
When you develop eye problems, your doctor might recommend eye medications for you. Unfortunately, some of these medicines cause air bubbles that will appear in the form of black spots in your vision. These types of floaters also occur after eye surgery. During eye surgery, your surgeon might inject silicone oil into your eyes, which will create bubbles that look like black spots in your vision.
Inflammation in your eyes can cause many problems, including floaters. However, there is a specific type of eye inflammation that can lead to black spots in your vision. This type of inflammation normally occurs in your uvea, the middle layer on the surface of your eyes.
Any inflammation in your uvea in the back of your eye, near the retina, is referred to as posterior uveitis. It is also known as choroiditis because the rear part of the uvea is referred to as choroid. If this part of your eye is inflamed, it will release small debris which will eventually venture throughout your eye. This debris is what appears like floaters in your vision.
Hypertension is one of the most common health problems that affect American adults. Studies have shown that almost one-third of adults in America have hypertension. One of the main risks of having hypertension is that it can cause life-threatening heart diseases. Apart from heart diseases, hypertension can also cause serious eye problems.
It will destroy your blood vessels, including the ones in your eyes, allowing blood cells to seep into your eyes. These blood cells will appear in your vision like floaters. There are several other ways that hypertension can affect your vision.
6. Torn Retina
For your eyes to create a perfect vision, your retina has to be working properly. This is the part of your eye that focuses the light to enable you to see clearly. So, if it gets damaged, it will cause blurry vision and other eye problems. For instance, if the retina gets torn, it will cause black spots in your vision.
One of the main reasons why your retina may tear is the shrinking vitreous. Black spots in your vision that are caused by a torn retina are sudden and in large numbers. So, if you are seeing an occasional floater, it is not likely to be as a result of a torn retina.
7. Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes is another condition that is known to cause many other serious health complications. For instance, both type 1 and 2 diabetes are known to cause an eye problem commonly referred to as diabetic retinopathy. If your diabetes gets out of control, it will damage the blood vessels in your eyes, allowing blood cells to leak into your eyes.
Like hypertension, the leaked blood will appear in your vision as black spots. However, it is important to mention that leaked blood cells are just one aspect of diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes diabetes causes swelling in the retina, making your vision fuzzy or cloudy.
8. Ocular Migraine
If you have ever suffered from migraines, then you understand how varied the condition can be. Sometimes migraines can cause you to see black spots in your vision. One of the main culprits for floaters is ocular migraine.
Ocular migraines can cause static or flickering blind spots in your vision, which sometimes appear like tiny dark spots. These spots can occur before or after the headache. There are several reasons why this type of migraine causes black spots in your vision.
For instance, it can occur if your blood vessels in the retina have spasms. Sometimes the migraine may affect your nerves, causing blurry vision.
Symptoms and Harms of These Black Spots in Vision
Floaters can manifest different symptoms depending on their causes. Here are some of the most common symptoms of eye floaters.
- Tiny shapes in your vision that look like dark spots or knobby, clear strings of floating material.
- Dark spots moving fast when you move your eyes, especially when you try to look at them.
- Dark spots appearing in your vision when you look at a clear bright background, including blue skies or a white wall.
- Tiny shapes or strings that in the end settle down and drift out of the line of vision
As indicated above, these dark spots in your vision are natural and completely harmless. However, they can affect your daily life in many ways, including lowering your work productivity. Therefore, you need to see a doctor immediately, if these floaters are too many or preventing you from performing your normal duties.
You should see an eye specialist immediately if:
- There are more eye floaters than usual
- You experience a sudden onset of new floaters
- You experience flashes of light in the same eye as the floaters
- You experience darkness on any side or sides of your vision (outlying vision loss)
Some of these symptoms could be as a result of a retinal tear, with or without a retinal detachment. This is a sight-threatening condition that needs immediate attention.
The treatment for eye floaters depends on their causes. While most of these dark spots don’t need treatment, some of them should be treated because they can easily cause vision impairment. Some of the treatment options include:
- Surgery to get rid of the vitreous – an ophthalmologist will help you to remove the vitreous through a tiny incision and replace it with a special solution that will keep your eyes in shape. However, this type of surgery may not get rid of all dark spots and might even cause new floaters after surgery by causing retinal tears and bleeding.
Disrupting the floaters with a laser – an eye specialist will aim the laser at the dark sports in your vitreous to break them up and make them less visible. However, not every patient will report improved vision after this treatment. Plus, the laser might damage your retina if aimed incorrectly.