In the earliest stages of RP I used to get a whole ton of floaters, those annoying little specks that hover inside your vision. Everyone gets floaters sometimes, particularly as we age, but people with RP tend to get them in crazy numbers. Now that my vision has worsened, they seem to have disappeared. Perhaps they’ve stopped or maybe I just don’t see them anymore. Good riddance, my pesky, transparent friends, you were quite harmless but I do not miss you.

Although, my floaters have taken a trip, the cloudiness shown in this video is the real deal. It shows very accurately how I see the world on a bright day.

Floaters are bits of waste floating around in the eyeball itself. Tiny pieces of jelly get wanderlust, breaking free and going for a cheeky explore right in front of your eyes. There are a host of shapes: spots like dead gnats; little fibres; cobwebs, clouds and circles. It is actually the shadows of these that we perceive, like some kind of trippy projection by amoebic silhouette-puppets. You only see them when bright light passes through, so they are most noticeable when looking at a blue sky or a computer screen. As your pupils contract with the light, they tighten their focus, and you suddenly see these adventurous strands.

Picture of a tree in a field with a cloudy blue sky and lots of floaters, which look a bit like sperm

Floaters are often annoyingly suspended just where you don’t want them. You can try as hard as you like to catch them with your gaze but they drift insolently, in concert with your eye movements. They never stay still. The slippery blighters just can’t be pinned down. Interestingly, if floaters did not move, your brain would tune them out and you would not see them at all.

For Joe Public, seeing a whole batallion of floaters could mean that you need to see your eye doctor, but those with RP are used to these visual vagabonds, and when all is said and done, they are the least of our worries.

2 thoughts on “Floaters”

  1. I thought this post was very informative! I never knew that’s what floaters were but they are there in my vision. Thanks for sharing what you know!

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