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'This is a sign of vitreous detachment, where the vitreous jelly pulls away from the retina,' says Dr Blakeney.
Normally performed under a general anaesthetic, this replaces the vitrous jelly with saline solution. If the occasional floater turns into a sudden 'cobweb' of squiggles, especially with associated flashes, or one single, large floater that won't disappear.In rare cases, fogginess can be caused by a brain tumour pressing against the back of the eye, or optic neuritis - inflammation of the optic nerve.The symptoms include washed-out colours and loss of contrast.But when people start losing their sight - most commonly due to age- related macular degeneration or sometimes glaucoma - their brains don't receive as many pictures and new fantasy pictures or old pictures stored in our brains are released and experienced as real objects.'It's a condition known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), named after the Swiss philosopher who noticed his blind grandfather having hallucinations of things that obviously weren't there,' says Mr Moriarty.'These flashing lights look like cracked glass or water running down over sparkling lights.' 'Once the flashing lights start you can prevent a fullblown migraine by taking painkillers, drinking water, upping your blood sugar with food and laying down in a quiet, dark room,' says Mr Constantine-Smith.
'If you stare at a n very bright light, such as the sun or a welding torch, for long enough, those images can burn into your retina, damaging your long- term sight , ' says Mr Constantine-Smith.
These form part of the vitreous jelly which maintain the eye's shape, but they can pull free from the edge of the jelly and float harmlessly across the field of vision.
'It's still not known why this happens, though the problem is more common with age, as the jelly liquefies over time.' While the vast majority of us have just one or two floaters at any one time, others can have hundreds permanently drifting past.
In effect, this is a 'mini-stroke' in your eye, says Mr Berghardt. Head to your GP straight away - a full-blown stroke could be on the way,' he says.
A persistent fogginess is more likely to be a cataract, which is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy - again this is more commonly seen in those over 50.
Floaters are a normal part of everyone's vision and usually nothing to worry about, says Dr Blakeney.