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Health Tip: Eye Floaters

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(HealthDayNews) -- Do you have little "cobwebs" or specks that float around in your field of vision?

These small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines are called floaters. Floaters are more likely to develop as you get older and are more common in people who are very nearsighted, have diabetes, or who have had a cataract operation, the National Eye Institute says.

Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape, slowly shrinks. As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina.

In most cases, floaters are nothing more than an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to "settle" at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome.

This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.