A lot of people joke about seeing stars, but many people actually do see shapes run across their field of vision. These shapes are technically called “floaters” and can vary in appearance from specks and dots to clouds and cobwebs. EyeCare America explains this phenomenon as “clumps and strands within the gel of the eye” that create shadows on a person’s retina. These shadows account for the varying shapes and are typically cast when a person is looking at a large, solid-colored object (like a wall).
Unfortunately, although some are harmless, floaters can occasionally indicate a serious problem with the eye, such as a torn retina. People who are middle-aged are especially prone to floaters, so be alert and talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision. It’s important to get your eyes examined on a regular basis to treat and prevent conditions like floaters.