Spider Webs in Your Vision – What It Means, Why It Happens, and How Serious Is It?

Seeing spider webs across your vision can be concerning or at least momentarily distracting. However, some of the worry is often based on not knowing what’s causing the spider webs and whether they are indicative of a serious condition.  

If you wonder what the spider webs in your vision mean, why they occur, and whether the situation requires treatment, here’s what you need to know.  

What Are Spider Webs in Your Vision?  

Spider webs in your vision are a visual phenomenon. At times, they are also described as cobwebs or floaters, the latter of which refers to the shifting nature of the specks or lines.  

In some cases, the spider webs seem nearly transparent. In others, they may look closer to hazing black dots.  

Most people notice spider webs in their vision when they are looking at a bright white surface, such as a wall. They may also be noticeable if you’re gazing at a light blue sky, especially if the sun is shining.  

Why Do Spider Webs in Your Vision Occur?  

Usually, spider webs in your vision are the result of posterior vitreous detachment. The bulk of the eye is made up of the vitreous body, which is comprised of a jelly-like substance. If the vitreous body pulls away from the retina, the jelly may form strands or shapes. As those strands shift, they cast shadows on the retina, creating a visual phenomenon that looks like spider webs, cobwebs, or floaters.  

Changes to the vitreous body are common as people age. Over time, the jelly-like substance can shrink, making a posterior vitreous detachment more likely.  

Additionally, proteins in the gel can clump together. These can create the cobweb effect, as well as spots, rings, or other shapes.  

Typically, floaters develop between the ages of 50 and 75. However, they can occur in younger people, particularly those with significant myopia (nearsightedness), past eye trauma, or diabetes. Additionally, those who have undergone a cataract operation are at a higher risk of developing them early.  

How Serious are Spider Webs in Your Vision?  

Generally speaking, spider webs in your vision aren’t serious. They mainly don’t negatively impact vision and are more of an occasional annoyance. In time, you may even learn to ignore them even if they don’t disappear entirely.  

As a result, treatment is rarely recommended for common floaters if they aren’t impacting vision significantly. For those who are having a negative impact on vision, a surgical procedure may be recommended to remove the floaters from the vitreous body. There are risks of undergoing the procedure, so it isn’t usually recommended unless the situation is severe.  

However, if the number of floaters increases suddenly or they are accompanied by a bright flash of light, that could be the onset of a severe condition. Similarly, if the floaters occur along with a sudden vision change that’s similar to a veil or curtain descending over your visual field, that could also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a retinal detachment. If that is the case, prompt medical treatment could be essential to ensure no vision is lost.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you are concerned about the presence of spider webs in your vision or are experiencing other systems like bright flashed of light or quick chances to your visual field, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.   

Family looking at eyeglasses

Congenial (Pediatric) Cataracts – What It Is and How It’s Treated

When people think of cataracts, they typically associate the condition with older adults. However, cataracts can happen much earlier in life, and they may even be present at birth.  

If you would like to learn more about congenital cataracts – including what they are, when they can occur, and how they are treated – here’s what you need to know.  

What Are Congenital Cataracts?  

Cataracts are a condition that leads to a cloudiness of the lens of the eye. They occur when specific proteins found within the eye start clumping. As the proteins bind together, they negatively impact vision, such as blurriness or fogginess. In some cases, the distortions are quite severe.  

The size and location of the cataracts can vary. Additionally, they may be present in one eye or both. In cases where both are affected, one may be in worse shape than the other, or the situation could be comparable in both eyes.  

Typically, the proteins clump slowly over time, which is why cataracts are more prevalent in older adults. However, with congenital cataracts, they are present at birth.  

In many cases, the reason the cataracts developed in the infant are not known. However, infections, metabolic conditions, trauma, inflammation, and medication reactions can potentially cause cataracts.  

Are Congenial and Pediatric Cataracts the Same?  

At times, the terms congenial and pediatric are used interchangeably. However, there are actually different versions of pediatric cataracts.  

With congenital cataracts, the condition is present at birth. With acquired pediatric cataracts, they develop after birth. Pediatric cataract patients may be infants, children, or adolescents.  

In some cases, the cause of pediatric cataracts may be known. For example, a previous eye injury may increase the child’s odds of developing cataracts and being diabetic or having certain other metabolic disorders. However, they can also occur without an apparent reason.  

What Are the Risks of Pediatric Cataracts?  

When cataracts occur in very young children, they don’t just impact vision acuity today; they may have a lasting impact on vision, eye health, and brain development. In adults, cataracts occur after the eyes and brain are fully developed, reducing the likelihood of long-term impact.  

Infants and children are different. The eyes and brain usually develop well into childhood, often up to the age of 10. When left untreated, congenital cataracts harm that development, potentially leading to lasting negative effects on vision. This could permanent declines in visual acuity, as well as possible blindness.  

How Are Congenital and Pediatric Cataracts Treated?  

With both congenital and pediatric cataracts, the treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition. If the case is mild and isn’t impact vision, it may be possible to simply monitor the situation, only intervening if the cataracts worsen.  

However, if there is a negative impact on vision, surgery may be a necessity. The procedure removes the cataracts, alleviating the cause of the visual distortions and allowing the proper brain and eye development to occur.  

Ongoing treatment after surgery is also typical. Steps have to be taken to restore the eye-brain connection, ensuring they’ll be able to focus clearly.   

At ECVA, we take the health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you believe your child may have congenital or pediatric cataracts, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.