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Eye Floaters

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What Are Eye Floaters & How Can I Recognize Them?

An eye floater is a small, dark spot in your field of vision. They are a part of the natural aging process and often resemble black or gray specks, wavy lines, cobwebs, or circles. They are very easy to spot if you are looking at a plain object, like a blank wall, and will appear as if they are right in front of you. However, they will dart away when you try to look at them directly.

This is because eye floaters are actually inside your eyes and occur when vitreous – a jelly-like substance – shrinks and becomes more liquid. The microscopic fibers within the vitreous will clump, causing the eye floaters or shadows that you see. You can recognize them by looking for:

Dark spots that move out of your visual range when you move your eyes.

Spots that appear when looking at a white wall or blue sky.

Shapes that “settle down” and drift out of vision after a while.

Specks or strings that seem to be floating in front of you.

eye floaters are actually inside
What Are The Causes Behind Eye Floaters

What Are the Causes Behind Eye Floaters?

Injury to the eye.

Eye infection or uveitis (inflammation in the eye).

Bleeding in the eye (diabetic retinopathy).

Vitreous detachment, where the jelly-like substance pulls away from the retina.

Retinal tear, where the vitreous tears a hole in the retina.

Retinal detachment, where the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye.

If you notice a sudden increase in eye floaters, this can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical issue and warrants seeing an ophthalmologist right away.

When Do Eye Floaters Develop & Who Is at Risk?

For most individuals, eye floaters will develop between the ages of 50-70, but they can occur in those younger. If you have persistent floaters, and you are younger than 50, it is recommended that you have your eyes examined to make sure a more serious eye condition isn’t developing.

Anyone with diabetes.

Anyone older than 50 years of age.

Anyone who is nearsighted.

Those who have had swelling in the eye.

Those who have had cataract surgery correction.

When Do Eye Floaters Develop & Who is At Risk
How Will An Eye Doctor Check For Floaters

How Will an Eye Doctor Check for Floaters?

When you book an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, they will run a dilated eye exam to check for eye problems including floaters. This is done by widening your pupils with eye drops. They may also check for retinal tears by pressing on your eyelids or placing a small bit of pressure on the eye. For the most part, this type of eye exam is painless, albeit a bit uncomfortable for some.

How Are Eye Floaters Treated?

The most common treatment method is a vitrectomy, which is a minimally invasive surgery that removes the vitreous via a small incision and replaces it with a solution that holds the shape of your eye. However, it carries mild risk including cataracts, retinal tears, and retinal detachment.

Our facility now employs a specially designed laser which is safe method to treat these annoying, drifting spots. Our ophthalmologist breaks the floaters up, making them less noticeable and improving your vision with a laser method called laser vitreolysis. This treatment is life-changing for anyone who has suffered from the condition for an extended period. If someone is not a candidate for the laser, we often refer for vitrectomy.

Eye Floaters-beforeEye Floaters-after
How Can You Prevent Future Eye Floaters

How Can You Prevent Future Eye Floaters?

While age-related eye floaters may not be completely preventable, you can follow some basic practices to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

  • Rest your eyes frequently and reduce stress.
  • Maintain a healthy diet to reduce your risk of macular degeneration.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • When playing sports or out in the sun, wear protective eye gear.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Outlook

While eye floaters can be very annoying to deal with, they are often harmless and will usually settle outside of your field of vision without treatment. If your eye floaters are not going away, or you’ve had an increase in them, contact us today to find out if we can provide you with some relief.

Outlook

Eye Floaters Technology

Nobody Likes Floaters, Your Eyes Least Of All

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Nobody likes eye floaters, your eyes least of all. Schedule an evaluation today to get started on your path to vision freedom.