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Floaters: What You Need To Know

Floaters in the eye can be a disconcerting thing or an everyday occurrence for many. They can be a confusing thing to many people and questions about floaters are questions we get in our optometry office on a daily basis. Here are some basics that you need to know about floaters:

What are floaters?

Floaters are tiny spots or flecks that move around (or float) in your field of vision. Floaters and spots generally appear in the eye when small pieces of the eye’s vitreous break free within the back portion of the eye. Floaters and spots move when your eye makes movement, therefore creating the illusion that they are “floating”.

Should I be concerned about floaters?

Generally, no. While floaters in the eye are often annoying, they can be very common and in general no cause for concern. However, if you notice a dramatic increase in the number of floaters, and floaters combined with flashes of light,that is a cause to call an optometrist immediately. Our office is happy to answer any questions about your medical condition if you have reason to be concerned. If it is after-hours, we recommend contacting your nearest urgent care.

The sudden onset of these symptoms could mean that the vitreous is pulling away from your retina or that the retina is becoming dislodged from the inner back of the eye. This is a serious condition in which, you should seek medical attention in a timely manner.

How Are Floaters Treated?

In most cases, floaters and spots are harmless and simply a nuisance. They will fade over time and become less bothersome. Some people request surgery to remove them, but unless there is a serious problem with the retina, your optometrist and ophthalmologist will be hesitant to condone this treatment. Of course, in cases where vision may be lost, there are procedures to correct retinal problems and avoid a retinal detachment.

 

If you have concerns about the number of floaters you see, or are concerned that there may be more going on than “meets the eye”, do not hesitate to call our office and speak with our team of eye care professionals. We seek to give our patients the education and understanding to help them navigate their eye health both now and for the rest of their lives!

 

 

*Blog content is strictly for informational purposes; it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions, always consult your eye-care professional or other qualified healthcare provider.