Eye floaters are caused by the natural shrinking of the gel-like fluid or vitreous in your eye. Floaters often appear in your field of vision as small shapes. Floaters are common and typically don’t require any treatment; however, they can indicate a severe eye condition if they persist.
The vitreous shrinks within your eye as you age and creates eye floaters or small particles which drift through the vitreous, passing in front of the macula. It is at this point that you see the eye floaters. These little shapes are not unlike small bits of dust that you can’t blink away. They often present as squiggly lines, spots, strands of thread, dark spots, and shadowy shapes.
Eye floaters may become less pronounced but are permanent. They will slowly sink within your vitreous, settling at the bottom of your eye, at which point you will no longer notice them.
Eye floaters develop as you age, but you are at a higher risk when you are over 50, are nearsighted, have diabetes, have experienced swelling in your eye, or have had cataract surgery. It is important to note that you may not experience eye floaters in both eyes as your eyes may not age simultaneously.
While eye floaters are permanent and typically need no further treatment, there is a surgical option to remove floaters. However, it does involve the risk of vision loss and should only be considered if the eye floaters are impacting your vision.
Lasers can be used to break up groupings of floaters or a procedure called a vitrectomy in which an incision is made to remove the vitreous and replace it with a solution that mimics the vitreous.
The occurrence of eye floaters is usually not cause for concern. However, you should advise your eye care provider as to the presence of the floaters and have your eyes checked regularly to ensure there is no reason for concern.
If you suddenly have more floaters than normal, reach out to your healthcare provider right away. If you notice your eye floaters have increased, see an eye care professional immediately. It could be an indication of a more serious eye condition, including retinal detachment and retinal tear.
If you experience any of these symptoms, see a specialist immediately. You may contact us online at New Vision Eye Center or call 772.257.8700 for more information or to schedule a consultation with our World-Class Eye CareTM team.