Why am I seeing Floaters?

Why am I seeing Floaters?

The term "floater" refers to the tiny black or blurred dots, lines or cobweb-like images a person sees typically in bright lighting, outside, or when looking at a white background. Floaters can come in various shapes and sizes, anything from specs to large annoying blobs or circle/C-shaped images in one's central vision.

How Do Floaters Develop?


Floaters are the result of age-related liquification of the clear gel (vitreous) that fills the inside of the eye. When the gel liquifies, thicker gelatinous pieces can more easily break away and float within the eye forming what we see as floaters. Floaters are common after trauma or eye surgery, such as cataract surgery, being that this disrupts the normal tension within the eye.

Are There Risks Associated With Floaters?


The greatest risk associated with floaters is a retinal detachment or retinal hole that can develop during the process of the gel pulling away from the inner wall of the eye (the retina). The highest incidence of complications with floaters occurs during a complete Vitreous Detachment. This is where the gel pulls away from its attachment points at the Optic Nerve and/or macula leading to a notably large floater in one's central vision. Within 1 month of a Vitreous Detachment, there is a higher risk that the gel could pull away with enough tension to cause complications. Any new onset of floaters, flashes, or a "curtain veil" blocking an area of vision should be assessed by an Optometrist or eyecare specialist immediately to rule out potentially permanent vision changes.

Will My Floaters Go Away?


The short answer is no.. Floaters will not ever completely go away BUT they do become less noticeable and tend to gravitate to lower parts of the eye with time* and gravity!

*some people notice significant reduction in floaters after a few months, but it may take years for them to become less noticeable.

Can I have them removed?


In some cases, when floaters are severely impairing a person's vision, a procedure to remove the vitreous gel or reduce the size of the floaters can be performed. Vitreolysis is a noninvasive process that fragments large floaters into many smaller ones. This can sometimes be beneficial, but not always.

Vitrectomy is a more invasive approach where the vitreous is completely removed and replaced with a balanced salt solution. Both procedures have potential risks and benefits that should be discussed with your Optometrist or eye specialist.

Are you noticing new floaters in your vision? Have you had flashes of light
in you peripheral vision or sudden loss of vision? Call us today to schedule
an eye exam today! Flashes and Floaters can be an indicator of much more
serious problems occurring in the eyes!