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Eye floaters are small spots or strings that appear in the field of vision. They are the deposits of vitreous of the eye and they are normal and do not cause any pain and are not harmful. They usually appear as black or grey strings when you move your eyes or while trying to look at them directly. They may either be present in one eye or both the eyes.

In most cases, eye floaters do not need any treatment as they do not affect your vision. But if you notice a sudden increase in the size of the eye floater, then consider visiting an eye specialist.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Eye Floaters

Eye floaters float and are hence named eye floaters. They appear in different shapes and colours namely rings, small lines, cobwebs, etc. The following are some of the common signs:

  • Small spots in the vision when you move your eyes
  • Small spots while looking at a bright background
  • Small floating material that appears as dark or grey specks or knobby
  • The appearance of small threads or cobwebs like structures on the line of vision and they eventually go away
  • Floating of vitreous substances in the eyes

What Causes Eye Floaters?

In general, eye floaters occur as a part of the normal ageing process. Along with this, the following can also lead to eye floaters:

  • Age: As you get older, the vitreous shrinks and sags which is required for maintaining the round shape of the eyeballs. As they sag, they become stringy and may block the light that passes through your eye. This causes small shadows on the retina and leads to eye floaters.
  • Inflammation in the eyes: Certain eye infections can cause inflammation and swelling in the eyes. This can cause eye floaters. For example, posterior uveitis causes inflammation and leads to eye floaters.
  • Eye injury: If the eye gets damaged in an accident or gets hit by any object, eye floaters might occur.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels near the retina. As a result, blood vessels get damaged and they cannot properly detect the images and the light that hit them.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding into the vitreous can be caused by diabetes, blocked blood vessels and blood pressure. These blocked blood vessels appear as eye floaters.
  • Torn or detached retina: Detached retina is a serious condition where the retina gets detached due to the accumulation of fluid behind the retina. People with this condition experience other symptoms along with eye floaters. If it is left untreated, it can cause permanent loss of vision.
  • Use of certain medications: If any medications are injected directly into the vitreous, air bubbles may form and they are seen as shadows till they get absorbed by your eyes.
  • Post vitreous detachment (PVD): It is a condition where the vitreous gel that fills the eyeball gets removed from the retina. It is painful and can lead to floaters and flashes. The PVD condition does not lead to vision loss unless you experience a retinal tear or retinal detachment.

How are Eye Floaters Diagnosed and Treated?

The doctor examines your eyes to determine the cause of eye floaters. The doctor may also conduct eye dilation to view the vitreous and the back of your retina. 

If you ever experience floaters, consider visiting a doctor for a retinal check-up though only a few floaters need treatment. This is because early diagnosis helps to identify retinal holes, tears and detachment at the earliest. In most cases, eye floaters do not require any treatment though they cause a nuisance. If they are disturbing you, roll your eyes up and down instead of rolling side by side. But if the eye floaters are disturbing your vision or increase in size, your doctor focuses on treating the cause of the floaters.

The doctor may perform a surgery called a vitrectomy to remove the vitreous solution. The removed solution will be replaced with a salt solution. The surgery is usually performed if you have more floaters in your eye. Laser removal may also be suggested to break down eye floaters using laser light. The laser treatment makes eye floaters less visible.

Is Eye Floaters Disturbing Your Vision? Visit Think Eye Hospital Today?

If you have eye floaters and they are affecting your vision, Think Eye can be your right place. We are well-known for treating various eye problems ranging from simple to complex issues. We have experienced and certified ophthalmologists who have solved various eye problems. To discuss your condition, call us and schedule your appointment today.