Eye floaters are the small black or gray specks that appear in your vision field and drift away as you move your eyes. They often stand out more when looking directly into a bright surface like white paper or a blank wall.
Floaters are caused by scattered clumps of cells or collagen fibers that form within the jelly-like substance that fills your eye (vitreous). These cells cast tiny shadows on your retina and drift through the vitreous, causing you to see floaters.
The appearance of eye floaters in your visual field is harmless, and for most people, it is a part of the normal aging process of the eyes. However, an abnormal increase in eye floaters could be a sign of a more complicated condition, such as a retinal tear or retinal detachment. Although rarely needed, treatment for eye floaters ranges from laser treatment to surgery.
Symptoms of Eye Floaters
Symptoms of eye floaters often include:
Seeing flashes of light
Seeing black or gray dots
Difficulty seeing in bright light
If the amount of eye floaters in your vision field suddenly increases or they are accompanied by these symptoms, it could be a sign of a correlated eye condition you should treat promptly.
Causes of Eye Floaters
Eye floaters can happen as a benign process of aging or be a sign of a correlated illness. These include:
Inflammation in the back of the eye
Bleeding in the eye due to hypertension
Macular and retinal issues like a torn retina or detachment
Eye surgeries and eye medications that increase the amount of air in the vitreous
If you notice any symptoms, make sure you visit your eye doctor to promptly identify the root cause. Early treatment can help you avoid eye complications.
Disorders Associated with Eye Floaters
When the number of eye floaters suddenly increases or is accompanied by eye pain and vision changes, it could be a sign of an associated eye disorder. These include the following:
Retinal Tear happens when the vitreous contracts and pulls on the retina, causing it to tear the tissue.
Retinal detachment happens when fluid accumulates under the retina and causes it to lift and detach from the underlying eye tissues.
Diagnosis for Eye Floaters
Your doctor will diagnose if your eye floaters are a sign of a more serious eye condition by performing a comprehensive eye exam, which typically includes:
A visual acuity test that measures your vision at different distances.
A dilated eye exam thatinvolves eye drops to dilate and examine your pupils.
Aslit-lamp exam uses a bright light microscope to examine the cornea, iris, and lens.
A retinal exam that involves the examination of the back of the eye.
A tonometry that measures the pressure inside your eye.
Eye Floaters Treatment
Treatment for eye floaters will depend on the underlying issue that causes clumps within the vitreous. Although performed rarely, these range from laser treatment to surgical procedures.
For conditions related to the retina, your doctor may suggest performing vitreoretinal procedures to weld the retina back to the underlying tissue or to replace the jelly-like substance of your eye. These procedures include:
A laser will weld the retina to the underlying tissue for patients with a retinal tear or hole. This treatment can decrease the chance of developing retinal detachment. This treatment is minimally invasive, but patients must plan for time for recovery after the procedure.
During this surgery, your doctor will remove the fluid that fills the inside of your eye and replace it with an artificial jelly-like substance or gas.
If your eye floaters cause vision problems unrelated to other eye conditions, your eye doctor may suggest performing a vitreolysis. This involves using a special laser to disrupt and break up the clumped cells that cause the appearance of floaters in the vitreous.
Eye Floaters Treatment in New York
EyesNY offers treatment to help patients remove eye floaters or treat the underlying eye condition causing them. Our specialized team of ophthalmologists is ready to assess your needs and give you the high-quality vision care you deserve.
We work with cutting-edge technology to identify the root cause of your condition and create personalized treatment plans. Our caring staff is ready to welcome you and meet your ocular health and vision needs.
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