What Are Eye Floaters?

Have you ever noticed those drifting spots in your vision and wondered what they are? We at Twin Cities Eye Consultants can shed light on this common phenomenon known as eye floaters.

Eye floaters are small, shadowy shapes that appear in your field of vision. They can look like spots, squiggles, or cobweb-like strands. These are actually shadows cast by protein fibers within the vitreous, the gel-like substance inside your eyes. As we age, these fibers can shrink and form clumps, casting these peculiar shadows.

Are Eye Floaters a Cause for Concern?

Q: Should I be worried about eye floaters? 
A: Generally, eye floaters are a normal part of aging and not a cause for concern. They are a common occurrence and usually harmless.

Q: When should eye floaters worry me? 
A: It’s important to pay attention to any changes in your vision. If you experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light, a grey curtain or a blurry area in your vision, or loss of peripheral vision, it’s crucial to see your eye doctor immediately.

Q: Can eye floaters indicate severe vision problems? 
A: Yes, in certain cases. Eye floaters and flashes of light can be symptoms of serious eye disorders, such as a detached retina or a retinal tear.

Q: What should I do if I notice new or frequent floaters? 
A: If you’re experiencing new or frequent floaters, it’s wise to schedule an examination with your eye doctor. They can assess whether the floaters are a cause for concern and monitor them accordingly.

Preventive Measures and Treatments

While there’s no surefire way to prevent eye floaters, maintaining good eye health is essential. Regular eye exams are crucial, especially as you age or if you have risk factors for eye diseases.

If floaters are significantly affecting your vision, there are treatments available. However, these are generally reserved for severe cases due to potential complications. Treatments include laser therapy to break up the floaters or surgery to remove the vitreous.