If you’ve never had a floater in your eye, your first floater can be disconcerting. You may see a dark speck like a piece of dirt moving around in your field of vision, and it won’t go away.
Anytime you have a change in your vision or a new problem, it’s wise to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist, a physician with many years of training in treating eyes.
Our board-certified ophthalmologists with Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, are the experts you want to see for an undiagnosed eye problem. Making appointments for regular eye exams is the best way to help ensure your eye health. Our doctors explain when you should contact us about eye floaters.
What is an eye floater?
Most floaters are tiny pieces of collagen protein. A floater can look like a dark speck of dirt, a squiggly line, a cobweb, or a small ring. It’s most visible against a plain background. When you move your head, the floater can move in any direction.
Instead of being on the outside of your eye, where it can get washed away with water, floaters are actually on the inside of your eye in the vitreous fluid, which fills the space between your retina and lens. The fluid keeps your eye hydrated, supplies it with proteins that keep your eye healthy, and helps your eye maintain its shape.
Floaters are common, especially if you’re over age 50. They’re also more common if you’re nearsighted or have had cataracts removed.
As part of the aging process, the vitreous can begin to shrink. It can also thicken, causing thin strands or specks to appear in your vision; these are floaters. If you have an occasional floater, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
When should you see an ophthalmologist about eye floaters?
Call our office for an appointment and describe what is in your field of vision or if you have a marked change in your vision with symptoms, including:
- Seeing several or many floaters in your eye instead of an occasional floater
- Bright flashes of light
- A gray shadow obscuring your side vision
- Pain in your eye
It’s critical to seek immediate treatment if you have any of the above symptoms. They can be indicative of the following serious eye problems that could cause a loss of vision:
- Detached retina
- Torn retina
- Bleeding in your vitreous fluid
- Autoimmune condition
- Eye tumor
We promptly diagnose and treat your eye disorder. Some cases require laser treatment or surgery.
To ensure your eye health, call Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, or book an appointment online today if you have a new eye issue or need to schedule your next regular checkup in our Jacksonville, Florida office.