Do you see spots? You may be surprised the first time a floater is in your vision. Eye floaters are common and are harmless most of the time. However, they can be a signal of an eye problem. Our board-certified ophthalmologists with Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, in Jacksonville, Florida, are the experts to see when you have a problem with eye floaters impairing your vision.
What are eye floaters?
Floaters are spots that interfere with your vision. They can be small black spots, look like tiny rings, or appear as thin strings of material or cobwebs floating through the air. Floaters move when your eyes move. If you try to look at them, they disappear.
Floaters are noticed mostly against a plain light background. They should eventually move out of your line of sight.
Why do I have eye floaters?
Floaters are usually a result of the normal aging process. As you age, the vitreous part of your eyes — the space between the lens and the retina — increases liquidity. Its tiny fibers can begin to clump together, forming shadows on your retina. Now you have a floater.
You’ll likely develop occasional floaters as you age; a majority of people have them now and then. Certain groups are more at risk than others. You’re more prone to floaters if you’re nearsighted, have diabetes, or have had cataract surgery.
When you should see an ophthalmologist about floaters
An occasional floater is typical as you age, but there are times when it’s vital to see a board-certified ophthalmologist who ensures you don’t have a problem that could impair your vision. Call our office right away and explain your symptoms if you have any of the following:
- Suddenly see numerous floaters
- Flashes of light appear in the eye with floaters
- Lost vision on the sides of your eyes
- Blurry vision on the sides of your eyes
A floater can indicate a serious eye condition
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, they could originate for numerous reasons which our ophthalmologist investigates:
- Eye infection
- Eye injury
- Eye inflammation
- Bleeding in the eye
- Vitreous detachment (vitreous separates from the retina)
- Tear in the retina (when a vitreous detachment results in a hole in the retina)
- Retinal detachment (the retina is separate from the back of the eye)
Appointments for floaters
A retinal tear and retinal detachment can threaten your loss of vision. In this case, you need to see an eye specialist immediately. Your provider will ask you to explain your symptoms and review your medical history. They may dilate your eyes to widen your pupils and see different parts of your eye. They may also perform several tests on your eyes, including an ultrasound.
Bleeding in the eye can indicate a retinal tear or detachment. If you have a retinal tear, our providers may repair it using a special laser. There are several procedures to repair a detached retina. At our practice, we explain how we proceed and which treatment option is best for you.
Call Wolchok Eye Associate, PA, if you have any concerning symptoms surrounding floaters. Book online or call for an appointment. We are here to help protect your eye health.