Floaters & Vision

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What are Floaters?

A lot of patients ask us, “What are these floating spots in my eye that I sometimes see sometimes?” Some of them are black spots that look like cobwebs or some light color spots that move together with your vision.
Virtually everyone has seen these at some time or another, tiny spots before our eyes. They may appear singly or in clusters; they may be punctate or linear; they may travel with the movement of the eye or against them. These particles and vitreous collagen fibers are called floaters. Floaters are most apparent when the illumination is high and when one is gazing at a clear surface. The most common situations in which they are seen include looking up at a clear summer sky, gazing against a blank white wall and reading.
Floaters are usually caused by the formation of small particles in the vitreous body and generally are innocuous. However, floaters may, on occasion, be indicative of a more serious derangement within the eye. They may be secondary to a retinal tear, hemorrhage or a detachment. Protein condensations in the vitreous or separation of the vitreous gel from the retina may occur as part of the normal aging process. No treatment is required in most of the cases unless they suddenly increase in number. In that event, dilated fundus exam is necessary.
If you have any questions about floaters or have a family history of retinal detachment please do not hesitate to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113