Do you ever notice particles drifting across your field of vision? These are referred to as eye floaters. They can be light or dark, as well as clumpy or stingy. Most of them appear as shadowy figures that “float” away as you try to focus on them.
Today, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, your leading provider of quality eyeglasses and other eye care services, explains how floaters occur.
What Causes Eye Floaters?
Eye floaters are often products of the normal aging cycle. The vitreous body, the gel-like sac found in the middle region of your eyes, is held in place by protein and collagen fibers. These supporting structures may weaken as you age, ultimately shrinking and becoming ribbon-like structures. The accumulated fragments may appear as rings, cobwebs or spots floating around your eyes that can even cast shadows on your vision.
Apart from increasing age, eye tumors, injuries or previous surgeries may also cause your vitreous to shrink, leading to eye floaters. A detached or torn retina, diabetic eye disease, uveitis and hypertensive retinopathy are other conditions that can cause floaters. Seeing microscopic specks drifting across your visual field is a sign you need to visit your eye care specialist as soon as possible. We’ll perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the underlying cause of the floaters and the best course of treatment.
How Are Eye Floaters Treated?
Eye floaters generally do not cause much harm. While they can be bothersome, they often go away on their own after some time. An increase in the number or size of your eye floaters, however, may compromise your vision. This may potentially affect your safety, daily efficiency and quality of life.
Your optometrist may recommend vitrectomy if the eye floaters are significantly restricting your eyesight. This procedure involves surgically taking out the shrunken vitreous body and its remnants, reducing the amount of eye floaters. Afterward, we may suggest using a laser device to break up the remaining floating debris so they care less obvious, allowing you to enjoy better visual clarity.
For more information about eye floaters, you can reach us at (301) 859-4060. You may also fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve Rockville, MD, Alexandria, VA, and the surrounding areas.