Symptoms and Treatment of Floaters
Floaters are a common eye condition that affects individuals of all ages. Our experienced optometrist at South Center Eye Clinic, Tukwila, WA, is dedicated to diagnosing and managing floaters. To help you understand this vision problem and maintain healthy vision, our eye doctor explains the floaters' causes, symptoms, and available treatment options below.
What Are Floaters?
Floaters are specks, dots, or sometimes, cobweb-like shapes that appear to float in the affected individual’s field of vision. They may seem more noticeable when looking at a bright background, such as a clear sky or a white wall. At a surface glance, they may appear as only specks or cobwebs. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel inside the gel-like substance that fills the space between the lens and the retina, known as the vitreous. Light enters the eye and passes through the vitreous to reach the retina, where images are formed and transmitted to the brain. The appearance of these specks in one’s vision is because the floaters in the vitreous cast a shadow on the retina.
Causes of Floaters
Floaters are primarily due to aging. The vitreous becomes more liquid-like as you age and can develop clumps or strands. These clumps cast shadows on the retina, leading to the perception of floaters. Besides age, floaters may also be due to the following:
- Eye injuries or trauma
- Eye inflammation or infection
- Retinal tears or detachments
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery
Symptoms and Impact on Vision
Floaters are typically harmless and do not seriously threaten your vision. However, they can be bothersome and affect your visual comfort. Common symptoms associated with floaters include:
- Seeing specks or dots that drift across your visual field
- Noticing cobweb-like shapes or threads in your vision
- Experiencing an increase in floaters, especially after eye trauma or surgery
- Sensing a shadow or dark spot that moves when you try to focus on it
Floaters are typically harmless, but it’s essential to monitor any sudden increase in their number in your field of vision or if flashes of light accompany them, as these can be signs of a severe underlying condition, such as a retinal tear or detachment.
Treatment and Management of Floaters
Floaters don’t require treatment, as they become less noticeable over time. However, if they significantly affect your vision or quality of life, our optometrists may recommend the following options:
- Observation: If the floaters aren’t causing any significant issues, we advise monitoring them through an eye exam to ensure there are no underlying conditions
- Vitrectomy: This surgical procedure may be recommended if floaters severely impair your vision. This procedure involves removing the vitreous gel and replacing it with a saline solution or gas bubble.
Visit Us for a Comprehensive Eye Exam and Floater Treatment
At South Center Eye Clinic in Tukwila, WA, we provide comprehensive eye care services, including diagnosing and managing floaters. We use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and techniques to ensure accurate and detailed eye health assessments. Our commitment to utilizing the latest technology enables us to provide precise diagnoses and develop personalized treatment plans. Experience the difference by scheduling an appointment at (206) 431-8770. Let our optometry help you achieve a floater-free field of vision.