Eye Floaters, Explained

Eye floaters can be very annoying but are generally harmless. 

Image of desktop with floaters visible

Eye floaters are generally annoying to the person experiencing them but are rarely dangerous on their own.

As we age, the vitreous jelly that occupies the rear 2/3 of the eye can develop deposits or condensation. As images are transmitted by the retina, these deposits can appear as shadows. This causes the patient to see eye floaters of varying shapes and dimensions.

Because the eyes are generally in constant motion, the shadows are transmitted from different areas to the retina. This is what causes the floaters to move rather than stay stationary.

Floaters become more common as we get older. Children rarely have issues with eye floaters. If you see eye floaters, it is best to make an appointment with your eye doctor who can examine your vision in a comprehensive eye exam. This can rule out any serious conditions that can potentially cause seeing spots such as diabetes, retinal tear or retinal detachment.

There is generally no treatment for eye floaters if there is not an underlying cause. Over time, floaters tend to fade and become less annoying. However, as with other vision changes, an eye exam should be conducted to rule out other conditions before writing off eye floaters as just an annoyance.

If you are concerned, schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor for further evaluation.

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