Floaters are a common sight issue for many people. Eye Floaters are spots and thread-like lines that obscure your vision. They can look like small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, squiggly lines that seem to dart and move when you try to look at them directly. Usually, floaters are most noticeable when your eyes are not moving or during a bright, clear day.
Most common causes are age-related, when the vitreous inside your eyes shrinks. Vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills about 80% of the eye and helps maintain it’s round shape. The lines and spots you see aren’t actually the object itself, rather the shadow that is cast on the retina.
While they can be an annoyance, most floaters can eventually settle out of the line of sight. However, they normally do not go away completely. Along with the normal aging process, they are more common in people who are nearsighted, have diabetes or have had a cataract operation.
Most people living with eye floaters simply learn to ignore them. Thankfully, they are not threatening to your vision health and require no treatment. The shrinking vitreous can tug at the retina and pull away from it, which isn’t cause for alarm and won’t harm your vision. However, if you notice a sudden increase in floaters and light flashes and some peripheral vision loss, that could indicate a retinal detachment or tear. A retinal detachment is serious and should be treated right away. If left untreated, it could lead to visual impairment or blindness within a few days.
The best way to stay on top of your vision health is by seeing your eye doctor every 1-2 years, or as recommended. Vision acuity and other issues can occur with the normal aging process, and a comprehensive eye exam can detect many eye-related problems early. If you’re concerned about certain symptoms or haven’t seen an eye doctor recently, our doctors can clear things up for you.