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Snead Eye Group What are Floaters?

Floaters are the small specks or cloud like spots that move in your field of vision.  Floaters may also look like strands, webs or other shapes.

What Causes Floaters?

Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. As we age the vitreous gel may start to thicken or shrink forming more clumps of gel in the eye.

Who is Most Likely to get Floaters?

For most people, floaters occur as they grow older. Sometimes pregnant women see floaters caused by little bits of protein trapped within the eye.  Eye injury or breakdown of the vitreous humor may also cause spots and floaters.

What are the Symptoms of Floaters?

If a spot or shadowy shape passes in front of your field of vision or to the side, you are seeing a floater.  Because they are inside your eye, they move with your eyes when you try to see them.   Floaters are more noticeable when you look at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky.

How are Floaters Detected?

You will probably be the first one to know that you actually have floaters.  Just seeing the specks or spots without any pain or sudden flash of light is most always a floater. If you do experience pain, see sudden flashes of light, or experience a veil in your vision, consult your eye care professional immediately, as this may be an indication of a retinal problem.  Your eye care specialist will also be able to detect floaters during a routine eye exam.

How can Floaters be Treated?

Most spots and eye floaters are merely annoying but harmless when they temporarily enter the field of vision and many fade over time.  Sometimes an eye doctor will recommend surgery to remove floaters, but only in rare instances.