Floaters are the specks or shapes that drift across your vision. Everyone has some floaters as they age, but a significant amount of floaters or a combination of floaters and flashes of light can be a sign of a dangerous issue like retinal detachment. At Clewner & Kelly Eye Center in Boca Raton, Florida, a team of patient-focused ophthalmologists is here to diagnose and treat your floaters and maintain your eye health. Compassionate ophthalmologists Lawrence Clewner, MD, and William Kelly, MD, always put your needs first, so don’t wait to call the office or click on the online appointment scheduler now.
Floaters are spots and shapes that move across your visual field. They can look like lines, circles, webs, or other irregular shapes. Clumped-up fibers within the vitreous body inside your eyeballs form floaters.
The clumped fibers cast a shadow on your retina, and that’s what you see when floaters appear. Floaters are quite common and often appear as you age. They’re usually not harmful, but can sometimes be a symptom of a severe problem such as retinal detachment.
The most common cause of floaters is posterior vitreous detachment, which is a normal change during adulthood. Your vitreous body naturally condenses as you age. As this happens, the ultrafine fibers that attach your vitreous body to your retina retract.
Eventually, this causes the vitreous to pull away from the retina, causing the posterior vitreous detachment. Posterior vitreous detachment usually happens after age 60 and is extremely common after age 80.
Sometimes, the vitreous detachment doesn’t go smoothly, in which case a macular hole, retinal detachment, or other complications can occur. If this happens, you’ll likely see a significant amount of floaters as well as bright flashes of light. Decreased sight or vision distortions are also possible.
In rare cases, inner-eye tumors, intraocular foreign bodies, or vitreous body inflammation can also cause floaters.
If floaters appear often enough to obscure your vision or cause serious inconvenience, it’s best to schedule an eye exam soon. If you’re experiencing a major increase in floaters along with bright flashes of light, or if you have frequent floaters and experience a change in your vision, call Clewner & Kelly Eye Center immediately for help.
Floaters don’t always require treatment. If you’re going through a normal posterior vitreous detachment, the floaters will go away when the vitreous fully pulls away from your retina. But, if you have a complication, you may need surgery to remove the vitreous or repair the damaged tissue.
Some common reasons for surgery can include:
As long as you report your floaters and other symptoms to your ophthalmologist right away, they can create a plan to preserve your vision and eye health.
Find out if your floaters are normal by calling the friendly ophthalmology experts at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center, or click on the appointment scheduler now.