Floaters are small, dark shapes moving across your eyes that are usually harmless. If you develop floaters, visit board-certified eye doctors Elias Aliprandis, MD, and Irene Rusu, MD, at Ophthalmology Associates of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York. They ensure your floaters aren’t due to a more worrying cause and offer expert advice on making floaters less irritating. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book a floater evaluation online today.
Floaters may look like small spots, circles, bugs, threads, or spider webs that move and float away when you attempt to focus on them. Seeing floaters can be alarming initially, but it’s common, especially with age.
Floaters are more noticeable in sunlight when reading and looking at something with a white background. Using sunglasses helps to decrease floater visibility.
Fortunately, floaters aren’t usually a sign of eye problems. They generally don’t require treatment and shrink or become less noticeable over time.
Floaters usually develop because of changes in the jelly-like vitreous filling in the inner eye cavity. Early in life, the vitreous attaches firmly to the retina — the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. The vitreous becomes more liquid and shrinks as part of normal aging, eventually pulling away from the retina and floating in the middle of your eye cavity.
The floating vitreous makes shadows on your retina, which you perceive as floaters. As the vitreous shrinks, it can also pull on the tissues. This tension stimulates the retina, so you see a brief flash of light from the corner of your eye that’s more noticeable in the dark.
Eventually, most people experience floaters, but some find them more bothersome because of their size and location. You’re more likely to develop floaters if you’re nearsighted and have had eye surgery, an eye injury, or an inflammatory eye condition.
For most people, floaters are just a nuisance. However, you should attend an eye exam at Ophthalmology Associates of Bay Ridge to rule out harmful eye disorders.
Sometimes the vitreous pulls on the retina with such force that it tears. This situation is a serious issue requiring immediate treatment to prevent retinal detachment. Your retina might detach from the eye if fluid from the vitreous cavity leaks into a retinal tear. This fluid slowly spreads out and detaches more of your retina, which could cause sight loss if left untreated.
You should suspect a retinal tear if you notice a shower of multiple floaters. You may have a retinal detachment if you develop reduced sight or a dark curtain blocking some or all of your field of vision.
Call Ophthalmology Associates of Bay Ridge today for a prompt floater evaluation and expert retinal tear or detachment treatment. You can also book an appointment online.