Eye floaters don’t always require treatment but they can impair your vision and be a symptom of other underlying eye problems. Eye floaters are spots in your vision that may drift about when you move your eyes and can dart away when you look at them directly. Eye floaters are usually caused by age-related changes in the eyes, and often disappear on their own in weeks or months. At EyeCare Associates, our doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating eye floaters and restoring your peace of mind.
EyeCare Associates can diagnose and treat eye floaters at our locations serving Alabama.
When Should You See An Eye Doctor About Eye Floaters?
You should contact EyeCare Associates if you experience more floaters than usual, a sudden onset of new floaters, flashes in the same eye as the floaters, peripheral vision loss, or impaired vision.
How Does An Eye Doctor Diagnose Eye Floaters?
At EyeCare Associates we use an instrument called an ophthalmoscope to examine the central and peripheral retina. When used, the ophthalmoscope can detect floaters or flashes. During the eye exam, the eye doctor also might dilate your eyes so that they can get a clear look at the inside of your eye. This allows them to see the floaters and check your retina.
Eye Floater Symptoms
Symptoms of eye floaters include seeing shapes in your vision that appear as specks, strings, or floating materials, spots that move when you move your eyes. Spots that are most noticeable are the ones when looking at a plain background. They appear as small shapes that settle down and drift out of your sightline.
After your examination for eye floaters, time may be the only prescription. This is because eye floaters are commonly just an effect of aging and may go away on their own. Surgery where a small incision is made to remove the vitreous material or laser therapy may be recommended if your eye floater impairs your vision. At EyeCare Associates, we’ll work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.
A misconception about eye floaters is that they are caused by controllable factors, such as eye strain, nutrition, smoking, or emotional stress which is not the case. Floaters are caused as we age as the vitreous humor starts to liquefy centrally, which forms clumps or strands inside the eye. When vitreous gel separates from the retina, this causes a vitreous detachment. This causes the brain to perceive flashes of light. Other causes of floaters may include eye trauma, eye surgery, medications, inflammation, bleeding, etc.
Most eye floaters go away over time without treatment, but some can be more persistent. Some eye floaters can disappear within a few weeks, but for others, it may take several months. Floaters may also get smaller and less noticeable over time.
Generally, you do not need to worry about eye floaters, and most of the time they do not indicate a more serious eye problem. If many floaters appear at once or worsen over time, it’s a good idea to visit EyeCare Associates for an examination.