Do You Know What Eye Floaters Are? Have You Ever Experienced Them?

blankHave you ever seen blurred or dancing spots in front of your eye? When you are busy working and then suddenly, a squiggly spot dances in your line of vision. And when you try to look directly at it, it disappears, completely vanishes from sight. Have you ever experienced this peculiar phenomenon? Well, no need to worry. You are not alone. A lot of people experience it. These strange specks are termed eye floaters.

Some people start worrying about their eye health due to floaters. When I started seeing them I rushed to get my prescription eyeglasses because I wasn’t using them for the last two months. I checked some online stores such as Overnight Glasses, Eye Buy Direct, Warby Parker, etc., to get my next day prescription glasses. But then I got to know that not wearing glasses was not the cause of eye floaters.

In fact, the vitreous of the eye makes up the eye floaters. The clear white jelly-like constituent of your eye is called vitreous. They are not a cause for concern, as on many occasions they are normal.

What causes these strange occurrences?

Changes brought about by age in the vitreous humor cause these grey specks. Normally, the vitreous is transparent and clear. Yet as you age, it shrinks in size, hence strands present inside cause shadows on your retina forming eye floaters.

Robert Cykiert, Ophthalmology Professor at NYU School of Medicine, says, “people with eye floaters typically see spots, threads, or cobweb-like substances floating around as they move their eyes left to right or from up and down.”

What do eye floaters look like?

When it comes to describing eye floaters, you may find that there are more ways than one. Some see floaters as clouds, some as medusas, and some describe eye floaters as amoebas. It depends on your imagination, and it’s your creativity that determines what an eye floater looks like. Some people having floaters might get a glimpse of:

  • Spider-like shapes
  • Small shadowy shapes
  • Squiggly lines
  • Thread-like strands
  • Black, dark spots

Hence, the description of an eye floater differs from individual to individual.

Do eye floaters affect parts of your eyes?

People having eye floaters often feel that the floaters are somewhat near the front of their eyes, or right on the surface of them. You may find these dust-like particles irritating and rub your eyes continuously or remove your contact lenses to relieve yourself from the inflammation. However, you might find that this does not help in reducing the irritability in your eyes. That is because these eye floaters are present inside your eye.

Visualize your eye in the shape of a ball. To obtain a circular shape, it is filled with a fluid known as vitreous. This gel-like fluid is present in the middle of the eye, and it allows you to see the world around you. There are several other layers located from the front of the eye to the back. For example, the retina, cornea, pupil, optic nerve, lens, etc.

Floaters in the vitreous hover in front of the retina, casting shadows and shape. This is viewed when the retina converts light into electrical signals.

Are floaters Dangerous?

Generally, eye floaters are a normal aging matter. Your eyes are still considered healthy when experiencing floaters. However, you should get your eyes examined by a specialist for any serious issue development.

Are Eye floaters hereditary?

Eye floaters, at times, are part of the aging process. Several people develop these floaters in their eyes as they grow old. However, the aging factor is not the only cause of eye floaters and flashes. Retinal detachments and other diseases that run in the genes can also ultimately result in floaters.

Another cause of eye floaters is believed to be associated with vision. Nearsightedness is one of the most common causes. Not only this, but vision problems could potentially influence retinal detachment, as well as other diseases related to the eyes. But despite that, several people develop eye floaters despite having no family history of retinal detachment or other optic problems. So, in terms of this, it’s important to note that eye floaters can be caused naturally while you grow and are part of the aging process.

Diagnosis of Eye Floaters

Eye floaters are most commonly diagnosed through eye exams. That’s because your eyes will be shown dilated on the screen, and your eye care provider can easily spot the floater in question. Not only that, but eye exams enable us to ensure that our retina remains undamaged. And if there’s any sign suggesting otherwise, treatment can immediately be put into effect.

Having regular exams is a must, as it is necessary to monitor the growth of the floater. This precaution will help your provider to determine whether the vitreous is deflating or not. Also, with these daily eye exams, you can stay away from many other serious problems concerning the eye.

Treatment of Eye Floaters

The best way to get rid of eye floaters is to do nothing about them. They get better on their own. Despite being a bit bothersome and having a slight blockage for your eyesight, floaters are harmless. At times, they drift away, out of earshot, but are still present, silent, and subtle. On other occasions, they take a lot of time to condense and move out of sight. Even though floaters blocking your vision are enough to drive one up a wall, patience is, in reality, the best option when it comes to treating floaters.