Nearly everyone has eye floaters, and it’s usually easy to ignore them and go about your day. If you notice an increase in eye floaters or if they start to block your vision, ophthalmologist Todd Leventhal, MD, at Berkeley Heights Eye Group in New Providence, New Jersey, can assess your eye health and provide treatment if your floaters come from an underlying condition. For more information about eye floaters and how they form, schedule an appointment by phone or book online at Berkeley Heights Eye Group today.
You might be familiar with the faint spots you see in your field of vision that seem to move around out of your direct line of sight. They might look like spider webs, strings, or small dots. These are called eye floaters, and they’re very common in adults.
Eye floaters appear when the semiliquid substance in your eyes, called the vitreous, gradually becomes more of a liquid as you age. Small fibers within the liquid start to attach to one another and form clumps that cast shadows on your retina, the back part of your eye that receives light. When you see floaters, you’re seeing those shadows.
Eye floaters are usually harmless on their own. However, it’s important to book an appointment at Berkeley Heights Eye Group to discuss your eye floaters with Dr. Leventhal if you notice that you suddenly have a lot more eye floaters than usual or if they come with other symptoms, like light flashes. If this happens, you might have a serious complication that needs treatment right away.
In some cases, eye floaters come from something other than general aging, like:
There are many reasons why blood might leak into the vitreous of your eye. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or an eye injury, the blood cells inside your eye can look like eye floaters.
A retinal tear is a potentially dangerous occurrence that can lead to a full retinal detachment. Without treatment, retinal detachment can lead to vision loss.
Certain eye medications and surgeries can cause bubbles to form within your eye that appear as eye floaters. Your eye eventually absorbs the bubbles, and the floaters disappear.
Most eye floaters don’t require treatment. However, if your floaters come from an underlying condition, Dr. Leventhal may recommend care for the condition itself to reduce or eliminate your eye floaters. To find the cause of your eye floaters, he conducts an eye exam to view your retina and the vitreous.
In a few rare cases, excessive eye floaters can disrupt your vision. If this happens in your case, Dr. Leventhal might recommend treatment for them. During a surgery called a vitrectomy, he makes a tiny incision in your eye and removes the vitreous through it. Then, he replaces it with a solution. You can still develop floaters after the surgery, but you might not have as many.
Another option for treatment is disrupting the floaters with a laser. The laser breaks the fibers apart to make your floaters smaller and less noticeable. Dr. Leventhal tells you whether or not either procedure is available to treat your floaters.
If you notice a sudden increase in floaters or if they impair your vision, call Berkeley Heights Eye Group to schedule an exam or book an appointment online today.