Patients who are experiencing spots within their line of vision may be diagnosed with eye floaters. These “floaters” may appear as gray or black specks, strings, or webs that seem to drift around when the eyes look around. When patients try to look directly at them, they float away off to the sides. These floaters are a result of microscopic fibers within the vitreous, or gel-like substance, that is inside of the eyes. These fibers create a shadow on the retina that is seen as a floater to the patients.
What causes eye floaters?
There are several reasons why a patient may experience eye floaters. It may result from:
- Age-related changes to the eyes
- Torn retina
- Previous eye surgeries
- Eye medication
Certain patients who may be at risk for developing eye floaters. These patients include those that:
- Are over the age of 50
- Are nearsighted
- Are recovering from trauma to the eye
- Have inflammation in the eye
- Have complications from laser cataract surgery
- Have diabetic retinopathy
When should I see a doctor for eye floaters?
Most eye floaters are harmless and do not require any attention. Patients often get used to seeing the floaters. Patients who experience a sudden increase in the number of eye floaters they see, or those who notice flashes of light and loss of peripheral vision, need to contact an eye specialist immediately as these can be signs of an emergency that requires attention. It may indicate a retinal tear, which is painless but can be a sight-threatening problem that requires prompt attention by a specialist.
Diagnosis of eye floaters
To diagnose eye floaters, patients need to speak to their provider at Aker Kasten Eye Center about what they have noticed in terms of the size and amount of eye floaters they are experiencing. The doctor provides a complete, comprehensive eye examination during which the eyes are dilated, and it is easier for the doctor to see the floaters in the vitreous fluids of the eye.
Request an evaluation with our team today!
At Aker Kasten Eye Center, patients in the area of Boca Raton, FL can seek an eye examination with one of our doctors. Call (561) 338-7722 to connect with our front office team to schedule your visit.