Have you ever noticed specks or squiggles drifting across your vision? Eye floaters are a common condition that many people experience at one time or another. While floaters are harmless most of the time, a sudden increase in floaters could be a sign of a retinal tear. For comprehensive eye care, make an appointment at Eye Care & Surgery, with two convenient New York City locations in Washington Heights in Manhattan and another near the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, right across the street from Yankee Stadium. Call your nearest Eye Care & Surgery office to get started or book online today.
Eye floaters appear in your field of vision. Often black or grey, most people describe them as spots, strings, cobwebs, or specks. Floaters move when you look around and disappear when you try to look directly at them.
Most floaters are harmless. They usually disappear after some time or when you try to look at them. Sometimes, floaters are more noticeable when you look at a solid colored, bright background, like a blue sky.
There’s a jelly-like substance inside your eye called vitreous. Tiny fibers inside the vitreous can cast shadows on your retina, which is the back of the eye that sends nerve impulses to your brain. The shadows caused by the fibers are what you see when you have an eye floater.
The most common cause of floaters is getting older. As you age, the vitreous becomes more liquid, and you may experience more floaters. The vitreous shrinks and gets stringy, casting more shadows on the retina.
Some other causes include inflammation in the back of the eye, torn retina, or bleeding in the eye. These conditions cause the vitreous to release debris, which may appear as floaters.
You’re at increased risk for eye floaters if you:
Many people have floaters now and then. Typically, they aren’t a sign that something is wrong. However, if you notice a sudden increase in the number of floaters you see, you should seek medical care at Eye Care & Surgery.
More floaters, flashes of light, or darkness in any part of your vision could be a sign of a more serious condition. If you lose peripheral vision or see light flashes, you may have a tear in your retina, a serious but treatable condition by the experts at Eye Care & Surgery.
A torn retina is often painless but occurs when the vitreous sags and pulls on the retina. If left untreated, retinal tears can lead to a retinal detachment and may cause permanent vision loss.
If you’re concerned about floaters in your vision, the doctors at Eye Care & Surgery can help. Call the office or request an appointment online.