Have you ever experienced “floaters” in your field of vision? If so, then you know just how difficult they can make it on you while you’re trying to see. In some situations, floaters can make it almost impossible to make out certain shapes.

Outside of being a nuisance, floaters can also indicate a serious issue with one or both of your eyes, which is why you should have contact your ophthalmologist for treatment options if you experience them.

If you aren’t familiar with floaters and all they entail, keep reading to familiarize yourself with them and the treatment options available in the WNY area.

What are Floaters?

vitreous floaters

Floaters are best described as tiny “cobwebs” or specks that float around in your immediate field of vision.

  • Floaters are often small and shadowy shapes that show up in the form of either spots or squiggly lines.
  • As you move your eyes to try and focus in on them, the floaters will usually move as well.
  • They can also sometimes drift when you stop moving your eyes and appear to be moving all over the place.

There are many people who will, unfortunately, try their best to ignore floaters when they see them. However, this is not the right approach to take.

While it is possible to ignore floaters in your vision for a short period of time, they often multiply with time, making it more and more difficult to maintain your vision.

Floaters can also pop up in certain situations, like when you are looking at something that appears to be very bright.

What Causes Floaters?

Floaters are caused by issues with the vitreous that fills up the majority of your eye.

  • Vitreous is a gel-like substance that allows your eye to maintain its round shape.
  • Over time, vitreous can shrink and portions of it can start to become stringy and cause shadows to form on the retina. You will then start to see floaters in your vision due to these shadows.

In most cases, floaters start to form due to the natural aging process that people go through. But in others, there may be more serious underlying causes of floaters.

  • For example, an infection in your eye, inflammation, hemorrhaging, retinal tears, and even injury can result in the formation of floaters.

Symptoms of Floaters

When you are dealing with floaters, you will be able to see them at most times when your eyes are open. If you have ever detected the presence of what appears to be cobwebs in your line of vision, floaters were probably to blame.

You might not always see them at all times, but if they repeatedly show up when you are looking around, you will eventually need to seek treatment of floaters.

They might become more prominent when you look at a white piece of paper, a blue sky, or something else that is bright.

floaters in visionDetection of Floaters

It can be difficult for a person to detect floaters on their own. Outside of seeing floaters in your line of vision, you won’t be able to feel them in any other way.

If you are frequently experiencing floaters, your ophthalmologist can run tests on your eyes to see if you need to have treatment performed for your floaters.

There are several different types of tests an ophthalmologist can perform to detect floaters.

Treatment Options for Floaters

If your ophthalmologist determines you have floaters, there are a couple of types of treatment of floaters he or she might recommend.

For those who dealing with floaters that are merely a nuisance, your ophthalmologist might actually tell you not to have any immediate treatment done. Instead, the floaters will simply be monitored to see if they progress.

Vitrectomy

For individuals who are experiencing dense floaters that seriously impact their vision, an ophthalmologist will typically recommend a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy.

During this procedure, the vitreous from your eye will be removed and replaced with a salt solution.

  • You will not notice a change in the way your eye feels, but the floaters will be gone once you have this procedure done.
  • There are some complications that could pop up during the procedure, though, so it’s best to speak with your ophthalmologist about the risks and weigh whether or not it makes sense for you to have this procedure performed.

If you are dealing with floaters that are affecting your line of vision, you should have your eyes checked out right away. Ophthalmology Associates of Western New York can inspect your eyes and work with you to choose the next step in your treatment plan.

For more information and to schedule an appointment with us, please call 716-632-3545.