Do you ever see little specks or shapes that seem to be black spots in vision, outlined strings, or pieces of cobweb? These little shapes floating across your field of vision actually exist- they’re little clumps of cells or pieces of debris that float around in your vitreous gel. Can your eye doctor actually see them too? Yes! Because they are not just in your mind, they can be seen by your eye doctor during an eye exam. Are they a problem? Most of the time they’re harmless, but sometimes they can indicate a serious issue. Let’s look at these floaters in the vision a little more closely. They stand out more when you’re looking at a something without a lot of pattern or complexity, and they’re more noticeable when you’re tired.
To understand floaters in the eye, you need an understanding of eye anatomy. The eye is full of a gel-like fluid known as vitreous humor. The retina, in the back of the eye, is responsible for sending signals to the brain, where they’re processed into images. As people age, the vitreous fluid begins to shrink, and this creates little clumps or strands. The shadows of these things cause you to see floaters as they pass by the retina. This is fairly common as people get older. These floaters don’t go away, but over time you’ll probably notice them less.
People who are nearsighted are more likely to have floaters, as are people who have eye inflammation, trauma, or certain abnormalities. If the floaters you’re experiencing are mild, there’s usually no need for eye floaters treatment. However, in certain cases you should call your eye doctor immediately. If a lot of floaters appear suddenly, you need an emergency eye exam. This kind of floater appearance can signal the start of retinal detachment, which is a serious condition that can cause blindness if it’s not treated. For people with floaters that are severe, don’t go away, and interfere with vision, laser treatment may be needed.
Most of the time, floaters are not a big deal. It’s still wise to let your eye doctor know about them during your regular eye exam. Especially if you’ve noticed an increase in floaters, flashes of light, or significant vision changes, your doctor will probably want to give you a more thorough exam. If you’ve got a medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or multiple sclerosis, or you’ve had cataract surgery, it’s especially important to report all vision changes to your doctor during your eye exam. When you need an eye exam, trust Boulder Eye Surgeons to care for your eyes. Having served Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding area since 1997, Boulder Eye Surgeons utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (303) 943-1483, or contact us through our website.