Understanding Eye Floaters: What They Are and When to Seek Help

Jul 1, 2023 | Eye Health Info

If you’ve ever noticed tiny specks or cobweb-like shapes floating around in your field of vision, you may be experiencing eye floaters. Although they can be concerning, eye floaters are a common occurrence and usually nothing to worry about. In this blog, we’ll explore what eye floaters are, what causes them, and when you should seek medical attention. 

What are eye floaters? 

Eye floaters are small, shadowy shapes that drift across your visual field. They may appear as dots, circles, lines, or webs and seem to move when you try to focus on them. Floaters occur when the jelly-like substance in your eye, called the vitreous, shrinks and pulls away from the retina. This process is a normal part of aging, and most people will experience eye floaters at some point in their lives. 

What are the causes of eye floaters?  

The most common cause of eye floaters is the natural aging process, which causes changes to the vitreous. However, eye floaters can also be caused by eye injuries, eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears and detachment, eye inflammation, and eye surgeries. 

When should you seek medical attention?  

While eye floaters are usually harmless, there are a few signs that may indicate a more serious underlying condition and require prompt medical attention. Here are some signs to watch out for: 

  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters 
  • Changes in the appearance of floaters 
  • Loss of vision 
  • Eye pain or redness 

If you notice an increase in the number of floaters in your vision, or if you experience flashes of light or a loss of peripheral vision, you should contact an eye doctor right away. This could be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment, which requires immediate medical attention. Don’t hesitate to see an eye doctor as soon as possible, as early treatment can make a big difference in preventing permanent vision loss. 

By staying informed about eye floaters and taking proactive steps to maintain your eye health, you can enjoy clear and comfortable vision for years to come. At Clarin Eye Care Center in Palmetto Bay and Coral Gables Eye Care, our experienced eye doctors are here to help you maintain healthy vision and address any concerns you may have about your eyes. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.