What Causes Eye Floaters?

May 21, 2017

Ever wondered what causes eye floaters?

Eye floaters appear as small spots that drift through your field of vision. They may stand out when you look at something bright, like white paper or a blue sky. They might annoy you, but they shouldn’t interfere with your sight.

If you have a large floater, it can cast a slight shadow over your vision. But this tends to happen only in certain types of light.

You can learn to live with floaters and ignore them. You may notice them less as time passes. Only rarely do they get bad enough to require treatment.

What Are the Symptoms?

Floaters earn their name by moving around in your eye. They tend to dart away when you try to focus on them.

They come in many different shapes:

  • Black or gray dots

  • Squiggly lines

  • Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and almost see-through

  • Cobwebs

  • Rings

Once you get them, they usually don’t go away. But you usually notice them less over time.

What Causes Them?

Most floaters are small flecks of a protein called collagen. They’re part of a gel-like substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous.

As you age, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous shrink down to little shreds that clump together. The shadows they cast on your retina are floaters. If you see a flash, it’s because the vitreous has pulled away from the retina. If that happens, please call us IMMEDIATELY. Even if it is after hours.

- read the full article here.

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