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Seeing Spots Or “Floaters” In Your Line Of Vision

October 20, 2011

The common causes and symptoms that come with eye floaters.

Our eyes are an integral part of our day-to-day functions. Nearly every single activity that we perform on a daily basis, whether it’s working, going to school, reading, playing sports or watching TV, relies on the proper health and functioning of our vision. Therefore when things begin to disrupt or inhibit our eye sight―even when they are the most minor of interruptions―it can seem like a disabling problem.

One common vision problem that can affect many people throughout their lifetime, regardless of whether or not they wear corrective lenses, is eye floaters. These annoying spots can appear as small black or grey specks, spidery strings or bits of debris that drift across your line of vision whenever you move your eyes.

Eye floaters also tend to become more noticeable when you are looking at a plain bright background, such as a white wall or the clear blue sky. What’s even more frustrating is, because these floaters move when you move  your eyes, they quickly drift out of your visual field whenever you try to look at them.

While many people will often confuse these simple spots as dust that is floating across or in front of the eye, they are actually within the eyeball and cannot be eliminated simply by rubbing the eye or putting in eye drops.

So, what exactly causes these annoying floaters and how do you make them go away? We have put together some basic information about the causes of eye floaters, whether or not they are healthy for your vision, and the different treatments that may be available for them.

What Causes Eye Floaters?

Eye floaters most commonly occur as a result of age-related changes that can take place in our eyes, specifically in the vitreous humor. This jelly-like substance fills our eyeballs and helps them maintain their round shape. However, over time, the vitreous humor can begin to change in consistency and becomes partially liquefied, which causes it to shrink and pull away from the interior surface of the eyeball.

As the vitreous humor shrinks and sags over time, it begins to clump up and form a stringy substance. Bits of this debris can block the light that passes through our eyes, casting tiny shadows on our retina that appear to be floating―hence their name.

Are Floaters Bad For Your Eyes?

Under most circumstances, eye floaters are absolutely nothing to worry about. They cause no ill effects to the eyes and nearly everyone will experience them from time to time. However, if these eye spots suddenly begin to increase in number and are accompanied by any flashes or loss of vision, it could be an early sign of retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment is a vision-threatening condition that requires immediate attention. Therefore, if you begin to experience any kind of flashing lights before your eyes and a sudden onset of numerous floaters, be sure to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Is There A Treatment For Eye Floaters?

While spots and floaters in our line of vision can be annoying and bothersome, they are very harmless in most cases. Many will begin to fade over time or sink out of your line of sight and become less noticeable.

However, if you are experiencing floaters as a result of aging vision, it is probably a good idea to have your vision checked just to ensure that there are no other subtle vision problems that may cause issues with your eyes in the future. Contact OCLI today to ensure that you are well on your way to maintaining healthy vision into your senior years.


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