Are Eye Floaters Dangerous?


Eye floaters in Wilmington, NCDo you ever notice tiny blobs, squiggles or cobwebs that appear to drift through your visual field, particularly when you gaze at a blank wall or a blue sky? This visual phenomenon is called an eye floater. It can be bothersome and even downright concerning to see something floating around in your field of vision. Luckily, most floaters are totally harmless. Only in rare cases can floaters indicate something serious occurring in your eye.

Read on as the team at Intracoastal Eye sets the record straight on floaters.

A Brief Background

Floaters are often caused by normal age-related changes within the eye. Your eye is filled with a jelly-like material called vitreous. When you are young, the vitreous is smooth and thick; with age, the vitreous starts to shrink and liquify, and tiny clumps of protein float around in the center of the vitreous. These clumps cast shadows onto your retina. The shadows, not the clumps themselves, are what cause the floaters you see drifting around your visual field.

Floaters are usually no cause for concern. Large or aggravating floaters that won’t go away on their own can be treated at Intracoastal Eye with the Ellex laser platform. During treatment, low-energy light evaporates the strands of vitreous causing the floaters. Laser floater removal is a quick and virtually painless treatment that produces immediate results.

When Should I Worry About Floaters?

There are a few rare exceptions where floaters indicate a problem with ocular health.

Sometimes the shrinking vitreous can tug on the retina, the layer of light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. This may lead to a tear in the retina, or possibly pull the retina out of its normal position (called retinal detachment). If this occurs, there may be a dramatic increase in the number of floaters you see, or the floaters may be accompanied by eye pain, changes in peripheral vision or flashes of light that streak across your visual field.

If you notice a change in the number of floaters you see, or your floaters are accompanied by other visual symptoms, you should see one of the Intracoastal Eye doctors for evaluation. Catching an ocular health problem early makes it easier to treat with less-invasive means.

Contact Intracoastal Eye Today

To request an evaluation with one of our doctors, or to get more information about laser floater removal, please call or email Intracoastal Eye today. Once we understand more about your circumstances, we can recommend the best course of action.