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Eye Floaters - Causes, symptoms and treatment

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 11, 2017

   6 min     



What are Eye Floaters?

They look like tiny specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs within the field of vision. They seem to be in front of the eye, but they are floating inside. They are little clusters of gel or cells inside the vitreous (the material that fills the posterior part of the eye).  

Floaters are generally noticed when looking at something plain, like a blank wall or a blue sky. Eye floaters may be seen in either one eye or both the eyes. They generally develop when tiny pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous break loose within the inner back portion of the eye. 

The larger floater can cast a slight shadow over vision, but this tends to happen only in certain types of light. During our whole phase of youth, the vitreous has a gel-like density, but as we grow, the vitreous starts to dissolve and liquefy to form a watery centre. Some undissolved gel particles will drift around in the vitreous. These unmixed particles can take on various shapes and sizes which are referred to as “eye floaters”. 

Symptoms of Eye Floaters

Most floaters are small particles of a protein called collagen. By the time, the protein fibres that build up vitreous shrink down to tiny shreds that cluster together. The umbra they formed on the retina is floaters. 

Sometimes a flash of light is seen because the vitreous detaches away from the retina. This is the contingency in which you should regard a doctor as early as possible.

These mutations can occur at any age but customarily arise between 50 and 75. You’re more liable to get them if you’re near-sighted or have had cataract surgery.

They are of different shapes:

  • Black or grey specks

  • Squiggly floating lines

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

  • Cobwebs

  • Rings 

Sometimes they settle down and flow out of the peripheral vision, but sometimes they also move when you move your eyes, so if you seek to see them, they move immediately out of your optical field.  

Causes of Eye Floaters

Growing age, being myopic or nearsighted is a notable risk factor for the spread of signs of floaters. Diabetes is one of the considerations for the growth of eye floaters that appear due to diabetic retinopathy. 

Eye Floaters can also result from:

  • Eye infection

  • Eye injury

  • Eye tumours

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Crystal-like films that develop in the vitreous 

Severe eye diseases associated with floaters include:

  • Detached or torn retina

  • Bleeding in your vitreous

  • Eye tumours

  • Infected vitreous or retina due to inflammations or an autoimmune condition 

Diagnosis of Eye Floaters

Now, after reading this, you must have a lot of questions rolling in your mind. 

Can eye floaters be removed? How to get rid of eye floaters? How to treat eye floaters? 

Well, before addressing a floater patient, the doctor will conduct a complete eye exam or an eye floaters test including eye dilation to observe the rear part of your eyes and the vitreous ideally to ascertain the cause of the floaters.

Treatment of Eye Floaters

Most eye floaters and dots are innocuous and slightly annoying. Many will disappear over time and become less troublesome, but, if there is a massive number of floaters, then they can be thrown.

Previously, the only strategy for treating eye floaters was an invasive surgery called a vitrectomy. The vitreous here is removed from the eye, including the floaters within it, and is replaced with a sterile, thin fluid. But this method has a high peril and less advantage.

Laser vitreolysis like YAG laser vitreolysis is a much safer option for eye floater treatment. 

Any underlying reason for the floaters, such as bleeding from diabetes or infection, will be negotiated. But, many eye floaters don’t require treatment. Eye floaters can be irritating, and settling with them can take time. Once you recognise the floaters will not begin any more problems, you may ultimately be able to overlook them or see them less often. 

If your eye floaters weaken your eyesight, which results infrequently, you and your eye doctor may admit for treatment. Options may include: 

1. Surgery for eye floaters

A vitrectomy is an invasive surgical procedure that can remove eye floaters from your line of sight. Within this surgery, the eye surgeon will remove the vitreous floaters via a small incision. The vitreous is a transparent, gel-like matter that maintains the shape of your eye round. 

Your surgeon will displace the vitreous with a fluid to keep the shape of your eye. Your body will then create extra vitreous that will ultimately substitute this new fluid.

Though useful, a vitrectomy may not always eliminate eye floaters. It’s still likely for them to build again, mainly if this method induces any bleeding or trauma. This operation is practised for severe signs of floaters. 

2. Laser Floater removal

Laser therapy includes beaming lasers at the eye floaters. This aiming can make them burst up and may subdue their presence. If the lasers are proposed wrongly, you could venture injury to your retina. 

This method isn’t the chosen treatment approach since it’s still tentative. While observed as a powerful treatment for some situations, few people have mentioned little to no benefit. It can even worsen the condition in some cases. Consider your options with your doctor before attempting this method. 

3. Medications for eye floaters

Although some herbs, vitamins, iodine-contained products and home remedies have been promoted as useful in floaters cure, none of these has been verified effective in clinical experiments. In the rare cases in which the eye floaters are caused by the white blood cells in the vitreous due to inflammation or infection, relevant anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics will lower the number of white blood cells.  

There are no such eye floaters medicines, and eye drops for floaters for the adjustment of its common type. Unusual eye floaters due to bleeding in the vitreous from a retinal tear or diabetic retinopathy will subside as the blood is absorbed. Yet, the cause of the bleeding must be taken into account to stop further bleeding or retinal detachment. 

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Tags:  eye care,eye health, Diabetic eye, diabetic retinopathy, treatment for eye floaters, loss of vision

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