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When to Be Concerned About Floaters in Your Vision

Experiencing “floaters” can be confusing and even a little bit scary — what are those strange spots floating around in your vision, anyway? 

While floaters can sometimes occur due to medical emergencies such as a torn or detached retina, they’re age-related more often than not. Most of the time, they’re harmless, according to the US Library of Medicine.

If you’ve been experiencing eye floaters and are concerned about your eye health, take a moment as Dr. Michael Ragen and Dr. Kyle Huynh of Ventura Eye Institute explain what eye floaters are, and when to see your eye doctor. 

What are eye floaters? 

When you first experience floaters, you might think that an object randomly caught your eye as it moves through the air — a small bug, a speck of dust, or a piece of fuzz. But that visual phenomenon is actually happening inside your eye, and it usually occurs when you look at something bright or white. 

Eye floaters can occur for a number of reasons, but it usually has something to do with age-related changes in the jelly-like substance inside your eyes. As that substance (the vitreous) becomes more liquidy, tiny fibers throughout may begin to clump. Those clumps are the source of the floaters — they cast shadows on your retina. 

Other factors can cause floaters, such as irritation or inflammation of the retina, or bleeding in the eye. 

When to see a doctor for eye floaters

If you’ve had floaters for years and nothing has changed, you probably don’t need to see your eye doctor specifically about them, given that you checked out fine during your last exam. Sometimes, though, floaters are cause for concern. If you experience any of the following scenarios, you should contact your eye doctor right away: 

It’s important that you contact your ophthalmologist right away, because even though floaters are often associated with minor problems, there is a chance that they can be caused by serious complications that can lead to vision loss, such as a torn or detached retina. 

Treatment for eye floaters

Treatment for eye floaters depends on their root cause. Sometimes, and especially when they’re age-related, eye floaters don’t require any treatment. If you have eye floaters, Dr. Ragen or Dr. Huynh advise you on the best option for treatment. 

To learn more about floaters in your eyes or to take a comprehensive eye exam, visit Ventura Eye Institute. Call our Camarillo, California, office at 805-250-9723 or book your appointment online. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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