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When to See an Eye Doctor About Floaters

When to See an Eye Doctor About Floaters

You’ve probably known about floaters since you were a kid; these little squiggles appear as moving shadows on your retina, floating around aimlessly. As children and young adults, floaters are of no consequence. They can grow in number and shape as the years go by, eventually impeding your vision. 

At Ventura Eye Institute in Camarillo, California, our professional team of eye care specialists can identify floaters in their earliest stages and help provide information about and treatment for your condition.

What causes floaters 

If you’ve ever crossed your eyes or stared at a blank wall or blue sky for too long, you might have noticed the dusty, debris-like shadows that float around in your vision. Focusing on them too hard might cause them to disappear or dart away; otherwise, they live up to their name: floaters

Harmless on their own, floaters are caused by the clumping of collagen in your vitreous. This is the jelly-like substance that makes up your eye. It regularly liquefies and contracts, causing proteins to bind together into small specks, strings, strands, and other shapes. 

In many cases, these dissolve naturally, but as you age or if you have certain medical conditions, floaters can become more serious and/or permanent. There are many reasons the number of floaters in your vision has increased. 

Common causes of floaters include: 

Left untreated, such eye problems can lead to permanent damage and vision loss, so it’s important to note when you begin noticing floaters and other imperfections. 

When to consult an eye doctor about floaters

Generally speaking, an increased number of small floaters as you age is to be expected. As long as you’re not experiencing other forms of vision loss alongside them, they’re likely just caused by collagen clumping more frequently in your eye.

If they begin distracting you or hindering your vision, a visit to a specialist is recommended. They’ll be able to confirm the cause and ensure nothing else contributes to the problem. At Ventura Eye Institute, the team can address floaters by breaking them up with a laser, clearing your vision. 

If you’ve been noticing flashes of light or peripheral vision loss (tunnel vision) alongside your floaters, there’s a chance you might be experiencing something more serious. In these cases, immediate action may be necessary to preserve your sight. 

To get in touch, call 805-388-1211, visit the contact page to schedule a virtual appointment, or send an email. 

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