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Causes and Treatment Alternatives for Eye Floaters

Eye Floaters are a kind of eye disease in which […]

By Published On: 26 December 20122.6 min read

Eye Floaters are a kind of eye disease in which dark particles appear in your line of vision. The dark particles are usually made of black or gray specks and they would seem to float as you move your eyes around

They are especially visible when your eyes are focused on a plain or light-colored surface.

Nature of Eye Floaters

This eye disease is formed in the vitreous humor, which is the clear, jelly-like substance that maintains the eyeball’s shape. The vitreous humor also serves as the shock absorber for the eyes when it gets pushed out of shape.  The floaters would appear suspended and would move along with the eyeball. Ironically, it would disappear when you try to focus on them.

Different shapes and sizes characterize this eye disease. While it is very common and harmless, it may be an annoyance as the eye disease will manifest itself as bubbles, dots, flecks, tiny spots, hairy dumps, threads or webs. In extreme cases, the eye disease may even diminish your line of sight as the floaters become bigger.

Causes of Eye Floaters

This eye disease may be caused by the following conditions:

1.    Advancing age. This is because age will lead to a degeneration of the vitreous humor. It will then pull away from the retina, and the result is the break off of jelly-like substances that will then appear as floaters. This will increase because the eye disease will worsen as you get older. This is no cause for alarm, however, as it will resolve by itself eventually.
2.    Bleeding in the retina towards the vitreous humor.
3.    Diabetic retinopathy.
4.    Inflammation in the eyes.
5.    Injury to the eyes.
6.    Myopia.
7.    Surgery to the eyes.

Treatment Options for Eye Floaters

This eye disease usually do not need any treatment. Medical attention must be sought, however, when the number of floaters suddenly spike up, as it may be an indication of damaged internal structures in the eye.

Your optometrist would check if there is a tear or detachment of the retina. The pull in the vitreous humor may have possibly created a hole in the retina. If that condition occurs, your optometris will recommend immediate laser treatment by a retinal specialist to prevent your retina from completely detaching off the eye wall. A complete retinal detachment will lead to dark shadows in the peripheral vision, and it would probably expand to affect your entire sight.

Vitrectomy may be advised only if the eye floaters are proving  to be more than an irritant and are actually interfering already with your vision. The procedure entails the removal of the vitreous humor from the eye using a hollow needle. Saltwater solution is then used to replace the vitreous humor. The downside however is that the procedure carries the risk of contracting cataract or detachment of the retina. There is also no guarantee that the floaters will be completely removed. Thus, this is done only in extreme circumstances.

If you have suddenly seen eye floaters it is important to get to have your eyes checked.  Make an appointment by calling (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK ONLINE.


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