Floaters are small, dark specks, strings, or clouds that move across your field of vision. They are most noticeable when you look at a bright background, such as a blue sky or a white wall.
Floaters are caused by changes in the vitreous, the gel-like substance that fills the inside of your eye. As you age, the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. This can cause small clumps of collagen fibers to form in the vitreous, which cast shadows on the retina.
Floaters are usually harmless and do not require treatment. However, if you experience a sudden increase in the number or size of floaters, or if you are accompanied by other symptoms such as flashes of light or vision loss, it is important to see an eye doctor right away. These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a retinal tear or detachment.
There is no cure for floaters, but there are a few treatments that can help to reduce their visibility. One treatment is called a laser vitreolysis. This procedure uses a laser to break up the floaters so that they are less noticeable. Another treatment is called a vitrectomy. This is a surgical procedure in which the vitreous is removed and replaced with a clear solution.
If you have floaters, there are a few things you can do to manage them:
- Look away from floaters when you see them. They often move out of your line of sight quickly.
- Wear sunglasses to reduce the brightness of the light, which can make floaters more noticeable.
- Get regular eye exams to monitor your eye health and ensure that your floaters are not a sign of a more serious condition.
Most people learn to live with floaters without any problems. However, if you find that floaters are interfering with your vision or daily activities, talk to your eye doctor about treatment options.