Why do we get Eye Floaters and can they be treated?


Floaters are small pieces of debris that float in the eye’s vitreous humour. They appear as small shapes that some people see floating in their field of vision and can be seen in different shapes and sizes. They can occur as your eyes change with age and in most cases they do not require treatment or cause any significant problems however, there are rare cases where floaters may be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment.

There is no medical treatment that can prevent the occurrence of eye floaters as they are part of the natural ageing process.

What do eye floaters look like?

As previously mentioned, eye floaters can differ in size and shape and may appear as:

  • tiny black dots
  • small, shadowy dots
  • larger cloud-like spots
  • long, narrow strands

These shapes seem to float in front of everything that a person looks at. Many people can simply ignore them but there are now a number of treatments available for those people who would prefer to remove them.

Treatment of eye floaters

Eye drops or similar types of medication will not make floaters disappear. After a while, your brain learns to ignore floaters and you may not notice them. If a floater appears in your direct line of vision, moving your eye up and down may help. This causes the vitreous humour in your eye to move around, which can shift the floater elsewhere. If your floaters do not improve over time, or if they significantly affect your vision, a vitrectomy may be recommended. This is a surgical operation to remove the vitreous humour in your eye along with any floating debris and replace it with a saline (salty) solution. If your retina has become detached, surgery is the only way to re-attach it. Without surgery, a total loss of vision is almost certain. In 90% of cases, only one operation is needed to re-attach the retina.

The above information has been sourced from http://www.londoneyehospital.com/ where you can find more details about eye floaters and a wealth of further information relating to ophthalmology as a whole and details of how to contact them if you require a procedure.


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