By age 60, at least 25% of adults have floaters, occasional small spots that glide across their visual field. At Riverfront Eyecare in Flint and Saginaw, Michigan, the skilled optometrists use advanced technology and careful comprehensive exams to monitor and diagnose the intraocular changes that cause floaters. They can help you avoid serious vision or eye health problems, such as retinal detachment. To learn more, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.
Floaters are spots, lines, or shapes that drift around your visual field. If you try to focus on floaters closely, they usually move away. There are a few reasons that floaters appear. Sometimes, they’re tiny protein deposits that got stuck as your eye grew before you were born.
Another common cause of floaters, especially in older adults, is changes in the vitreous, the jellylike substance that fills the back part of your eye. When you get older, your vitreous deteriorates gradually to grow thinner and more liquid. This causes tiny vitreous fibers to group together and cast darkness over your retina, which appears as floaters.
Most floaters aren’t dangerous. But, it’s always best to have a checkup at Riverfront Eyecare if you're suddenly seeing floaters on a regular basis so your optometrist can check for changes inside your eyes.
It’s particularly vital to seek care for floaters if you also see flashes of light. This symptom, commonly called flashes, can be a symptom of a severe, vision-threatening condition called rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.
In this type of retinal detachment, your vitreous shrinks abruptly, pulling so sharply at your retina that it’s torn away from the back wall of your eye.
As with all kinds of retinal detachment, a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Save your vision by seeking immediate care if you have floaters and flashes.
Your Riverfront Eyecare optometrist performs a dilated eye exam to assess floaters. Depending on your needs and whether your floaters are causing problems, you might also need tests like B-scan ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, or digital retinal imaging.
Floater treatment varies by case. If your floaters aren’t causing any vision problems and don’t bother you, your optometrist may simply recommend regular monitoring.
If you have many floaters and flashes that interfere with your eyesight, you may need a surgery called a vitrectomy, in which a surgeon removes your vitreous and its debris and repairs damaged tissue as needed. They can also address a retinal tear or retinal detachment during a vitrectomy.
If you’re having a sudden influx of new floaters or dealing with both floaters and flashes, reach out to Riverfront Eyecare. Call either office or book an appointment online today.