Eye Floaters : How To Check, Symptoms And Treatment ?


Eye floaters are spots in your vision. They could seem to you as threads, cobwebs, or black or gray flecks. When you move your eyes, they could move about. Floaters seem to dart away when you try to look straight at them.

Age-related changes that take place when the jelly-like fluid (vitreous) inside your eyes liquefies and contracts are the main cause of eye floaters. Collagen fibre clusters that are dispersed throughout the vitreous might create minute shadows on your retina. The shadows you are seeing are called floaters.

If you notice a sudden increase in eye floaters, especially if you also have light flashes or vision loss, call your eye doctor straight once.

These emergency warning indicators might need to be attended to the right immediately.


Eye floaters may result from aging-related changes in the vitreous or from other illnesses or conditions:

Ocular changes brought on by aging. A jelly-like material called the vitreous, which is mostly composed of water, collagen and hyaluronan (a type of carbohydrate). The vitreous helps keep the eye's round shape by filling the area in your eye between the lens and retina.

The vitreous changes as you age. It liquefies and compresses with time, which results in it pulling away from the inner surface of the eyeball.

Collagen fibers within the vitreous produce clusters and threads when the vitreous changes. Some of the light's path through the eye is blocked by these stray bits. This causes small shadows to appear as floaters on your retina.

Inflammation in the pupil's back. Uveitis is the term for inflammation of the middle layer of tissue within the eye wall (uvea). The retina and the choroid, two layers of the eyeball, are affected by posterior uveitis. The swelling causes floaters to form in the vitreous. Inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and infections are a few of the factors that contribute to posterior uveitis.

An eye that is bleeding. Bleeding into the vitreous can be caused by a variety of disorders, including retinal tears and detachments, diabetes, hypertension, blocked blood vessels, and trauma. Blood cells appear like floating particles.

retinal damage. Retinal tears can occur when a vitreous that is contracting pulls on the retina hard enough to cause a tear. Retinal detachment might result from an untreated retinal injury. If a leak occurs behind the retina, it may split from the back of your eye as a result of the tear. The retinal detachment left untreated might result in loss of eyesight for life.

Eye operations and eye treatments. Air bubbles may occur when some drugs are administered into the vitreous. Until your eye absorbs them, these bubbles seem to you as shadows. During some procedures on the vitreous and retina, silicone oil bubbles are inserted, and they can also be observed as floaters.

How to check if you have Eye Floaters?

Immediately get in touch with an eye doctor if you see:

  • Eye floaters in very large numbers
  • New floaters appear out of nowhere.
  • Floaters and light flash in the same eye
  • A murky or grayish region that obstructs some of your eyesight
  • A side or sides of your eyesight that are dark (peripheral vision loss)
  • A retinal tear, either alone or in conjunction with a retinal detachment, may be the source of these painless symptoms. This disorder is dangerous to one's vision and has to be treated right away.

Risk Factors

Eye floaters are more likely to occur if you have the following factors:

  • Age more than 50
  • Nearsightedness
  • Eye damage
  • Problems following cataract surgery
  • A complication of diabetes that damages the retina's blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy)
  • Eye irritation


Among the signs of ocular floaters are:

  • Small forms that appear in your eyesight as black specks or as translucent threads with knobs
  • Moving spots that swiftly obstruct your vision when you try to gaze at them by moving your eyes in their direction
  • Spots that stand out the most against a simple, bright backdrop like a white wall or a blue sky
  • Small forms or threads that settle down and finally go out of view


Treatment is usually not necessary for ocular floaters. However, any medical issue, such as diabetes-related bleeding or inflammation, that is the root of eye floaters should be addressed.

Eye floaters can be annoying, and getting used to them may take some time. Over time, you might be able to ignore or notice the floaters less frequently after you know they will not create any more issues.

You and your eye doctor may discuss therapy if your eye floaters interfere with your vision, which seldom happens. Although these treatments are uncommon, options might include surgery to remove the vitreous or a laser to destroy the floaters.

Surgical removal of the vitreous. A retina and vitreous surgeon who specializes in ophthalmology removes, by a little puncture, the vitreous (vitrectomy). To assist in keeping the form of your eye, a solution is used in lieu of the vitreous. New floaters may appear following surgery, and the surgery itself may not completely remove all of the floaters. A vitrectomy has risks such as bleeding, infection, and retinal tears.

Disrupting the floaters using a laser. A specialist in ophthalmology directs a specific laser at the vitreous floaters (vitreolysis). This could disperse the floaters and lessen their visibility. Following this therapy, some patients claim better vision while others report little to no change. If the laser is not pointed correctly, laser treatment might harm your retina.

Complications of Eye Floaters

Unless they are a sign of a more serious ailment, eye floaters are rarely bothersome enough to create additional issues. Even while they will not ever completely go away, they frequently become better after a few weeks or months.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 15, 2023

Next review due: Mar 15, 2025

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