Eye Floaters… What, why, and when to see your doctor.
Ever been super annoyed by the little specs in your eye that seem to be in your peripheral, but you can’t actually look at them? Depending on the number and frequency of eye floaters could drive you nuts!
Statistically speaking, they are more than likely harmless but we wanted to give you a little background into why they are there and when you may want to tell your Eye Doctor about it.
What are they?
Floaters can be described as small shapes in your vision that appear as dark specks or grey, black and transparent strings of floating material. They sometimes move when you move your eyes, so when you try to look at them, you can’t look directly at them. Others describe them as small shapes or strings that eventually disappear.
They are usually made up of collagen, a protein found in the body naturally. It can come from the “Vitreous” which is a gel-like substance in the back of your eye. Totally normal, we promise.
Sometimes, as you get older, the fibers that make up your vitreous can shrink, clump and pull away. That is when you start to see the floaters.
When are they a problem?
In rare instances, floaters can be a sign of complications or underlying conditions. Some things to look out for would be:
- Eye Pain
- Flashes of Light
- Loss of your peripheral vision
- Sudden increase in the number of floaters you see
If you experience any of these symptoms or anything else that alarms you, we recommend making an appointment as soon as you can.
What are some possible underlying issues?
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms and decide not to seek medical attention, keep in mind that there are several reasons those symptoms could be happening. A few worth mentioning are:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Eye tumors
- Eye Disease
- Detached or torn retina
- Inflamed eye due to infection
Don’t freak out
Again, it’s not likely and it’s a small percentage of people who do end up with severe issues. We just want to keep you informed so you can mention any changes to your doctor when they occur.
More often than not, floaters are just a sign that you are getting older and kind of annoying sometimes. As always, if you feel like they are becoming an issue, please call us to schedule an appointment. TriCounty Eye Associates wants to be involved in every aspect of your eye health.