A very common sign of aging is the appearance of eye floaters in your vision. These are little specks, spots, and strings that you can see moving but you cannot stop them. At Atlantic EyeCare in Virginia Beach, VA, we specialize in a wide variety of eye health conditions including the presence of eye floaters.
What are Eye Floaters?
As you age the jelly-like substance inside your eyes, known as the vitreous, begins to thin. As the vitreous becomes more liquid, the microscopic fibers inside the eye begin clumping together. Those little clumps cast shadows on the retina and appear as floaters.
What Do Eye Floaters Look Like?
Depending on the shadows in your retina, eye floaters can appear in several different ways.
- They can look black or gray.
- They can look like specks or like strings.
- If you try hard to stare at a floater it will disappear.
- Floaters may appear to be shapes or strings that move around, and then settle and float away.
- Floaters are easiest to see when you are concentrating on a plain, bright surface like a painted white wall.
Treatment for Eye Floaters
The first step in treating eye floaters is to see our eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. During the visit, you will be evaluated to see if the floaters are caused by aging or if there is some other health condition at play such as inflammation or diabetes.
Usually, our patients become adjusted to vision with age-related floaters. In some severe cases, surgery is performed to replace the vitreous. Surgery does not always remove every floater nor does it guarantee more floaters won't develop. Another option for the most difficult cases is laser surgery to break up the floaters. Not all patients will notice a difference in their floaters after this procedure and it also carries a risk of damage to the retina.
When You Should Be Concerned
Eye floaters are generally more of a nuisance than a vision problem. But you should contact our eye doctor right away if you suddenly notice a large crop of new floaters, if you see flashes of light, or if you begin losing your peripheral vision. Any of those symptoms may indicate a retinal tear or some other medical issue.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Regular eye exams are important as you age. Our eye doctor is looking for vision problems and signs of other health conditions during these exams. A routine visit is a great place to discuss health issues like floaters. Call Atlantic EyeCare in Virginia Beach today at (757) 340-7070 or use our online request form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Seim.