Eye floaters

Eye floaters are spots or thin strings that appear in your field of vision. They may remain in the same spot or drift aimlessly. If you try to move your eyes to look directly at them, they seem to dash away.

Floaters are harmless, resulting from changes in the vitreous, the gel-like fluid that fills your eyes. As we age, microscopic fibers in the vitreous clump together and cast shadows on the retina. It’s these shadows that you see as floaters. You may also see occasional flashes of light.


If floating strings, spots or occasional flashes are all you see, you do not need to worry. If you see any of the following signs, then a more serious condition could be developing.

  • A veil that seems to obscure part of the vision
  • Any overall decrease in vision
  • Sudden increase in the number of floaters

These signs could indicate that the vitreous is shrinking somewhat, a situation that can result in retinal tears or retinal detachment. It’s also possible to develop so many floaters that one’s eyesight is impaired. Either of these situations requires immediate eye floaters treatment.

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If floaters get serious enough to impair vision, then vitrectomy surgery for floaters may be required. In this surgery, a tiny drain is placed in the eye and the vitreous is removed and replaced with sterile saline solution. This eliminates the floaters present in the vitreous.

More serious signs may indicate that the retina has torn or is detaching from the back of the eye. In that case, laser surgery may be used to repair it.

Regular eye examinations, especially when you are over forty years of age, are important to enable you to know whether floaters or any other signs are serious or harmless. If you need an examination or you know you have a condition that requires treatment, please visit our institute in Largo, Florida for excellent care in a friendly and caring environment. Please call us at 727-500-2020 to schedule an appointment or ask questions about our care.