Understanding Floaters in Your Field of Vision

  • Posted on: Sep 15 2019
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Have you ever looked up at the sky to see the clouds on a sunny day and notice unusual imperfections in your vision? Maybe you notice thread-like strands that are within your field of vision. Or perhaps you have shadowy spots that trail along when you change the direction of your eyes. These imperfections may be impossible to focus on as they shift away. If you are noticing these issues, you may be a patient who has floaters.

What are floaters?

To fully understand what floaters are, one must have a better grasp of eye anatomy. Inside of the eye is a clear gel-like substance called the vitreous. It fills approximately 80% of the eye and helps keep the eye in a rounded shape. The lens is at the front of the eye, and the retina is present against the back of the eye. Over time, the vitreous will dissolve and shrink. Undissolved pieces of the vitreous may float in the liquid center. When bright light enters the eye through the lens at the front, it will not hit the retina until it has filtered through the vitreous. If undissolved pieces of the vitreous are present, it can cast shadows and spots on the retina and impact your field of vision.

Who experiences floaters?

While patients of all ages may develop floaters, they are more commonly seen in patients who are over the age of 50 and can become increasingly more noticeable. Patients who are nearsighted will also have an increased risk of developing floaters, as well as patients who have experienced trauma to the eye area. Additionally, certain medical conditions may increase the chance of developing floaters, including those who have had cataracts or diabetes.

Are floaters serious?

In most situations, floaters are just a mild inconvenience. That said, it is still important to speak to a doctor about floaters if they increase dramatically, become larger, or are more problematic. A sudden increase in the number of floaters in the line of vision is a concern as it may indicate a more serious condition. Visiting a professional for an evaluation is the best way to make sure your eye is healthy and there are no coexisting conditions impacting your eye health.

Request an appointment at Shammas Eye Medical Center

With three convenient locations in Southern California, patients tin the community can connect with Dr. H. John Shammas of Shammas Eye Medical Center to learn more about floaters and other conditions that can impact one’s vision. The practice is always accepting new patients and families who are interested in improving their eye health and wellness with a qualified professional.

Posted in: Floaters and Flashes

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