Floaters are small spots in the vision due to cells or opacities in the vitreous gel that cast a shadow on the retina. Floaters often move and come in all different sizes and shapes, including dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs. Floaters usually develop during a posterior vitreous separation when the vitreous gel begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. Alternatively, new floaters can be due to a vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding in the vitreous). Retinal tears and advanced diabetic retinopathy are often the cause of this condition, although many other retinal conditions can lead to vitreous hemorrhage and floaters. Any patient with sudden new onset of floaters should have their retina examined to determine the cause and ensure that proper treatment is initiated.
Patients experiencing floaters will report noticing “floating” objects in their field of vision. These objects are sometimes referred to as spots, blobs, or shapes and make it difficult to see.
Diagnosis and Tests for Floaters
If you experience floaters, your ophthalmologist will likely be able to see them after your eyes have been dilated during your eye exam. With dilation, your retina will become more clear and from there, an ophthalmologist or retinal specialist will be able to understand and perform other tests to find out the cause of your floaters.
Most floaters will begin to fade on their own or become less noticeable or annoying. What is perhaps more important is determining what causes your floaters to see what treatments might need to be performed in order to help treat retinal conditions like Retinal tears, Diabetic retinopathy and Posterior Retinal Separation.
Will floaters go away?
For many, floaters will begin to become less noticeable or go away on their own. The condition causing the floaters, however, may warrant a treatment plan with an experienced retinal specialist.
Do I need to see a doctor if I notice floaters?
Yes, any patient with sudden new onset of floaters should have their retina examined to determine the cause and ensure that proper treatment is initiated.
Are floaters and flashes related?
Yes, some patients will experience floaters in conjunction with flashes of light in their vision, which occur similarly from the separation of the vitreous from the retina.
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Other Conditions Treated at RCA
Our ophthalmologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating many retinal conditions.