Symptoms and causes of eye floaters

Article Tags:

While staring at a plain background such as a blank wall or blue sky, there may be specks or clouds that are floating in the vision field. Other shapes of these eye floaters can be strands and webs. Actually, these floaters are not objects in the air. They are tiny gel clumps or cells inside the vitreous that fills the inside of the eye. It is also acceptable to interpret them as the shadows of these floaters on the retina.

Eye floaters and other accompanying symptoms

In general, these floaters inside the vitreous move along with the eyeball, resulting in a spot or shadow shape in the vision field. Other symptoms of eye floaters include light flashes, jagged lines and headache. Light flashes can also be a warning sign of detached retina, since it is caused by the vitreous’ tug on the retina. This type of flash occurs mostly in old people. Blood vessel spasm can also cause a flashing form of jagged lines in both eyes. Headache and jagged lines are independent. In particular, the condition of experiencing light flashes without headache is called ophthalmic migraine.

Posterior vitreous detachment is a common reason for eye floaters

As people age, vitreous humor in the eye begins to liquefy and contract and even form clumps or strands inside the eye. Floaters are caused by posterior vitreous detachment in which the vitreous gel pulls away from the eye’s back wall. People with eye inflammation, myopia, cataract surgery or experience of YAG laser surgery are more prone to have eye floaters.

Persistent eye floaters may signify retinal detachment

Most floaters will not bring negative vision problems. They will disappear as time passes by. Under normal circumstances, eye floaters are absolutely nothing to worry about. However, sudden appearance of a great number of floaters accompanied by light flashes can be a sign of retinal detachment, which requires a serious consideration. If the floaters persist for a long period and tends to worsen, it is the time to get worries. For instance, they may become visible in every background, suddenly increase in number and even cause vision loss. These are usually signs of retinal detachment.