Should You Be Worried About Eye Floaters?

Have you ever wondered whether or not you should be worried about eye floaters? You are not alone. If you have ever suddenly or gradually seen floaters or spots, cobwebs, flecks, specks of spots aimlessly drifting around your vision field, these are what are known as eye floaters. While these can be bothersome, spots and eye floaters are not really a cause of alarm and are actually quite common.

Typically, spots or floaters appear when tiny vitreous or the gel like part of the eyes break loose within the eye’s inner back portion. Throughout youth and from the time of birth, there is a gel like consistency in the eye’s vitreous. However, when aging occurs, this begins dissolving and liquefying to create a center that is watery.

When looking at the clear, bright sky or at the screen of a computer, you will notice that these types of eye floaters or spots are particularly obvious or pronounced. However, you won’t see the actual debris and tiny bits floating loosely within the eyes. Rather, it is these floaters’ casting shadows on the eye retina as there is the passage of light throughout the eyes. What you actually see are the shadows. As you focus on the spots, you may notice that they never seem to sit still. Spots and floaters move when there is movement in your eyes. This creates the impression that they drift randomly from one part of your vision field to another.

Eye Floater Symptoms

When these are seen, eye floaters usually appear to dart away whenever you try focusing on them. There are different shapes that eye floaters can appear as. These can be shaped like a ring, like cobwebs, semi transparent or knobby threadlike strands, squiggly lines, gray or black dots. Once eye floaters develop, these to not usually go away but do tend to improve with the passing of time. Even if eye floaters tend to be annoying for most folks, these don’t generally interfere with the way you see. At times, there may be a shadow on your vision particularly when there is a large floater traveling around your field of eye vision. However, it is only in certain types of light that this tends to occur. Most folks ignore eye floaters and just learn to live with them. As a matter of fact, most people just learn to live with them.

When to Seek Medical Help

As a general rule, there is no reason to worry if all you see are eye floaters. However, once you see a light flashing in any way, shape or form, it is time to seek immediate medical attention. This is called photopsia and may indicate the dislodging of the retina from the eye’s inner back or that it pulls away from your retina. It is from the back of the eye that there is oxygen, nutrients or blood and when the retina tears, the retina may become pushed out by the invading vitreous. This leads to a detachment.

When your retina gets mechanical or non visual stimulation when it becomes detached, torn or tugged, photopsia or light flashes can result.