When small specks move into your field of vision, you may think that there is something in your eye, like an eyelash, causing this visual disturbance. But it is actually a floater, a small clump of gel or cells inside the vitreous, a gel-like fluid that fills up your eye and helps it maintain its spherical shape. The obstruction to your vision is actually due to the shadows these clumps cast on the retina. Floaters naturally occur as you age, because over time, the vitreous gel in your eyes may start to thicken or shrink, which can form clumps or strands inside the eye. The vitreous gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment, which is a common cause of floaters. Patients are more likely to experience posterior vitreous detachment if they are nearsighted, have undergone cataract surgery, have had laser corrective surgery, or inflammation inside the eye. If you are over the age of 45, contact you should contact your Brooklyn ophthalmologist at Brook Plaza Ophthalmology when you notice floaters in your vision. It is best to have your retina inspected to make sure the floaters are not due to vitreous detachment.
As explained above, in some cases, the retina can tear if the shrinking vitreous gel pulls away from the wall of the eye. While sometimes this causes new bleeding in the eye, seen as new floaters, a torn retina is a serious eye condition that can lead to retinal detachment. So if you see new floaters appear suddenly, experience sudden flashes of light or loss of side vision, contact your Brooklyn retina specialists immediately. If a retinal tear is not treated, the retina may detach from the back of the eye, and the only treatment for this is surgery. Other floaters are harmless and may fade over time, but the only way to be certain is to see an ophthalmologist like those at Brook Plaza Ophthalmology.