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How Do I Treat Eye Floaters?

Eye Floaters

Do you experience eye floaters, those small, shadowy or gray circles or lines that obstruct your vision? These typically occur as a result of aging and the eye health changes that advanced years bring. But they can also occur because of an underlying health problem. These clumps of protein in the vitreous humor of your eyes are not something to ignore. Instead, you should visit your optometry clinic for an examination.

What are eye floaters?

As your optometry clinic will tell you, eye floaters are typically no reason for concern. But these spots in your vision can also point to an eye health problem. This is why you need to talk to your eye doctor and have your eyes examined. Sometimes, these tiny moving spots and lines indicate an increase in eye fluid pressure.

Floaters are hard to see when you try to catch them in one position. But when you move your eyes, you notice little obstructions in your view. They move around and sometimes look like they are actual shapes in your field of vision. Instead, they are inside your eye's vitreous humor. It is when the protein particles move in front of your retina and block light that you briefly see them.

You should pay particular attention to your floaters if you also experience discomfort, pain, light flashes, headaches or nausea.

What causes eye floaters?

In the eyes of healthy young people, the eye's vitreous humor is like a gel. But this jelly can change with nearsightedness, aging, chronic diseases, surgical procedures or some medications. The gel becomes more fluid. It can no longer support the heavier gel outside the eye. This leads to eye floaters that occur more and more as the vitreous humor pulls apart from the retina.

Eye floaters do not necessarily indicate a problem. You should talk to your eye doctor during your next exam, however. Of course, if you notice other symptoms or have eye discomfort, that is reason to schedule a visit with your optometry clinic right away.

If you have eye floaters, reasons to call your eye doctor for immediate scheduling of an eye exam include:

  • Sudden floaters you have not had before
  • Many eye floaters compared to the past
  • Light flashes, darkness or shadowing with your floaters

The above symptoms can indicate a vision-endangering problem of retinal detachment or vitreous humor shrinking.

Common causes of eye floaters include:

  • Ageing
  • Nearsightedness
  • Migraines or chronic headaches
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Inflammation on the posterior eye
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Tumor
  • Torn retina
Eye Floaters

Treatment for Eye Floaters

If you have only a mild case of eye floaters, you likely do not need treatment. The first step in treating eye floaters is determining their cause. Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam and discuss your health history with you. They may also conduct some tests.

When the eye floaters are a problem, such as in endangering your vision, treatment includes two types of surgery. These include vitrectomy and laser therapy...

  • Vitrectomy
    Vitrectomy eliminates floaters by removing your vitreous humor and replacing this gel-like material with a similar solution. This allows you to see clearly again. Of course, if you have an underlying health condition that causes development of floaters, these vison obstructions will just form again.
  • Laser Therapy
    Using lasers, your eye doctor breaks apart the clumps of protein that form eye floaters. But this procedure sometimes causes more floaters to appear when the clumps multiply and form again. For this reason, your eye doctor may not choose to perform laser therapy, unless he or she believes it will provide good results in your case.

Lifestyle Changes for Eye Floaters

Lifestyle changes that help improve your condition with eye floaters include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Good hydration
  • More eye rest
  • Reduced computer use
  • Wearing UV exposure eye protection

Of course, you should see your eye doctor regularly and discuss your eye health concerns openly at each visit.

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