Are Eye Floaters Serious?

Are Eye Floaters Serious?

Are Eye Floaters Serious?

Are Eye Floaters Serious?

As you age, the gel-like substance that fills your eye starts to shrink and solidify. It creates particles that appear as dots, specks, or lines in your vision.

The particles or eye floaters slowly drift through the gel-like substance, moving in front of the retina and allowing you to see them. They are normal as you age. But if you notice their increase, you need to see a doctor.

Are Eye Floaters Normal?

Yes, they are a normal part of the aging process, and it does not mean that your eyes are unhealthy. With time, eye floaters eventually settle at the bottom of the eye. When they do, you will not notice them.

However, go for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you are at risk or not.

Why Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Sometimes, the gel-like vitreous substance shrinks and forms eye floaters while pulling on the retina. This causes it to detach, resulting in vision problems. But as the process happens over time, you can avoid retinal detachment with regular eye exams.

During the exam, the doctor checks your retina, optical nerve, and eye blood vessels to determine the health of your eyes. They will also test for common eye diseases during this exam. If they catch any abnormalities, they will start treatment early.

Causes of Eye Floaters

There are several reasons why eye floaters may develop. Usually, it is because of the shrinking and solidifying of the vitreous. Several other reasons that may be less common include diabetic retinopathy and uveitis. So, how do these conditions cause eye floaters?


  • Age-related Changes

These age-related changes refer to the shrinking and solidifying of the vitreous. It clumps and gets stringy, forming the dots, specks, or lines you may see at the front of your eyes. This debris blocks light and cast shadows on the retina as they pass through the vitreous.


  • Bleeding in the Eye

Another cause of eye floaters is when your blood vessels bleed into the vitreous. It can be due to diabetes or hypertension.  Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, resulting in blood vessels leaking into the eye. The blood reflects on the retina as floaters.


  • Inflammation of the Eye

Inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer tissue of the eyewall, causes eye floaters. When there is a release of inflammation debris into the vitreous, it looks like eye floaters. Uveitis may be a result of an inflammatory disease or infection.


  • Retinal Detachment

When the vitreous starts solidifying, it tugs on the retina and can tear it. Without treatment, the retinal tear can lead to detachment. When you do not treat retinal detachment, it can result in blindness.

The Seriousness of Floaters

If you notice eye floaters, see a doctor. The floaters may be a sign of a serious condition. Take care of your eye health and go for regular comprehensive eye exams. They may be what you need to save you from vision loss.

For more information on eye floaters, visit Wellesley Hills Eye Care at our office in Wellesley, Massachusetts. You can also call (781) 501-9120 to book an appointment today.

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