Eye Floaters are small spots that drift through your field of vision. They may stand out when you look at something bright, like white paper or a blue sky. These floaters might appear suddenly without any identifiable cause. Most floaters are benign and are not a danger to the health of your eye, however, some floaters might be a sign of a serious sight threatening problem with your eye. Therefore, it is important to get a prompt medical evaluation whenever new floaters appear.
symptoms may include:
- Black or gray dots
- Squiggly lines
- Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and almost see-through
Currently, there are two available treatments for eyes floaters available in the Salt Lake City clinic. Depending on the type of floaters, your doctor might recommend a surgery called vitrectomy or a laser procedure called laser vitreolysis. Vitrectomy is done in an operating room, while laser vitreolysis is an in-office procedure. Both treatments are usually covered by medical insurance.
At Olympus your Salt Lake City eye surgeon will take a holistic look at your eye health to construct a personalized treatment plan that will meet your needs, address any diabetic retinopathy symptoms, and ensure your vision health for years to come. We perform a comprehensive eye health screening, which allows us to diagnose and address eye conditions at the earliest sign. Early detection lets us begin corrective measures in time to prevent additional deterioration.
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For further information on these or other topics, please see the patient education portal on the American Academy of Ophthalmology website at aao.org/eyesmart.
A floater is a spot in one’s visual perception that appears to be floating in front of them. Some people mistake them for a fly, a smudge on their glasses, or a hair in front of their eye.
The most common cause in patients over 50 years is a posterior vitreous detachment. A posterior vitreous detachment is a separation of the vitreous body (a gel-like substance in the back of the eye) from the retina. This can rarely be associated with a retinal detachment. In addition to retinal detachment, other rare causes for floaters include migraine aura, bleeding, or inflammation in the eye.
A dilated exam is recommended if you notice new floaters.
In most cases, we recommend ignoring the floaters – over time the brain learns to adapt and won’t even notice the floaters are there. If the floaters have been evaluated and after 6 months, they are still functionally affecting the vision, surgery can be performed to remove the floater. Laser is an option for some floaters but has limited effect on the majority of visually significant floaters.