Are eye floaters dangerous? And how to deal with them
Eye floaters often present themselves when you look at a bright light, the sky during the daytime, or when looking at white piece of paper. These are string-like structures that block your vision or spots that go away the moment you tend to follow them with your eyes. Mainly due to the fact that eye floaters are such a common condition, many people wonder: are eye floaters dangerous?
In simple terms, floaters are loose particles of protein that stay in our eye which often surface when our eyes moisten or whenever we blink. For you to see eye floaters all the time is rare. Similarly, it is rare to see large floaters that tend to disturb your vision unless you’re exposed to bright lights often. Whenever you consult a doctor for this condition, you will always be told that the condition is harmless unless you have an unusual increase in floaters or floaters that are constantly obstructing your vision.
The Symptoms of Eye Floaters
If you have eye floaters, you may experience:
Seeing black spots
Transparent threadlike strands
It is said that once you start noticing them around a particularly bright area, the floaters tend to stay around for a long duration. With time, the particles you see tend to fade away and you normally grow ignorant to the condition.
The Reasons Behind Eye Floaters
Floaters are these little flakes of the protein called collagen which is present in our eyes. Collagen is a gel-like substance that is found in the vitreous humor in the back of our eyes. With time, these protein fibers shrink and clump together. The clumping then causes a shadow to be cast on the retina and produce eye floaters. It is exaggerative to say that eye floaters are dangerous but if the condition worsens, floaters could be a sign of:
Crystallized formation in the vitreous
Torn or detached retina
Bleeding in the vitreous
Inflamed retina due to infection
If you suffer from migraine headaches, there are times when you may witness similar anomalies in your vision. Some people worry about this but it often goes away once the headache subsides.
When is medical attention necessary for eye floaters?
If you witness a few floaters here and there when you look at something bright, there is nothing to worry about. It is only when things complicate do you rush to the doctor and ask them for help and medication.
The following are signs that you should seek medical advice for eye floaters:
You start to witness numerous floaters all the time while preventing you to do your work
You see flashes of light when you blink
You do not have peripheral vision
You see floaters after an eye surgery or an eye accident
With necessary medication and sometimes surgery, you can get back to normal with nothing irritating your vision. Getting rid of something that is constantly irritating your vision is something that you should pay heed to..
What to expect from your doctor
When you are referred to an ophthalmologist or optometrist, they will first dilate your pupils with external drops for a clearer look into your eyes. They will check your vitreous and retina and check for any problems within. There are times when a retinal tear causes such floaters to appear and that is when there is the need for immediate medical examination as well as surgery to get rid of it. When you visit the doctor, it is likely that they will ask you about pre-existing health conditions and any previous eye trauma or surgeries. According to your scenario, the doctor will then assign the right treatment for your floaters and ensure that they are completely removed from your eyes.
Treatment options for serious cases
If you have eye floaters that appear harmless and that go away after sometime, there is nothing to worry about. If they persist and do not go away, there is a need for medical attention. When things get complicated, the vitreous is often removed and replaced by a process called vitrectomy. Some doctors make use of lasers to treat the problem without invasive. Such treatments are often harmless as it takes a few hours to get things in place. Necessary care after the surgery will ensure that your vision is back on track and that you do not have floaters any longer.
Dealing with eye floaters yourself
There are times when you may find that these floaters are disturbing your vision especially when you wake up from sleep. Splashing water in the eyes, as well as looking at darker places when there is irritation, can help out with the presence of floaters in your eyes. Keeping your eyes closed for some time and letting things settle will also help you see clearly. With eye floaters, ignorance is bliss.
Finding the right doctor
When it comes to looking out for the right doctor, it is necessary that you choose someone who is a specialist with the retina and it’s problems. You could ask for help from your acquaintances who may have taken medical help to treat their floaters. Also, browsing the Internet for the names of doctors will help you retrieve a list depending on the geographical location you are in. Choosing a doctor based on their experience as well their popularity would ensure that you have come to the right person.