Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye Floaters & Flashes

Eye floaters are something that will bother 70% of people at one time in their life. Although they can be annoying, floaters are generally not something that you need to worry about.

Floaters are caused when the vitreous humor of the eye starts to change. In youth, the vitreous is transparent, but over time, imperfections can build, causing strands of the vitreous to clump together. They become visible by casting a shadow on the retina and are considered to be a normal sign of aging.

Floaters are extremely common and rarely something to be concerned about. However, if they are accompanied by flashes, decreased vision, or a sudden increase in the amount of floaters present, they can be a sign of a larger problem, such as a retinal tear or detachment . If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your eye doctor and be evaluated.

Treatment is not necessary for floaters unless they are related to a larger problem like a retinal tear or detachment. In that case, a procedure called a vitrectomy may be done to decrease the amount and severity of the floaters by removing the vitreous humor from the eye.