Are Floaters Dangerous?
Almost everyone has seen little specks floating across their vision from time to time. If you get them frequently, you may wonder if they are signaling a potential problem with your vision or eye health. Luckily, in most cases eye floaters are not dangerous. However, if you suddenly experience a rapid onslaught of new floaters, this could signal a problem with your retina, and you should get it checked out immediately.
If you are seeing more floaters than usual and want to have your eyes checked out, call Kirk Eye Center today to schedule your appointment. Our experienced team of ophthalmologists can examine your eyes and help make sure your eye health and vision remain in good shape.
Understanding Eye Floaters
Floaters are very common, and not usually anything to worry about. They are caused when the vitreous of the eye, which typically has a gel-like consistency, begins to become more like a liquid in the center. When this happens, small bits of the vitreous that are still gel-like can break off and float into the part that has become more liquid. These small bits of gel cast shadows across the retina that are translated into spots that float across our field of vision.
These gel bits can also brush against or tug on the retina, which can cause momentary flashes of bright light. While occasional flashes of light are common, if they start to happen more frequently and the amount of floaters increases, this can mean that the retina has torn or detached. If this happens, it is imperative to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing your vision entirely.
It is possible for the vitreous to become detached from the retina. Vitreous detachment is not that serious on its own, and usually requires no treatment. However, vitreous detachment can on occasion lead to retinal detachment. This is why it is so important to have your eyes checked out regularly, and to see an eye doctor if you notice anything unusual about your vision.
Symptoms of vitreous detachment can include:
- Increased amount of floaters
- Flashes of light
Unfortunately, if you suffer from a vitreous detachment, there is no real treatment for the increased amount of floaters you will see. The number of floaters will usually decrease after three to six months, though. If you find that your amount of floaters does not subside after six months or so, or if your floaters interfere significantly with your vision, surgery is possible. Vitreous removal surgery can potentially lead to other vision problems, so it is something you should consider carefully and discuss in depth with your ophthalmologist before making the decision to have it.
Schedule Your Eye Appointment
If you have noticed an increased amount of floaters or flashes of light in your vision, don't hesitate to schedule your appointment with Kirk Eye Center by calling us today. We serve patients in the greater Chicago area, including River Forest, Oak Park, Cicero, and Naperville.