When to See a Doctor About “Floaters”

iStock 1273535544 You’ve probably noticed them more than a few times – those little squiggly lines that appear briefly in your line of sight, floating across and around your eye. They are commonly known as “floaters,” and most everyone gets them at some time or another. But have you ever wondered if floaters are something you should see your eye doctor about? 

What are floaters?

Floaters can take many shapes, from lines to dots to something that resembles a cobweb. They are caused by fibers within the vitreous, the jelly-like fluid within the eye. These fibers cast a shadow on the back of the eye, which are the floaters that you see. 

Should I see a doctor about my floaters?

Floaters are very common — most everyone has them occasionally — and a natural part of getting older. However, there are times when floaters are something to be concerned about. See your doctor if: 

  • The floaters are accompanied by flashes of light. These flashes can look similar to a camera flash, and they may be a sign that your retina is becoming detached.
  • You notice an increase in floaters during or after an eye infection or an eye injury
  • In addition to floaters you have a loss in peripheral vision
  • You have a sudden increase in floaters
  • Your vision is affected by what looks like a grey curtain or a dark shadow

How can I get rid of eye floaters?

If you don’t have any of the serious symptoms above and they are not getting in the way of your everyday life, the best way to deal with floaters is to simply do nothing. They may become less noticeable over time as you simply get used to them. 

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to bring up the issue at your next regular eye exam, so you and your eye doctor can monitor your floaters and any changes in them. 

If you are worried about floaters or any other eye issue, you can count on the Eye Care Institute for help. Don’t wait – call the office in Santa Rosa or Petaluma at (707) 546-9800. Make an appointment today!

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