Your eye is filled with a clear jelly-like fluid called vitreous gel. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells that are inside of that fluid. Floaters will most likely seem that they are in front of your eye, but they are really floating on the inside. They can appear to have various shapes, such as dots, lines or circles.
What causes eye floaters?
As you get older, the vitreous gel in your eye may shrink or start to thicken which can form clumps in your eye. In some people, the vitreous gel can actually pull away from the back wall of your eye and this causes a posterior vitreous detachment. We find this to be the most common cause of floaters.
People who get posterior vitreous detachment share common traits, including:
If you have a floater in your eye, you should contact Northwest Eye Physician immediately.
How are eye floaters treated?
Most eye floaters do not require treatment. Most of them will fade over time. If the eye floaters start to impair your vision, we may recommend that you be treated with either laser removal or surgery.
What causes flashing lights in your eyes?
If the vitreous gel in your eye rubs or pulls on your retina, you may experience flashing lights. You may experience these flashes on and off for up to a few months. Flashes are common as we get older, but if these light flashes have suddenly appeared, contact Northwest Eye Physician so we can make sure that your retina has not been torn.
Another type of flash that some people experience is light that looks like a jagged line in both of your eyes and these can last up to 20 minutes. Migraines usually cause this type of flash.