What Are Floaters?
Occasionally, you may witness small spots in the field of your vision. These are commonly referred to as floaters. A crystal clear gel called the vitreous body fills the interior of our eye. Floaters can result if clumps are formed by the gel. Floaters can also be generated by small flecks of protein or other material that were trapped at the vitreous during the formation of the eye.
Although they may appear to be in front of the eye, your retina sees them as their shadows. What is retina? It’s eye’s light-sensitive inner layer of the eye. Floaters appear in a variety of forms, like cobwebs, threads or dots. As they are within the eye, floaters move when the eyes move; they may dart away once you try to check at them.
What Exactly Are ‘Flashes’?
Flashes can happen due to rubs, tugs or when the gel lumps against the retina. These flashes may happen off and on for weeks or even months.
What Causes Them And Who Is At Risk?
As we get older, the vitreous begins to shrink, causing it to become stringy. These strands throw shadows on the retina. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of individuals have floaters as a result of shrinkage that is vitreous from the time they’re 60 years old. This increases to around two-thirds in 80-year-olds.
Note: Individuals that are nearsighted or have had cataract surgery or even a previous eye injury are more likely to experience floaters, as are those with diabetes.
What Do You Need To Do?
If you notice any below listed symptoms in your vision, speak to your ophthalmologist:
Floaters or flashes of light
A slow shading of eyesight out of one side as if a curtain is being drawn across your eyes
Decrease in the sharpness of central vision.
Should You Worry About Floaters?
Having few floaters in your vision does not imply that you’re not at the verge of holding any critical eye problem. But if there’s a significant increase in the number of floaters, or they seem to worsen over time, it’s crucial to obtain an eye examination.
If the appearance of floaters is accompanied with flashes of light or if you notice a loss in vision can be an indication of serious illnesses such as retinal fatigue, tears, hemorrhaging, which is caused due to high blood pressure, diabetes. The condition of hemorrhaging and retinal tears put your eyes at serious risk and hence require immediate medical attention.
If you’re bothered by the occasional cobweb insect or line, then remember to get it checked out when there’s a change that is drastic or sudden. Frequently moving your eyes may shift the fluid and make the floaters settle for some time. Other times, your brain grows used to the intrusion and learns to dismiss it.