Understanding Floaters And Why They Develop

If you are concerned about your overall health and well-being, then you may arrange for check-ups on a regular basis. These appointments should be ones that include regular eye exams, and some ophthalmologists will recommend an appointment once every two years. While this is true, you may want to make an immediate appointment if you notice several different eye problems or symptoms. The development of floaters is one of these things. Keep reading to learn what they are and what they may mean.

What Are Floaters?

Floaters are named due to their movement within the eye and the way you are likely to see them moving from one side of the vision to another. And while the floaters do move, you are unlikely to see a distinct pattern. They move in more random movements and dart across the visual field. The floaters are commonly described as spots that are rounded in shape, but they are not solid or whole. You cannot focus on them or "see them" like you would an object in front of you and the floaters will often move away if you do try to focus on them.

The majority of floaters are dark gray or black in color, and sometimes they will simply create a shadow or darkened spot within the visual field. Some of the floaters may also have halos or bright areas around them, and these types of spots are much more bothersome or distracting. 

While most floaters are round and will vary in size, others are more like threads across the visual field. These types of floaters are often described as squiggly lines, cobwebs, or lines. 

What Causes Floaters?

Floaters can develop for a variety of reasons and you may be experiencing them simply due to age. As you age, the gel-like material within the eye called the vitreous will start to thicken and may form solid formations. These solids do not allow light to move through the vitreous as easily as it used to and the solid matter will cause shadows to fall on the retina. These shadows are the floaters.

Sometimes floaters can form when a small amount of blood becomes trapped within the vitreous. Unless bleeding is a serious issue, the floaters will reduce over time. 

There are some serious issues that can cause floaters to form that include the formation of tumors, the ripping of the retina, and the inflammation of the internal eye tissues. If the optic nerve is starting to detach from the eye you may see the floaters as well. Since serious issues can result in floaters, it is always wise to seek out the assistance of an eye care professional if floaters occur. Contact a company like The Eye Center Inc for more information.