Vitreous floaters, commonly referred to as “floaters,” are tiny specks or cobweb-like entities that drift about in the field of vision. These floaters are more noticeable when looking at something bright, like a clear blue sky or a white sheet of paper. But what exactly are these seemingly mysterious objects that move with the eyes’ movement?
Understanding the Vitreous and Floaters: The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills about 80% of the eye and helps it maintain its round shape. As we age, the vitreous starts to liquefy and may sometimes clump together. These clumps or strands cast shadows on the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, and appear as floaters.
Common Causes: Floaters are commonly due to age-related changes in the vitreous. However, other causes can include:
- Posterior Vitreous Detachment: As one grows older, the vitreous can shrink and pull away from the retina, leading to a posterior vitreous detachment. It’s a common cause of floaters, especially among those over 50.
- Bleeding in the Eye: Blood vessels can bleed into the vitreous, often due to diabetes, hypertension, or an injury.
- Retinal Tears or Detachment: The shrinking vitreous can tug on the retina, leading to a retinal tear. If untreated, this can progress to a retinal detachment, a severe condition where the retina pulls away from its supportive tissue.
Symptoms and Diagnosis: While floaters are often benign, a sudden increase in their number, flashes of light, or loss of peripheral vision can be warning signs of a retinal tear or detachment. Regular eye examinations at Khanna Vision under the expert guidance of Dr. Rajesh Khanna MD can help diagnose and address any concerning symptoms.
Treatment and Management: In most cases, no treatment is necessary for floaters as they tend to settle over time. However, if they become bothersome or obstruct vision, treatments like laser therapy or a vitrectomy (removal of the vitreous) can be considered.
Conclusion: While vitreous floaters can be a natural part of the aging process, it’s essential to be aware of any sudden changes or symptoms that could indicate a more serious condition. With the comprehensive care provided by institutions like Khanna Vision and experts like Dr. Rajesh Khanna MD, individuals can ensure the health and longevity of their vision.