Eye floaters are spots, strings, flecks, or specks that appear like floating material in the field of vision. Some people describe them as blobs, cobwebs, or O-shaped or C-shaped spots. They appear to drift or move slowly around the field of vision. Eye floaters are typically not dangerous, but in some cases, they may be signs of a serious problem. Floaters appear when tiny areas of the gelatinous material (known as vitreous) in the back of the eye break loose. These tiny pieces cast shadows on the retina that appear as floaters. Vitreous syneresis describes a process that occurs with aging in which the vitreous gel naturally undergoes some liquefaction, resulting in small pockets of more liquid vitreous within the firmer gel. The boundary between these liquid pockets and the gel may be perceived as an eye floater.
Floaters cannot be seen in darkness and tend to be most obvious when looking at a light background. Occasional floaters are usually harmless, but seeing many floaters at once, especially if you also see flashes of light, is cause to seek immediate care from an eye specialist.
Other causes of eye floaters
- Acute Retinal Necrosis
- Asteroid Hyalosis
- CMV Retinitis
- Eye Injury or Trauma
- Eye Laser Therapy
- Eye Surgery
- Inflammation of the Eye
- Posterior Vitreous Detachment
- Retinal Tear
- Vitreous Syneresis
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Causes of Eye Floaters
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Amblyopia is a vision-related condition. An eye does not acquire normal visual acuity even while using prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Amblyopia, often called lazy eye, develops during infancy and early childhood. Mostly, lazy eye occurs in just one eye. However, in certain circumstances, both eyes may have decreased visual acuity.
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Eye Problems and Diabetes
Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems in a person with diabetes include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy. Examples of symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, eye aches, pain, halos around lights, loss of vision, watering eyes. Treatment for eye problems in people with diabetes depend on the type of eye problem. Prevention of eye problems include reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from its attachments to the underlying eye tissue. Symptoms of retinal detachment include flashing lights and floaters. Highly nearsighted young adults and those who've had cataract surgery are at higher risk for retinal detachment.
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Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches and pains that may last from a few days to several weeks. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted by touching the hands to the mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or anything that came into contact with cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by eating raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork or lamb, or touching the hands to the mouth after contact with raw or undercooked meat
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Symptoms and signs of TB include bloody sputum, fever, cough, weight loss, and chest pain. Treatment depends upon the type of TB infection.
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What Are Eye Floaters?
Eye floaters are deposits or condensation that form in the eye's vitreous humor. These deposits cast shadows on the retina, and as the eye moves, the deposits shift position, making it appear as though the shadows are moving or floating.
What Are Some Common Eye Infections?
An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents may attack the eye. This can cause itching around the eyes or the eyes may turn pink. The infection can affect the eyelid, cornea or conjuctiva (inside lining of the eyelid).
What Are the Types of Eye Care?
Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important to visit a physician or ophthalmologist is the problem involves the eyeball itself or the condition hasn't improved after 72 hours of use of an OTC eye care product.
What Causes a Stye in Your Eye?
A stye is caused when bacteria infect these glands and can occur without an identifiable initiating event. It is a red, painful bump that might appear like a pimple. An external stye, the one appearing on the outside of the upper or lower eyelid, is more common than an internal stye that appears on the inside of the upper or lower eyelid.
What Does An Eye Infection Look Like?
An eye infection may bring about the following changes in the eye: A pink tint in the whites of the eye, swollen red or purple eyelids, crusty lashes or lids, and/or discharge of fluids which may be yellow, green or clear.
What Is a Twitching Eye a Sign of?
A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless tic of the eyelid muscle, which may resolve on its own. Conditions that may cause eye twitch include blepharitis, dry eyes, light sensitivity or conjunctivitis. Nerve disorders can also cause eye twitching.
Examples of Medications for Eye Floaters
- Azopt (brinzolamide) ophthalmic suspension
- Cosopt (dorzolamide hydrochloride-timolol maleate) Ophthalmic
- Isopto Carpine (pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution)
- Lotemax Ophthalmic Ointment (loteprednol etabonate)
- mineral oil/petrolatum ophthalmic
- multivitamins, vision
- oxymetazoline ophthalmic
- Paremyd (hydroxyamphetamine Hydrobromide 1% and tropicamide 0.25%)
- Polyethylene Glycol 400/Propylene Glycol Ophthalmic
- Qoliana (brimonidine tartrate) Ophthalmic Solution
- Side Effects of Susvimo (ranibizumab)
- Susvimo (ranibizumab)
- tetrahydrozoline ophthalmic
- Upneeq (oxymetazoline hydrochloride)
- Xelpros (latanoprost) Ophthalmic
- Xiidra (lifitegrast)
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