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    • 28 JUL 17
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    Eye Floaters

    In between the lens and retina in our eye, a transparent gel body known as vitreous humor exists. It helps your eye maintain a round shape.

    Eye Floaters

    At the time of birth, the vitreous is homogenous, but as we grow older it degenerates. Tiny deposits of various sizes, shapes and refractive indices begin to appear in the vitreous. These cause shadows on the retina and appear as irregular floating shapes like cobwebs, spots, threads floating in front of our eyes.

    This condition is called myodesopsia or the perception of floaters: a phenomena where visual effects are caused by sources within the eye.

    Symptoms

    Against bright backgrounds, like a sunny sky, floaters will become even more observable. The refraction of light by the floaters before it falls on your retina makes it more perceptible in bright light.

    Floaters will also tend to move along with the movement of your eye. Most floaters tend to settle at the bottom of your eyeballs, irrespective of the orientation of the eyeball.

    Causes

    • Any eye damage that results in cell clumps or proteins that enter the vitreous humor can cause floaters.
    • Benign floaters occur in people of all ages. However, floaters can have non-benign origins as well. They could also be caused by shrinkage of the vitreous with age.
    • Floaters could also develop during the third trimester of pregnancy. The hyaloid artery (which supplies nutrients to the developing lens in the growing fetus) which runs through the vitreous can regress during this period to cause floaters.
    • If you have a retinal tear, RBCs from leaky blood vessels can cluster together to form floaters.
    • An inflamed uvea could cause white blood cells to cluster in the vitreous to cause floaters.
    • Tumors of the eye can also cause floaters.

    If you experience any of these symptoms like flashes of light, photophobia or decline in vision you should see your eye doctor.

    You should also keep in mind that if you already have the following conditions:

    Known retinal diseases
    Diabetes
    Previous eye surgery
    Any eye trauma
    Previous eye inflammation or uveitis
    Chemotherapy
    You are on blood thinning medications

    Then you may have a higher risk for pathological causes of floaters and it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked.

    Diagnosis

    Your ophthalmologist will use specialized diagnostic equipment to perform an eye examination and verify if your floaters are benign or pathological.

    Some of the tests involved are:

    • Vision acuity check
    • Eye pressure measurement
    • Examination of vitreous humor (and retina) under the slit lamp or bio microscope
    • Examination of the vitreous humor and retina after eye dilation.
    • Photography of the vitreous humor and retina
    • Visual field testing to assess loss of central/peripheral vision,
    • Retinal tomography imaging to determine the thickness of the retina/optic nerve
    • Fluorescein angiography to assess any blood vessel leakage among others.

    Treatment

    In general, benign eye floaters do not require any treatment. If you have many dense floaters which affect your sight, then your eye doctor could suggest a laser therapy where lasers are used to break up floaters. A vitrectomy where the vitreous humor and the floaters in it are removed and replaced by an artificial solution is also an option

    Houman Ahdieh, MD
    Lehigh Valley Center for Sight
    https://www.lvcenter4sight.com
    eyedoc@lvcenter4sight.com

    Summary
    Eye Floaters
    Article Name
    Eye Floaters
    Description
    At the time of birth, the vitreous is homogenous, but as we grow older it degenerates.
    Author
    Publisher Name
    Lehigh Valley Center for Sight
    Publisher Logo
    LVC4S Logo PNG1 - Eye Floaters
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Summary
Eye Floaters
Article Name
Eye Floaters
Description
At the time of birth, the vitreous is homogenous, but as we grow older it degenerates.
Author
Publisher Name
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight
Publisher Logo
LVC4S Logo PNG1 - Eye Floaters