Are you at risk of developing eye floaters?
ARE YOUR EYES AT RISK?
The majority Americans experience eye floaters at some point in their lives. For some people, the condition is just a part of everyday life. To others with more acute symptoms, eye floaters can be debilitating and significantly lower their quality of life.
While some of the causes of eye floaters are linked to heredity and the aging process, there are other, more immediate, causes that you can take control of to improve your vision health.
CAUSES OF EYE FLOATERS
- TURNING 50 – As you age, the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that fills your eyeballs, softens and liquefies as it pulls away from the interior surface of the eyeball. When this happens, the vitreous can stick together and form little clumps. The shadows of these clumps is what appears as stringy lines, rings, or cloud-like shadows in your field of vision.
- NEARSIGHTEDNESS – Those who are myopic (nearsighted) often have an extended length of the eye. This can cause more changes in the vitreous humor, leading to an increased prevalence of eye floaters.
- EYE RELATED TRAUMA - Severe eye injuries can potentially change the structure of the vitreous humor. Any changes to the vitreous humor lead to an increased likelihood of developing floaters.
- POST-CATARACT SURGERY – Friction or traction upon the retina, which sometimes occurs during cataract surgery, can lead to an increase in seeing “dots” that are actually blood leaked from the retina.* As retinal tears are very severe, it is critical that patients experiencing dots in their field of vision contact their eye care doctor as soon as possible.
- DIABETIC EYE DISEASE – Also known as diabetic retinopathy, it affects nearly 80% of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more and is the leading cause of blindness for people ages 20 to 64. Vision becomes impaired when macular blood vessels in the back of the eye burst as a symptom of the disease.
- UVEITIS – This is an inflammation of the eye’s uveal tract, which also contains the majority of the eye’s blood vessels. When the tract is affected due to inflammation, blood vessels may leak into the vitreous fluid and cause eye floaters.
If you have been experiencing eye floaters, any one of these causes may be to blame. Be sure to talk to your ophthalmologist about treatment options as well as any concerns you may have regarding any underlying issues that may be causing or related to your eye floaters. Luckily, there is treatment available.
To learn more about eye floaters, their causes, and available treatments, check out our infographic here.