Do We See The Same Floaters
Eye floaters are one of the most common eye conditions in the world. A natural result of the aging process, floaters present in 70% of people at some point in their life. Their frequency begs the question: Do we all see the same floaters?
The answer is no! While not quite as complicated as the classic “Do we all see the same colors?” debate, this question definitely has an interesting explanation. Eye floaters can vary greatly in shape, size, and severity. While some floaters are smaller and easy to ignore, others can be large and extremely distracting. In fact, 30% of eye floater patients find their floaters disruptive enough to warrant treatment.
The key to knowing which treatment is right for you lays in knowing the kind of floaters you have. While there are many types of floaters,the most common types that patients experience are fibrous strands, cloud-like floaters, dots, and Weiss rings.
Not sure which type of floater you have? Check out these videos and see for yourself!
This is the most common type of floater. Caused by the breakdown of collagen within the eye, these thin, squiggly visual phenomena tend to drift sparsely across the field of vision. Some patients who experience fibrous strand floaters find that they are able to tolerate this type of floater, while others find that these floaters severely impact their vision and quality of life.
As their name suggests, these floaters resemble white clouds that drift slowly throughout the field of vision. These opaque and poorly- defined obstructions often appear naturally during the aging process , and can severely impede vision, making daily tasks such as reading and driving difficult.
While nobody wants to see eye floaters period, seeing dots can be a sign of a retinal tear. Because retinal tears are very serious, it is important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible if you are seeing small dots dashing across your field of vision.
Weiss rings are large, ring-like floaters that hover in the very center of the eye’s vitreous gel. One of the more disruptive eye floaters, Weiss rings are the most commonly treated floater, and often respond extremely well to Laser Floater Removal procedures. If you believe you might have a Weiss ring floater, your eye doctor may be able to help – visit our Data for Your Doctor page to learn more or our Doctor Locator Tool.
BONUS: Flashes of Light
While not considered floaters, flashes of light are another common visual phenomenon. These occur when the vitreous gel within your eye rubs or pulls on the retina, which can happen if you’ve ever been hit in the eye and “seen stars”. Normally, these flashes dissipate after a while and vision returns to normal with no other complications.
However, if you see flashes not associated with eye trauma, it could be a sign of a much more serious condition: retinal detachment. If these flashes coincide with a sudden increase in floaters (sometimes called “floater showers”) you should speak with your eye doctor immediately.
If your floaters are impacting your every day life, know that you don’t have to settle for less than clear vision. Talk to your eye doctor or find an eye floater specialist near you to learn more about your options!