By Dr. Santosh Singh Patel, Ophthalmology
If you find dark moving spots right in front of your eyes obstructing your vision, it is extremely probable that you have eye floaters. They manifest themselves especially when you look at brighter things. They disturb your vision and they can be precursors to loss of vision. If you notice eye floaters distorting your vision, you should consult a doctor to prevent further complications.
Symptoms of Eye Floaters-
1. Black or grey spots of different shapes and sizes like strands, dots or rings which dart away when you try focusing on them.
2. In more serious cases, they can come with small light flashes or loss of peripheral vision. If these symptoms are seen, you need to visit a doctor immediately since these floaters can be caused by bleeding inside the eye or detaching of the retina.
Cause of Eye Floaters-
In almost all of the cases of eye floaters, the primary causes are small protein flecks named collagen. Vitreous humor (a thick fluid) fills the back compartment of the eyeball. With increasing age, the fluid and its collagen fibers start shrinking and assume a shred-like shape. These shreds start accumulating at the back of the eye and with time, the vitreous humor pulls back from the retina. These free-floating protein shreds are what you see as eye floaters.
Treatment for Eye Floaters-
1. Eye floaters that are harmless do not require medical treatment and many patients simply learn to live with them.
2. If they are causing severe disturbances in vision, then you can have them removed surgically.
Vitrectomy is the surgical procedure that removes the floating strands and fills the empty spaces with a saline solution. However, there can be serious complications because of the surgery like retinal tears and cataracts.