EYE FLOATERS

About Eye Floaters

Virtually every individual has experienced or will experience the visual shadows caused by vitreous strands and opacities, commonly referred to as “floaters”, during their lifetime. For most, this event is a minor and short-lived inconvenience, but for some it can become a disabling condition.

If you suffer from eye floaters, then you are already familiar with the frustrating visual disturbance caused by these cobweb and cloud-like shadows.

Floaters can look like:

grey dots-1

Figure A: Grey or black dots

cobwebs

Figure B: Cobwebs

squiggly lines

Figure C: Squiggly Lines

rings-1

Figure D: Rings

What causes eye floaters?

The vitreous humor is the clear, jelly-like substance in the main chamber of the eye, located between the lens and the retina.

At a young age, the vitreous is perfectly transparent. Over time as the eye ages, this vitreous humor can degenerate, loosing its form and liquefying. Without the stable vitreous humor, the collagen fibers collapse and bind together to form clumps and knots. It is these fibers, which cast shadows on the retina and appear as spots, strings, or cobwebs that are commonly referred to as “floaters”.

In many cases as the eye ages further, the vitreous humor can peel away from the retina entirely. This is known as Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). PVD is often associated with a sudden increase in the number of floaters.

normal vision

Figure A: Normal Vision

floater vision

Figure B: Floater Vision