At some point, you’ve probably noticed a tiny gray speck in your field of vision, but when you try to look at it more closely, it disappears. These specks, which can also look like tiny strings, are floaters, a typically benign ocular phenomenon. However, if you have a sudden cascade of floaters or a noticeably increased volume of floaters, it could be a sign of an eye health emergency. Here at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, our expert optometrists and ophthalmologists offer specialized eye exams and tests to evaluate your floaters and identify their cause.Backed by our years of experience, we provide treatments to protect your vision and eye health. We believe that knowledge is power and want to share the details you need, so if necessary, you can take prompt action to protect your vision.
What are floaters, anyway?
Your eyeball is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous. As you age, the texture of your vitreous changes, and it begins to clump together. As those clumps float through your eye, they pass through the light that enters your pupil and focuses on your retina. Floaters are the shadows cast by those clumps of vitreous.
In addition to aging, you can develop floaters following eye trauma or surgery. A sudden increase in floaters is a warning sign of a possible retinal detachment.
When to talk to an eye doctor about floaters
You should talk to your eye doctor about your floaters during your routine exam. We typically ask about them, especially if you’re nearsighted or have a history of eye problems.
Additionally, you should make an appointment right away if you have a sudden increase in floaters, especially if you also start to see flashes of light or have shadows in your peripheral vision.
A sudden flood of floaters is a warning sign of a retinal detachment — an eye emergency that occurs when your retina pulls away from the back of your eyeball. Retinal detachments require immediate emergency eye treatment, or you risk losing your vision.
Available treatments for floaters
Here at Paragon Eye Associates, we offer a variety of treatments for floaters. Foremost, if you have a retinal detachment, we treat it in one of four ways:
- Thermal laser or cryopexy
- Pneumatic retinopexy
- Scleral buckle
We also offer vitrectomy and laser treatments to reduce floaters if they’re interfering with your vision but not a sign of a retinal detachment.
If floaters interfere with your vision, or you notice a sudden increase in floaters or other warning signs of a retinal detachment, call our offices in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, or send a message to our team online today.
Our experienced team is on hand to provide the expert and innovative care you need to protect your vision and overall eye health.