By the age of 80, about 70% of adults experience floaters — the threads, spots, specks, or other images that occasionally appear in your visual field. At Omphroy Eye Care, highly skilled ophthalmic surgeon Luis Omphroy, MD, offers same-day evaluation of floaters. Dr. Omphroy expertly diagnoses and manages the causes of floaters, including retinal tears. Get immediate answers about your floaters by calling the Aiea, Hawaii, office or scheduling an appointment online today.
Floaters are strings, spots, and other shapes that drift around your visual field. They’re always just out of reach, so you can’t focus on them.
The floaters are actually shadows. Cells inside the vitreous body, the gel-like material that gives your eyeballs their shape, clump together to cast the shadows on your retina.
Floaters usually appear during posterior vitreous detachment. This is the time when your vitreous body starts shrinking, pulling away from the retina. It’s a natural part of aging, and floaters may appear randomly during this time.
There are also more serious causes of floaters, including:
Retinal tears happen if the vitreous body pulls on the retina forcefully. The newly created tear requires immediate diagnosis and management, as a retinal tear can worsen to cause retinal detachment if untreated.
Retinal detachment occurs when inner-eye fluid seeps through a retinal tear, building up until it completely separates the retina from the back wall of the eye. If you don’t treat retinal detachment, you could lose your eyesight permanently.
Vitreous hemorrhage means bleeding in the vitreous body. It often occurs with conditions like diabetes, which is why diabetic eye exams are essential.
There are also other reasons for floaters, including eye trauma, inflammation, infections, and certain kinds of injected eye medications.
Don’t panic, as most floaters are simply part of aging. But because they can also be a sign of very serious eye problems like retinal tears and detachment, you should schedule a prompt evaluation at Omphroy Eye Care. Dr. Omphroy offers same-day evaluation.
It’s important to recognize the difference between once-in-a-while floaters and a large influx of new floaters that interrupt your vision. Both require evaluation, but the second is an emergency, especially if it goes along with other symptoms like bright flashes of light or vision changes.
Dr. Omphroy treats floaters on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, management is enough. This means that you’ll see Dr. Omphroy regularly for monitoring but might not require any treatment right away.
If your floaters constantly impact your vision, you might need laser treatment to disrupt the floaters or vitrectomy surgery to remove your vitreous body.
If your floaters come from a retinal tear, Dr. Omphroy may perform a laser procedure or cryotherapy to prevent progression. If you have a detached retina, there are many options for surgical repair, including pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy, and scleral buckle.
Book your same-day evaluation of floaters by calling Omphroy Eye Care or using the online booking tool today.