Spots and floaters are caused by bits of protein and other tissue embedded in the gel-like material that fills the eye, called vitreous.
The vitreous becomes more fluid and the spots and floaters move more easily within it as we age. Additional floaters may spring about when the vitreous detaches from the retina.
When should you be alarmed by the spots or floaters?
You should visit the eye doctors at Performance Eyecare when the floaters are accompanied by flashes of light. This could mean something serious is going on inside the eye and could cause a detached retina.
Normal floaters are when you have a few dots that come and go. That can simply depend on how tired you are or the type of lighting you’re in. You should seek immediate help from an eye doctor or emergency room if you see flashes of light, clouds of floaters or a curtain over part of your vision.
The good news is that most retinal detachments can be helped if treated soon. It’s important not to ignore these symptoms because they can lead to a loss of vision or blindness.
We recommend you visit us at Performance Eyecare if you see a lot of floaters. That will help us determine if you have a vitreous detachment (which just needs to be watched) or something more serious such as a retinal detachment.
Who is at risk for a retinal detachment?
Those who have suffered an injury to the eye or face or people with very high levels of nearsightedness. On rare occasions, retinal detachment may occur after LASIK surgery in highly nearsighted individuals.
Other causes of retinal detachments include cataract surgery, tumors, eye disease, diabetes and sickle cell disease.