Did or do you even notice small spots drift through your field when you’re staring at something bright, like the blue sky or white paper? These black – or gray-looking spots are called eye floaters and can be pretty annoying, especially if it interferes with your eyesight. Often they look like cobwebs, strings, or specks that drift over your sight, but once you want to look directly at them, they drift away. Floaters are a harmless eye condition that generally doesn’t bother you much, if at all. This does not always have to be the case, as there are also cases where people had to be helped by an ophthalmologist.
Causes of Eye Floaters
The most important question is most likely: what causes eye floaters? Well, there are several reasons why you can develop eye floaters, but the main cause is aging. The older we get, the more (medical) issues we get, and one of them is eye floaters. When we get older, a gel-like fluid called vitreous starts to shrink, and a direct consequence of this is that small particles will float around in the vitreous. These small particles are called eye floaters. This doesn’t mean young people cannot get this eye condition. In people under 40 who suffer from eye floaters, myopia is generally the cause. Other – less common – causes are:
- Blood in the eye(s)
- Eye damage
- Medication and eye procedures, like cataract surgery or macular degeneration
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Eventually, the floaters will drift to the bottom of your eye, where you won’t be bothered by them anymore, and you can continue living your life as you’ve always done. The fact that this condition is generally harmless means that you can just always ignore it. So make sure you recognize the symptoms and know when you should contact your professional healthcare provider. Continue reading on the next page and find your answers.