As we age, the eye’s gel-like vitreous begins to dissolve and liquefy, creating a watery center. Occasionally some un-dissolved vitreous particles will float around the now watery center, appearing as spots or what we refer to as floaters.
Floaters in the eye are a fairly common, harmless apparition that will generally fade away in time. Yet, while these floaters are typically common, they can be the first signs of a more serious medical condition, such as retinal detachment.
If you ever see a shower of floaters (spots) accompanied by flashes of light (photopsia), then you should seek immediate medical attention. The sudden and dramatic appearance of these symptoms could indicate that the retina is either tearing or detaching.
Retinal detachments and retinal tears are both emergency conditions that require immediate medical attention. An eye surgeon must reattach or repair the retina to prevent permanent vision loss from occurring.
So if you see floaters in your eye, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – at your earliest convenience. Any change in your sight is a serious medical condition that requires prompt attention. If these symptoms appear rapidly and include flashes of light, call your eye doctor right away.
If you have any questions about what you have just read, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010.
Led by Dr. Boles, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.