Vitreous Floaters

What is it?

Eye floaters are small spots that drift through the field of vision, which may be more obvious when one looks at something bright, like white paper or a blue sky for example. While annoying, ordinary eye floaters are common and usually should not be cause for alarm.

A large floater can cast a slight shadow over the vision, but this tends to happen only in certain types of light. They are generally harmless and one can adapt to living with floaters and only seldom do they become bad enough to require treatment.

Most floaters are made up of small flecks of a protein called collagen. They are part of a gel-like substance in the back of the eye called the vitreous, and usually occur or start occurring between 50 and 75 years old.

Symptoms include black or grey dots, threadlike strands, cobwebs, or rings that drift about when the eye moves.

How is it treated?

Benign floaters almost never require medical treatment; however, an abundance of floaters could reduce vision and one may require vitrectomy – an operation where the vitreous is removed and replaced with a salt solution.