Eye Deceases

(H43.9) Floaters

What are Floaters?

Floaters are small dark specks that can be seen in the vision field, especially when you look at a plain wall, sky or anything blank. Floaters occur when small clumps form in the vitreous humour which is jelly-like inside the eyeball.

When these small floaters float in the jelly, they move along with the eyeballs. Now, if you happen to look at them directly, they may seem to disappear. Floaters come in different shapes and sizes. A few look like threads, tiny dots or even hairy clumps. Floaters are mostly harmless but if the number increases, it may damage the internal structure of the eye.

ICD-10 H43.9
ICD-9 379.24
DiseasesDB 31270
MedlinePlus 002085

Symptoms of Floaters

Floaters show the following symptoms:-

  • A person sees different sizes and shapes of tiny specks, spots, webs or threads.
  • It is more obvious when the person sees uninterrupted objects like the wall or sky.
  • Floaters move along with the eyes which very often have a slight lag.
  • Floaters that are large can hinder the vision or make it blurred.

Causes of Floaters

There are many causes of floaters:-

Vitreous Syneresis - As a person grows old, the vitreous humor starts changing. The vitreous humor in some people is liquid that causes more floaters. Therefore vitreous syneresis is usually related to old age, there are a few eye conditions that can cause floaters. For example- eye inflammation, eye infections, vitreous detachment and facial alteration.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment - When a person grows old, the gelatinous structure of the vitreous may start shrinking. As a result, particles separate from the edge of the vitreous and move to the centre, thus causing floaters.

Medication - Drugs in the market have a few side effects. These drugs contain chemicals which alter the chemical balance that very often causes unknown side effects. After taking certain types of medications, many people told that they see floaters.

Surgery - Sometimes face surgery can also cause eye floaters. When the face swells, it exerts pressure on the eyes which detaches tiny particles from the retina, thus causing floaters.

Eye and Head Trauma - A blow in the eye or head can be very serious. A blow may detach the particles from the vitreous that may cause eye floaters.

Treatment for Floaters

Floaters can be cured naturally and by surgery.

  • Natural Cure - A good and healthy diet plays a very important role in curing floaters. A healthy diet not only improves your eye sight but also your brain and heart. Fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and lots of water make a healthy diet.
  • Exercise is Necessary - A regular exercise keeps your body and mind fresh. Exercise and nutrition keeps your heart strong and healthy. It also helps your eyes to function better.
  • Surgical Treatment - There are two methods to treat eye floaters:-
  • Floaters only vitrectomy (FoV)- This surgery can be done on those patients who suffer from impaired vision problems. This surgery is risky as about 30% patients who undergo it experience complications or retinal detachment.
  • Laser Treatment for eye floaters- This treatment is used to clear floaters but it doesn’t guarantee the complete elimination of floaters and is risky as well.