Causes of Eye Floaters the Symptoms and Treatment

Have you ever had spots that looked like a spider web in your eye or in your field of vision, and you probably overlooked it, thinking it's nothing? Well, you should be a bit insane as you may be dealing with a condition known as Eye Floaters.

Eye Floaters are spots that move in your line of sight. They may not look like spots to some people; instead, they can come as web-like lines or rings moving through your line of sight.

They can often appear as gray or dark dots that tend to move when you look directly at them or move your eyes. They are usually very common and appear as if they are objects to your eyes when in reality they are in your eyes.

Eye floaters are often a result of age-induced changes to the glassy liquid substance in your eyes. Usually, the glassy substance in your eyes is often gelatinous; however, with age, they can become watery.

The essence of the glassy substance is to prevent microscopic filters from entering the retina. However, as you age and the vitreous humor becomes more watery, these little filters can enter your eyes, clump together, and cast shadows on your retina. As a result, you form those spots that you see in your field of vision.

When eye floaters do occur, they don't cause any cause for alarm and often resolve themselves. However, when they become persistent, it means that they serve as indicators of a particular eye problem, which is why it is essential that you see an eye doctor immediately.


Caus of Eye floaters

eye floaters are often the result of old age; however, in some cases, they are due to an emerging eye anomaly or problem requiring the immediate attention of an ophthalmologist. Most causes of eye floaters are:


Age-related causes

As mentioned before, there is of course the presence of a gelatinous liquid known as the glassy liquid. This liquid helps to maintain the position and rotation of the eyeballs. It also fills the eyeballs, keeping them around and preventing them from going limp.

However, as aging sets in, this glassy substance can partially liquefy. Once this happens, it can cause the eyeballs to pull away from the inner surface of the eye sockets. Remember, it is this glassy substance that fills the eyeballs.

Once this glassy liquid starts to seep out of the eyeballs, it isn't going anywhere. Instead, it shrinks, sinks, and starts to clump together. As it clumps, it gets stringy and forms debris. It is this debris that begins to block some of the light paths from entering the eyes.

When light is blocked by a particular image, it causes shadows to form. When cast on the retina, these shadows are perceived by the patient as spots eventually known as Eye Floaters.


Inflammation of the retina

Retinal inflammation often occurs as a result of the development of posterior uveitis. Posterior uveitis occurs when there is an infection of the layers of the uvea, which is located in the back of the eye.

This condition often causes the release of inflammatory residues in the vitreous humor of the eye. It is this debris that is often perceived as spots by the patient and as such results in eye floaters.

Posterior uveitis is often caused by infections, certain inflammatory diseases, and other eye causes.


Tearing of the retina

It may not be easy to believe, but the retina can tear because it is just tissue. The retina tears when the vitreous begins to prolapse, pulling the retina as a result. This pull can put enough force on the retina, which can cause it to tear.

Although the retina is a tissue, it is often thought of as soft tissue, and as such any force applied directly to the retina can tear or damage the retina. When the retina tears and there is no immediate treatment, it can result in complete detachment of the retina.

Complete retinal detachment occurs when an accumulation of fluid is found behind the retina. When this fluid becomes too much, it can cause a separation of the retina from its original location.

If the retinal detachment is not treated as soon as possible, it can lead to partial or complete loss of the patientt it's a vision


Bleeding within the eye

Eye Floaters are spots that move in your line of sight. They may not look like spots to some people;
Bleeding into the vitreous humor of the eye can cause eye floaters. Eye bleeding can be caused by a variety of factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, eye damage, or blockage of the eye vessels. Blood is made up of microscopic cells.

When blood enters the eye, these tiny cells will start to create black spots, which are seen as eye floaters.

Eye Medications and Eye Surgery

There are some eye treatments where these drugs can be injected directly into the vitreous humor of the eye. When these treatments are applied, it can cause air bubbles to form.

Until the eyes absorb the treatment, these bubbles can appear to the patient as eye floaters. In addition to eye treatment, certain eye surgeries, such as vitreoretinal surgery, require the addition of silicone oil bubbles into the vitreous humor of the eye.

Once these silicone oil bubbles are applied, the patient can see them as eye floaters.


Other Causes

There are other eye conditions that can lead to the development of eye floaters. Some of these conditions are diabetic retinopathy, eye tumors, eye disease, eye injury, deposits of crystalline substances formed in the vitreous humor, and so on.

In some patients they may not have eye floaters; however, they still experience symptoms related to eye floaters. For example, the visual aura associated with migraine headaches may have symptoms related to eye floaters.

However, in these groups of people, they usually experience this vision distortion in both eyes at the same time, and this usually takes a few minutes. However, they tend to resolve on their own as quickly as they evolved.

The patient may not experience this again until he or she has another episode of migraines.
Symptoms of Eye floaters

The Symptoms of Eye Floaters Include:

  • The development of small shapes that look like dark dots or transparent knobbly strings of localization materials that can be seen in your field of vision.
  • Development of spots that move every time your eye moves so that when you try to look at them they disappear completely from your field of vision.
  • Spots that often stand out whenever you look at a white or solid background
  • Small thread or shapes that usually settle down and eventually float out of your sight.
  • Presence of small lines that can often be seen in your field of vision
  • Presence of rings or cobwebs in your field of vision.

Risk Factors Associated with Eye Floaters

There are certain factors that increase your chances of developing eye floaters. These factors include:

  • Age: People 50 and older are more at risk of developing eye floaters than people in other age groups. This does not mean that people of different age groups cannot get this disease. However, as you get older, your chance of developing eye floaters increases.
  • People dealing with myopia.
  • Vigorous trauma to the retina or vitreous humor can lead to the development of eye floaters.
  • Inflammation of the eye, especially posterior uveitis.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy.
  • Development of complications from certain operations, such as cataract Should I see my doctor About my Eye Floaters?

Most of the time, eye floaters often resolve on their own. If you have eye floaters that don't change over time, it's okay to let it go, as most eye floaters that don't have the underlying disease often relieve themselves.


However, if you Notice the Following, you Should see your Doctor

  • If you notice a sudden increase in the number of floaters you see.
  • If you notice that you always see flashes of light in addition to the floaters.
  • When you notice that you have lost your side view.
  • If you notice changes in your vision that come on suddenly and they get worse quickly.
  • If you see that your eye floaters have started after a powerful trauma to your eye or after you had your eye surgery.
  • If you find yourself experiencing severe pain in addition to your eye floaters.



Treatment for eye floaters often depends on the cause. In most cases, eye floaters dissolve on their own. Some eye floaters are harmless, while others are an indication of a problem in your eye.

In Gneral, Treatment can take one of These Forms:


Ignore your Floaters

For those eye floaters that are benign and harmless, you should ignore them. In most cases, after a few days or weeks, you will realize that they are no longer there. If they don't resolve themselves, your brain would have learned to keep functioning without noticing it.

Sometimes the best treatment option, especially in this case, is to do nothing at all. However, if these floaters begin to reduce or become bothersome to your vision, you should see the doctor quickly.



A vitrectomy is an invasive procedure performed to remove eye floaters from your field of vision. In this procedure, your eye doctor removes the vitreous humor with a small incision. It's important to note that your vitreous humor is a small clear gel-like liquid that helps keep your eyeball round and in place.

After you clear the vitreous humor, your doctor will introduce another substance similar to that of the vitreous he removed into your eyeball to help preserve the structure of your eyeball. Over time, your body will produce enough vitreous humor that will later replace the new solution.

While this procedure is very effective, it does not always remove all eye floaters in most cases. It also leaves a strong tendency for these floaters to re-form, especially if there is any kind of bleeding or trauma caused by this procedure.


The use of Laser

Laser therapy involves the use of lasers, which target the floaters, causing them to disintegrate and reduce their presence in the eye.

However, as with any surgery, there are high risks. If these lasers are incorrectly or mistakenly aimed at the retina, it can damage your eyes, which can lead to complete and permanent vision loss.

It is also essential to know that this procedure is still experimental. As such, it carries a high risk with little insurance. Although t has been used by several patients, some of these patients have complained of a lack of improvement after surgery, while others have complained that their symptoms worsened when they got worse.

It is essential to discuss your treatment options with your eye doctor. Know its pros and cons before embarking on a treatment plan.

Mayo Clinic

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