Sensation of Eye Floaters

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Sensation of Eye Floaters (Symptom)


Eye floaters are deposits or condensation in the vitreous jelly of the eye. People use the term eye floaters to describe seeing floating spots within their vision when they look around. Eye floaters may be present in only one eye or both eyes.


Eye floaters may be caused by age-related eye changes, inflammation in the back of the eye (posterior uveitis may be caused by infection or inflammatory diseases, among other causes), bleeding in the eye (from injury and blood vessel problems), and torn retina (retinal tears can occur when a sagging vitreous tugs on the retina with enough force to tear it).

Diagnosis and Treatment

Most eye floaters and spots are harmless and merely annoying. Many will fade over time and become less bothersome.

Sometimes people are interested in surgery to remove floaters, but doctors are willing to perform such surgery only in rare instances when vision seriously is hampered. At this time, the only way to clear the vitreous and its specks and webs would be to remove the gel-like substance entirely from the eye through a vitrectomy procedure. Usually, the vitreous then is replaced with a saline liquid.

Sudden appearance of a significant number of floaters, especially if they are accompanied by flashes of light or other vision disturbances, could indicate a detached retina or other serious problem in the eye. A retinal detachment or tear is an emergency, requiring immediate attention.