Can Eye Floaters Be Harmful?
While eye floaters themselves are generally not harmful they can be indicators of a serious underlying retinal condition. Eye floaters are spots, webs, or squiggly lines that appear in the field of vision. Drifting across the structure of the eye, eye floaters are the shadows of the proteins and particles contained in the vitreous of the eye. The vitreous is the jelly-like fluid that coats the inner eye. Eye floaters could be a sign that the vitreous is shrinking which could lead to retinal detachment, a serious and possible vision threatening condition.
Eye floaters are common due to natural aging. As proteins in the eye begin to break down and eye fluid deteriorates, eye floaters begin to show up. Common causes of eye floaters are myopia, diabetic retinopathy, eye inflammation, eye trauma, previous eye surgery, and age, specifically those aged 50 or older. Occasional and slowly developed eye floaters are not a cause for concern. Although floaters can be annoying, they are not painful and usually become less noticeable within several weeks to several months. A sudden onslaught of eye floaters combined with these symptoms could signal harm to your vision: loss of peripheral vision, blurred or total loss of vision, sudden and frequent flashes of light, eye floaters that increase in intensity, size, and shape, and consistent eye pain. If you experience sudden and dramatic increases in eye floaters, seek immediate treatment. Those eye floaters could be the first symptoms of retinal tearing, retinal detachment, or hemorrhaging of the vitreous. To avoid permanent vision loss or even blindness, consult a doctor for immediate emergency treatment.
Annual retinal examinations are vital to the health of your eyes and to prevent any symptoms and signs of damage to your vision. Retinal imaging allows the doctors at Associated Retina Consultants the opportunity to take digital pictures of the back of the eye to fully examine the retina including the optic disc and blood vessels. Because retinal damage is irreversible, it is necessary to make retinal exams part of your comprehensive eye exam. To schedule your appointment call 602-242-4928 or select your preferred date and time here at WEBSITE.