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What are eye floaters?

24 September, 2019
Human eyes

Have you ever noticed dark specks, lines, or little blobs floating around in your field of vision? If so, you’re probably seeing ‘floaters’. These are just tiny fibres that move around in the gel-like fluid, between the lens and retina in your eye. As they travel, they cast shadows on your retina, creating dark spots, known as floaters. Believe it or not, what you’re experiencing is very common, and most of us will see floaters at some point in our lives, especially as we age. They can be annoying, but the good news is that floaters are seldom anything to worry about.

How can I treat eye floaters?

There are currently no medications available to treat floaters. Some people swear by natural remedies like relieving stress through yoga, cutting out caffeine, and maintaining a magnesium-rich diet to get rid of these pesky spots, but so far, no studies have shown that these methods are effective.

In severe cases, floaters can be treated through one of two surgical procedures:

  • Laser treatment, which involves zapping and vaporising the floater
  • vitrectomy, which drains and replaces the vitreous fluid in the eyes.

It’s important to note though, that there are risks associated with both procedures, so it’s best to consult your optometrist to see what is best for you.

However, even without treatment, your brain may adjust and in time, you won’t even notice them. In most cases, they just go away on their own.

When should I seek help?

Unusual changes in your vision can be a sign that you may have a more serious eye problem. If you notice a significant increase in the number of floaters, they begin to interfere with your vision, or you see the specks along with light flashes, you should see your optometrist as soon as possible.

To maintain healthy eyes, visit your local optometrist every year for a comprehensive eye test, and be sure to mention it if you're noticing floaters or any other changes in your vision.

Find a VSP optometrist

With a dream of providing high-quality, cost-effective eye care benefits, a group of optometrists founded VSP more than 60 years ago. Thanks to the experts at VSP® Vision Care for this article.

Eligible CBHS members* with Extras can access benefits and discounts at VSP network optometrists, including ‘no-gap’ frames and lens packages depending on your cover. Check out more on our VSP partnership here

*As with all member claims, benefits and discounts, the availability of the discount or additional benefit is subject to normal membership conditions and limits – you must hold an eligible Extras policy with enough limit available for the item(s) being claimed within the appropriate Extras category.

 

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified Health Care Professional.

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