Are you seeing little spots, specks, and spider webs floating randomly within your area of vision? Although they are a nuisance, a lasik surgeon in Orange County says that eye floaters and spots are extremely common and usually aren’t much to worry about.
What Are The Symptoms of Eye Floaters?
Floaters have earned their name by, you guessed it, floating around the eye. They tend to bound and dash away when you make an effort to focus on them.
They come in many different sizes and shapes such as the following:
- Squiggly lines
- Threadlike strands
- Black or grey dots
When you get them, they initially might not flee easily but over time, more than likely, you will notice them less.
What Causes Eye Floaters?
You get floaters and spots in your vision when pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous gets within the back part of your eye. At birth and throughout our younger years, the vitreous has a gel-like consistency. However, as we age, the vitreous starts to break down and liquefy creating a watery center.
Some of these undissolved gel particles periodically make their way into the liquid center of the vitreous and begin to float there. These particles are what the lasik surgeon in Orange County refer to as “eye floaters”.
These spots and eye floaters are usually very noticeable if you stare at a clear or overcast sky, or even a computer screen that has a white or light-colored background. You can’t actually see the tiny bits of debris drifting inside your eye. What you are seeing are the shadows these floaters cast on the retina as light passes through the eye.
You probably have a tough time focusing on these specks, since they never want to stay still. The reason for this is the floaters and spots move around when the eye and the vitreous gel shift, creating the effect that they are moving about aimlessly.
What Causes Eye Flashes?
Normally, light entering the eye stimulates the retina. This creates an electrical impulse, which the optic nerve sends to the brain. The brain then translates this impulse as light or some kind of image.
In the event that the retina is mechanically stimulated (physically touched or pulled), an identical electrical impulse is transmitted to the brain. The impulse is then interpreted as a flicker of light.
As soon as the retina is pulled, torn or detached from the back of the eye, the person affected will begin to notice a flash or flicker of light. The severity of the flashes and how short-lived or persistent they are depends on the extent of the traction, tear or detachment. These flashes usually continue until the retina is repaired.
Flashes, or photopsia, can also happen after a knock to the head shakes the vitreous gel inside the eye. When this happens, the person might experience “seeing stars”.
When Are Eye Floaters And Flashes a Cause For Concern?
Our lasik surgeon in Orange County advises to not be alarmed when you see some floaters every now and then. However, if you experience a downpour of floaters and spots followed by flashes of light, you should talk to an optometric physician.
The unexpected manifestation of these symptoms could signal that the vitreous has disconnected itself from your retina. This condition is known as posterior vitreous detachment. It means that the retina has possibly been knocked loose from the inner lining in the back of the eye. This lining is responsible for holding blood, nutrients, and oxygen that are important to healthy eye functions.
While the vitreous gel pulls on the fragile retina, a small tear or hole can develop. When the retina is damaged, vitreous can get into the opening and push the retina from the inner lining located at the back of the eye. This can cause retinal detachment.
A study published in Ophthalmology revealed that 39.7 percent of individuals who experienced the immediate symptoms of eye floaters and/or flashes of light, had a posterior vitreous detachment and 8.9 percent of them had a torn retina.
Further research discovered that approximately 50 percent of individuals with a retinal tear would go on to develop a detachment of the retina, resulting in considerable vision loss.
When retina tears or detachments occur, treatment must take place almost immediately in order for an eye surgeon to attempt to reattach the retina and regain eye function before vision is severely impacted.
Laser Treatment for Eye Floaters
A new laser procedure called laser vitreolysis is an excellent way to treat eye floaters. This is a safe and effective in-house procedure in which a laser beam is projected through the pupil and focused on large floaters. This breaks them down and/or sometimes vaporizes the floaters so they vanish or become less of a nuisance.
To find out whether you can benefit from laser eye treatment for eye floaters, or need a medical evaluation for eye flashes, get in touch with Excel Laser Vision Institute at + (818) 907-8606 to schedule a free eye examination. Board-certified ophthalmologist and respected Lasik surgeon Dr. Ferzaad Moosa will help you get the clear vision you want with effective state-of-the art laser eye treatment!