Are Eye Floaters Dangerous
Everyone will experience eye floaters/flashes at some point in their lives. These appear as small wispy threads or specks of dust floating across their field of vision. When you have these, you will notice that blinking doesn’t do anything to get rid of them and as your eyes move, the threads/specks will move around too.
Reasons People Get Floaters
There are several different types of floaters and each one of them has its own cause. Basically, people who are nearsighted, have had an eye injury, or have inflammation in their eye(s) are much more likely to experience this phenomenon.
The vitreous chamber of your eyes, which is the space between the back of your iris and the front of the vitreous is surrounded by a thin membrane. The fluid contained in this chamber has fibers that are typically invisible. However, in some cases, the fibers will pull loose from where they are typically attached. When this occurs, they cause shadows within the eye- which results in floaters that appear as wispy threads.
In some rare cases, you may experience something that appears to be a floater, but turns out to be tiny blood droplets from the inside lining of your eye. This could be the result of an injury or from several other eye conditions. If you have bleeding in your eyes, there’s a much stronger possibility that you will lose your vision.
Are Floaters Dangerous?
There is no way to determine what is causing your floaters without visiting an eye specialist for an exam. Therefore, it’s critical that anyone who starts to see floaters schedule an eye exam as soon as they are able.
In most cases, floaters are not indicative of anything serious. For example, floaters that are the result of loose cells are typically not a major issue and will typically resolve on their own within a few weeks or so.
On the other hand, floaters that appear as wispy threads are typically more visible. These also typically resolve on their own over time- but in some cases, can indicate a more serious condition. These are typically attached to the inside of the back of your eye- the retina- which contains the nerve cells that process light as it passes through.
When the fibers of your vitreous body start to separate from your retina, the only problem is typically a few floaters in a small area of your vision. However, in some eyes, most of the attachments between the fibers of the vitreous body and the retina will break.
In most cases, floaters are the result of posterior vitreous detachment, which happens as the vitreous humor begins to liquefy as we age. In some cases, this detachment can end up pulling the retinal cells with it, causing retinal tearing and ultimately retinal detachment. This can cause damage to your vision- and is something that needs to be treated right away to avoid permanent vision loss.
Your eye specialist will only be able to give you advice on treatment options after conducting a full examination. Most of the time, the specialist will determine that the floaters/flashes are not indicative of something more serious. He or she is most likely to recommend that you have eye exams on a more frequent basis to monitor the condition and make sure that you don’t end up developing something more serious later on.
What are Eye Flashes?
Eye flashes occur when the fibers of your vitreous body pulls on the nerve cells of your retina. This can be a very small flash in only one spot or you may experience several flashes across your field of vision. It’s not uncommon for floaters and flashes to occur together.
Do Flashes Indicate a More Serious Problem?
According to the experts, flashes could indicate retinal detachment. This can lead to significant damage to your vision. Therefore, if you experience flashes, you need to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist as soon as possible. If the flashes are the result of retinal detachment, he or she can give you some ideas on options for treatment.
In most cases floaters and/or flashes do not indicate a serious problem. However, there are those cases which do result in more serious issues. Therefore, if you experience very bothersome floaters or you begin to experience flashes- especially if they are accompanied by floaters- you should see a specialist immediately to make sure that your retina is not detaching.