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Floaters: Should You be Concerned?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Floaters are a common sight for many people, the first appearance can be startling. This is common in complain in middle aged and elderly patients. Floaters can be a warning sign of trouble in the eye, especially when they suddenly appear or increase in frequency. Floaters is a term to describe specks, threads, or cobweb-like images that drift along your line of vision. These specks occur in the vitreous humor, the clear, jelly-like substance in the main chamber of your eye located between your lens and your retina. When you’re young, the vitreous is clear. As you age, the vitreous degenerates. Collagen fibers collapse and bind together to form clumps. These clumps are what cast shadows on the retina and are the floaters you see. As the vitreous continues to collapse, it can lead to a posterior vitreous detachment or PVD.

Aging is the most common reason a posterior vitreous detachment occurs, though trauma can also be a cause. As the vitreous body separates from the retina, floaters and flashes are common symptoms and usually resolve with time. A posterior vitreous detachment is a normal aging process, but it is important to have a dilated exam with a retina specialist to ensure the vitreous separates cleanly, and no retinal holes, tears, or detachments develop.

At Rocky Mountain Retina Associates, we offer state of the art testing to identify retina detachments, retinal holes, and tears.

If you are experiencing an increase in floaters and would like to learn more, schedule an appointment with one of our retina specialists today.

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