What Do Eye Floaters Look Like
Eye floaters appear as gray or black specks, cobwebs, or strings that float around when your eyes move. If you try to look at them directly, they will dart away quickly.
- Shadow in the vision
- Blurry spot in the vision
You may notice the floaters more when looking at a white background or a blue sky. Most people find floaters annoying, but they rarely interfere with vision, unless the floater is large or dense.
Some people also see light flashes if the vitreous tugs on the retina. This symptom often occurs when the vitreous first starts to loosen and detach itself. This may or not cause further complications.
What Should You Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor may suggest you see an eye specialist, either an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
The specialist will ask you questions about your current eye symptoms and medical history, and may check your eyes after giving you drops to dilate or widen your pupils. This allows the doctor to see inside your eyes, including the vitreous and retina.
The vitreous is the clear gel within the eye that gives the eyeball its round shape. If changes in this part of your eye cast shadows on your retina, you may see floaters.
Your doctor may also do more eye tests, such as an ultrasound of your eyes. If you have a retinal tear or detachment, your doctor may be able to repair it with special procedures or surgery.
Emotions And Vision Issues
The term functional or hysterical vision loss is used to describe any vision impairment that cannot be explained by pathology or structural abnormalities. It has also been described as a conversion disorder.
This loss of vision occurs outside the patient’s conscious awareness.
The conversion is the repression of emotions that are converted to a significant reduction in vision. These patients complain of significant blur in the absence of refractive error or pathology .
These patients have no issues with ocular motility but do struggle with significant reduction in visual acuity. Their visual field is affected and appears to be tubular.
Hysterical amblyopia falls in line with Sarno’s belief that our minds want us to focus on the physical symptoms rather than the difficult emotions.
Resolution often occurs with awareness of the condition, low plus lenses and/or the consideration of counseling to assist the patient.
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What Is The Treatment For Eye Floaters And Flashes
Floaters and flashes will eventually fade with time and become less bothersome, but the length of time to resolution is different for each individual. Some floaters may remain long-term. There is currently no treatment to get rid of floaters.
While not all eye flashes and floaters are serious, you should always see your eye doctor for an eye exam if you have a new onset of symptoms to ensure there is no damage to your retina. If your doctor determines there has been damage to your retina, you will be referred to a retina specialist for laser treatment or surgery.
If you are experiencing any symptoms or have noticed any changes in your vision, it may be time to set up an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists today to discuss possible treatment options and get on the path to good eye health.
Eye Floaters Spots And Flashes: Overview
Eye floaters are spots you see in your field of vision. They are common and usually harmless.
Some spots can move around, while other floaters appear stationary. Other people may see flashes of light instead of spots, which can look like someone is turning the light switch on and off.
These symptoms occur from changes in the vitreous.
The vitreous is a clear, jelly-like substance that fills a large portion of your eyeball between the lens and the retina. Collagen fibers, a type of protein, allow the vitreous to attach to other structures inside your eye, including your:
- Blood vessels
The gel-like substance in the vitreous contains 99 percent water. It also has a small percentage of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Functions of the vitreous include:
- Maintaining the round shape of the eyeball
- Providing structural support to the retina, which is the tissue lining the back of the eye
- Allowing light to pass through to the retina
- Providing shock absorption from trauma
- Distributing nutrients and oxygen in the eye
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Will I Need Treatment
If you only have mild floaters without a retina problem, you probably wonât need treatment. If you do, your doctor might use a special laser.
If floaters are severe and interfere with vision and donât go away after several months, you might need surgery to remove and replace the vitreous, though this is not common. The operation is called a vitrectomy. Floaters may also be treated with a laser.
Depending on what your doctor finds and whether or not you get treatment, you may need a follow-up eye exam.
American Academy of Ophthalmology: âPars Plana Vitrectomy â âEye Wiki: Retinal Detachment â and âPosterior Vitreous Detachment, Retinal Breaks, and Lattice Degeneration.â
American Optometric Association: âRecommended Examination Frequency for the Adult Patient.â
American Society of Retinal Specialists: âPosterior Vitreous Detachment.â
Colby, K. Floaters, Merck Manual Professional Version, 2016.
Kahawita, S. Australian Family Physician, published online April 2014.
National Eye Institute: âFacts About Floaters.â
Prevent Blindness America: âWhat To Know About Floaters.â
Tan, H. American Journal of Ophthalmology, published online March 31, 2011.
Painful Eyes Stress And Anxiety Producing Eye Pain
Often this can be part of an overall sense of tension. If your eyes are painful and you are stressed, accept that is just what you are experiencing for the moment.
You may also need to think about hydration especially if your eyes are dry and burn. Think about what you have had to drink for the last 24 hours. Alcohol and caffeine can further dehydrate you resulting in your experiencing dry eyes.
You may have a headache, however, if you have painful eyes, a headache, demonstrate slurred speech or are moving slower than normal, you may want to get checked for a TBI like a concussion.
Typically, you will know if you have hit your head, but when my husband was a kid, he used to fall out of his bunk bed and wake up on the floor, so you will want to make sure you havent inadvertently done something, of which you are unaware.
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Does Cataract Surgery Cause Eye Floaters
Patients suffering with cataracts may opt to receive cataract surgery. While cataract surgery is one of the safest surgical procedures in the country, it can increase your awareness of pre-existing floaters. Because cataract surgery helps improve your visionallowing you to see brighter colors and clearer shapesyou may notice pre-existing floaters for the first time after cataract surgery.
In rare situations, patients who receive cataract surgery may develop eye floaters after their operation. Cataract surgery can cause traction in the eye, which may lead to the development of eye floaters. With proper care, these floaters can be treated even after you undergo cataract surgery.
Eye Floaters In My Family
Adrenal Fatigue is hereditary. So is chronic stress. Several people in my family have mentioned that haveeye floaters.
My mother had floaters for years. One of my sisters has them. One of my aunts had them. One of my cousins has them.
There may well be more. Those are just the ones I know about.
If you are interesting the hereditary aspects of adrenal fatigue, you may find the following articles interesting.
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- floaters or flashes appear suddenly
- the number of floaters or flashes suddenly increases
- you have a dark “curtain” or shadow moving across your vision
- you also have blurred vision
- you also have eye pain
- floaters start after eye surgery or an eye injury
These could be signs of a serious problem with the back of your eye, which could permanently affect your vision if it’s not treated quickly.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or . They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Get an urgent opticians appointment
You can get your eyes checked at an opticians.
What Does It Mean When You See Flashing Lights In Your Eyes
Flashes of light in your peripheral vision are often a sign of the substance within your eye, vitreous gel, which changes shape and pulls on the retina. You may see flashes of light as your eyes age. They can be signs of a detached or torn retina. If your retina is detached, it can be reattached with medical care.
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How Stress Affects Your Eyes
Chances are that you experience stress at some point in your day. Who doesnt! But chronic stress can have serious, long-term negative effects on your body and your eyes are no exception.
Stress stimulates the fight or flight reflex that helps us determine a response to things that might be threatening. While our bodies are great, that natural reflex cant distinguish between the prehistoric stressors, like tigers, that it was meant to protect us from and the current stressors of work commitments or family life. When we experience a stressful moment, the pupils of our eyes dilate to enhance vision. When were continually stressed our pupils stay dilated, which could lead to a number of problems.
What happens to our eyes when were stressed?
- Eye strain: Eye strain is a common side-effect of looking at a computer screen for too long, but it is also caused by stress
- Blurred vision: Mild cases of blurred vision can be caused by stress
- Dry or watery eyes: Either symptom can be a result of stress, but which one you feel depends on how your body handles stress
- Eye twitching: You might feel spasms in one eyes after prolonged periods of stress
- Light sensitivity: If you find it difficult to see in bright light, or if it hurts your eyes
- Eye floaters: Tiny spots swimming across your vision is a sign of stress
How you can help your eyes when youre stressed
Its The Resulting Overburdened Sluggish Liver And Lymphatic System That Are Behind A Hypothyroid Patients Tendency To Have Difficulty Losing Weight Or To Gain Pounds Without Control
Its worth noting that even if havent been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, a viral infection of the thyroid and the effects I just described could still be behind your struggles to lose weight. As I mentioned earlier and as well look at in more detail below, thyroid testing isnt yet what it could be, so a thyroid panel wont necessarily show if your hormone levels are low. And if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, youre on medication for it, and youre still struggling with your weight and wondering why, its because the medicine isnt healing the underlying viral infection, thyroid damage, or liver issue.
Mysterious hair thinning and hair loss are also symptomatic of the EBVs damaging presence. Its not low production of thyroid hormones that causes clumps of hair to fall out in your handits excess adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenal glands are the most important glands in the endocrine system they are the mediators of the body. So as we just looked at, when the thyroid is struggling, the adrenals jump in to produce extra hormones. Once in a while, this would be fine. When the thyroid is constantly struggling due to viral infection, though, and the adrenals are constantly filling in for them, the repeated floods of stress chemicals are hard on the body and can cause hair to thin.
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Where Do Eye Floaters Come From
Floaters are actually coming from inside the eye. In the back part of the eye, there is a structure called the vitreous gel, which liquefies over our lifetimes. As the gel in the eye breaks down and forms into clumps or disorganized strands, shadows of these fibers are projected on the retina, causing you to perceive a floater in your vision. While these floaters can be irritating, they are harmless. They tend to be noticed while reading, or when you are looking at white backgrounds such as walls or the sky.
However, some flashes and floaters can let you know something is happening to your retina. You could be experiencing vitreous detachments or a detached retina, which must be diagnosed and treated.
Should You Worry About Your Eye Floaters
Floater severity is subjective.
“When a patient comes to you specifically enquiring about treatment options for their floaters, in general they must already be sufficiently troubled by them,” Patton reveals.
But if your floaters are new or have changed suddenly, it’s important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist to rule out rare but sight-threatening issues, including retinal detachment and retinal tears.
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How To Prevent Eye Floaters
While you cant prevent age-related eye floaters, you can minimize floaters caused by stress and aspects that stress the body.
For instance, adopting healthy stress management practices, getting regular good sleep, eating a healthy diet, keeping the body well hydrated, getting regular exercise, avoiding stimulants, and addressing your anxious behavior can all help in reducing the incidences of floaters.
If you are having trouble overcoming your anxiety issues, such as what can seem like out of control worry, connecting with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists can help you eliminate issues with anxiety and the stress coming from that anxiety.
Can Floaters Be Caused By Stress
There is research indicating that stress can be an indirect cause of floaters. Stress is thought to put extra strain and pressure on the eyes, affecting the vitreous in the eye, causing floaters.
However, there is substantive anecdotal evidence suggesting stress can significantly increase the incidences of floaters. I’ve had numerous instances where an increase in floaters occurred shortly after a stressful period.
Many of our Recovery Support members and therapy clients have reported similar instances.
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How To Get Rid Of Eye Floaters
There isnt anything you can do to eliminate floaters once they appear. Most people notice they fade in time.
You might be able to prevent the onset of floaters by keeping your stress within a health range. You can do that by practicing your physiological recovery strategies and addressing your underlying factors so that they arent contributing to a unhealthy buildup of stress.
Again, eye floaters are harmless and neednt be a cause for concern. Most people get them.
Floaters & Flashes Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What causes light flashes?
A: Light flashes are sometimes caused by mechanical stimulation of the retina, often referred to as pulling, forces, or traction.
Q: What can cause this pulling on the retina?
A: A variety of conditions can cause it, including:
- Posterior vitreous separation
- Retinal tears , and
- Scarring on the surface of the retina.
Some macular disease patients experience flashes in the central field of vision . Patients with successfully repaired retinal tears and detachments may have flashes for several months.
Q: I thought that only retinal breaks cause light flashes. Not true?
A: Actually, the most common cause of light flashes is the vitreous humor pulling away from the retina. This happens in over 70% of the population as part of the normal aging process, or for other reasons that are not well understood at this time. It is usually accompanied by floaters, which represent condensations of the vitreous jelly. By comparison, retinal breaks occur in approximately 6% of the population, and retinal detachments in about 0.06%. Light flashes occur in all three conditions.
Q: Can light flashes be caused by forces not related to the retina of the eye?
Pregnancy related high blood pressure can also cause light flashes.
Q: What is a floater?
Q: What is the most common cause of floaters?
A: They are usually caused by a clumping of pre-existing vitreous fibers in the eye. Therefore, doctors usually refer to them as vitreous condensations.
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What Are Eye Floaters A Sign Of Can They Be Dangerous
Floaters are typically harmless and do not signal signs of vision loss.
In rare cases, they can also be a sign of vision-threatening complications. It is essential to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist if your eye floaters get worse over several months.
Some eye diseases and conditions associated with floaters include:
Posterior vitreous detachment
This common condition occurs when the back portion of the vitreous detaches completely from the retina.
Most posterior vitreous detachments do not cause any problems. However, if the vitreous only detaches partially, the vitreous can still pull on the retina. When this happens, you can develop a vitreous hemorrhage, retinal tear, or retinal detachment.
Retinal holes or tears
If the vitreous pulls on the retina with enough tension, a retinal hole or tear can occur. Nearsighted people are more prone to these problems since they have thinner retinas. Depending on the size of the hole or tear, your eye doctor can determine if treatment is necessary.
If fluid seeps into a retinal hole or tear, the fluid can start to build up underneath the retina, causing the tissue to detach. A retinal detachment requires immediate medical attention, as this is a vision-threatening condition. The sooner a retinal detachment is repaired, the better the prognosis.
Several eye conditions can cause blood to leak into your vitreous. Some of these include:
Other causes of eye floaters include:
Floaters Naturally Fade On Their Own
Patience is a virtue. Floaters dont necessarily disappear for good, but they will typically move out of your field of view or become less bothersome with time.
If your floaters dont fade naturally, or if they increase dramatically or are accompanied by flashes of light, see an eye doctor immediately.
Schedule an exam
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