Facts about Vitreous Eye Floaters – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Vitreous Eye Floaters are commonly called as eye floaters or just floaters. Vitreous Floaters are small dark spots that float in your field of vision and they appear as tiny shadowy shapes that look like black or gray spots, cobwebs, specks, strings or thread-like strands. These eye floaters go with the movement of your eyes and disappear when you are trying to look at them directly. Floaters become visible when you look at something bright such as white paper or blue sky. Although they may annoy you they never interfere with the vision. Majority of people learn to live with floaters while ignoring them and floaters become less apparent with the passage of time. Very rarely, you may require any Vitreous Floaters treatment but if you notice a sudden increase in floaters or see flashes of light or losing peripheral (side) vision, immediately contact the ophthalmologist. These complications can be a sign of some serious eye condition that needs to be treated promptly.

Here, are some facts about vitreous eye floaters including the symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment:

What are the symptoms of vitreous eye floaters?

These are called floaters because they tend to float or move in the field of vision and dart away when directly look at them. Floaters appear in different shapes such as black or gray spots/dots/specks, transparent strings, cobwebs, rings, squiggly lines or thread-like strands which can be knobby. Once you notice floaters, they usually don’t dart away but when you look directly, they disappear.

What causes vitreous eye floaters?

The most common cause of eye floaters are the age-related changes that occur in vitreous, a jelly-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eyeballs and helps in maintaining the round shape of the eyes. As we age, this vitreous substance starts liquefying which causes it to pull away from the interior surface of the eyeball. As this happens, the collagen fibers inside the vitreous clump together and causing the vitreous to become stringy. The bits of this debris give off tiny shadows on the retina while blocking some of the light passing through the eye and these tiny shadows are floaters.

Some other causes of eye floaters include inflammation in the back of the eye (uveitis), bleeding in the vitreous due to injury or blood vessels problems, torn retina or retinal tear.

What factors increase the risk of developing floaters?

The factors that increase the risk of developing eye floaters include aging (above 50 years), nearsightedness, eye trauma or injury, eye inflammation, diabetic retinopathy and any complications from cataract surgery.

How are vitreous eye floaters diagnosed?

The eye doctor conducts a complete eye exam that includes the eye dilation to properly see the back of the affected eye.

How are vitreous eye floaters treated?

There is no treatment required for those floaters that do not impair your vision. You may feel frustrated but you can adjust them over the time and ultimately, you will be able to ignore them and hardly notice them. Try to get them out of your vision by moving your eyes and looking up and down rather side to side.  

Vitreous Eye Floaters Laser Treatment

The treatment of vitreous eye floaters is available when they start impairing your vision, which happens very rarely. The eye floaters treatment options include:

Laser treatment:

During a laser treatment of Vitreous Floaters, the ophthalmologist directs a special laser at floaters that break them and they become less noticeable. People who had this laser treatment reported improved vision. There are some risks of laser treatment such as the retina can damage if the laser is directed incorrectly or improperly. Although laser treatment for floaters is used infrequently the doctor determines the right treatment option according to the conditions of the individual patient. 


Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure in which the ophthalmologist makes a small incision then removes the vitreous and replaces it with a salt solution so that the shape of the eye can be maintained. The complications may occur that include bleeding, torn retina or cataracts but the risk is low.

When to see the ophthalmologists at Menger Eye Centers for Vitreous Floaters treatment:

You can consult board-certified ophthalmologists immediately if you notice these symptoms:

  • Sudden increase in number of the floaters than usual
  • Sudden appearance of new floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Side vision become dark or lost
  • Eye pain
  • Floaters after any eye trauma or eye surgery

All of these symptoms caused by a retinal tear or by retinal detachment, a serious eye condition that can cause permanent loss of vision, if left untreated. 

The experienced, skilled and highly recommended ophthalmologists at Menger Eye Centers provide a customized and best treatment for vitreous eye floaters in NYC that includes the right treatment option for your specific conditions. The ophthalmologists have over 100 years of experiencing in treating a wide range of eye diseases and so they effectively perform the laser treatments and surgical procedures so that there is no chance of any complication. If you’re experiencing the severe symptoms of Vitreous Floaters or if they impair your vision, book an online appointment by visiting our website or by calling us 718.386.1818

The information provided in this article is to help the patients and their families who search for general information about vitreous eye floaters. An ophthalmologist is a right person to answer any specific questions. 

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