Eye Floaters

The Science of Eye Floaters

Have you ever closed your eyes and seen little black dots surrounded by white light? Maybe you looked at the sun and saw a black cobweb shape in your vision? Or maybe, you looked directly into your flashlight and saw black circles or even black squiggly lines? Eye floaters, one of the most common vision issues, are shapes that you see in your line of vision when you look into bright light. They manifest as black dots, cobwebs, squiggly lines, or even circles are relatively harmless to most of the population. The main questions is how does this occur?

Shadow Eye Floaters

Eye Floaters are shadows. As simple as that may sound, it is actually la little more complex than that. Your eye’s interior contains a clear gel-like substance called vitreous humor. Much of this substance is a series of proteins and water that help filter light before it reached the retina. Sometimes the proteins clump together and sit in the substance until it eventually dissolves and dissipates. This happens to over 70% of the world’s population at some point, If not numerous points, in their lifetime. When bright light hits the point of these protein clumps, the clumps cast a shadow, and now you have dots, squiggly lines, cobwebs, or circles dancing in front of your line of vision. As annoying as it is, these eye floaters go away rather quickly in most cases and the protein clumps dissipate.

Additional Eye Floater Facts

Eye floaters may also relate to other substances within the eye casting shadows. Hemorrhages in the eye that are microscopic in nature, and typically harmless, may leave blood droplets that may also cast shadows when his with light. Even shrinkage of the vitreous gel overall may cause the casting of a shadow. These issues may be a little more worrisome, especially if the eye floaters seem to be a more permanent fixture in your line of vision.

When dealing with eye floaters, it is important to remember that most of the time, they go away on their own. The protein clumps disintegrate, the blood vessels or spots disappear, and even the shrinkage of the gel may be temporary. However, there are 30% of eye floater cases that never correct themselves. These cases are more extreme and the eye floaters actually affect the quality of life of the person suffering from the ailment. There are treatments available for these extreme cases. While some are very extreme, some are no different than having hair removed. This type of treatment involves a laser outpatient procedure called Vitreolysis. This is a non-evasive procedure that helps remove the protein clumps, allowing the shadows to disappear.

If you are experiencing eye floaters and looking for a solution, contact Dr. Harris of Rittenhouse Eye Associates at (215) 525-6821. Dr. Harris is one of the leading experts in the field of Vitreolysis and would be happy to examine your eyes and discuss your options, answering all of your questions and helping you feel at ease with any treatment you have chosen.

eye floaters, vitreolysis, vitreous humor

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