What are floaters?

Definition: Floaters are semi-transparent objects which 'float' in a persons vision. This is more obvious when looking at a white surface or on a bright day. They can be seen even if the eyes are closed. There are many reasons for floaters, but usually it is due to ageing and the increase in water content in the vitreous. Other rarer causes are infection, inflammation, and haemorrhage as seen in 'diabetic retinopathy'. These are serious and need to be excluded. Floaters can also occur due to the detachment of the 'vitreous gel' from the retina.

Vitreous detachment: When the vitreous detaches from the retina, it usually does not cause any problems. There is typically an increase in floaters. Some patients will see bright flashes of light, especially in the dark, lasting a few seconds. Sometimes, the vitreous may pull too hard and cause a tear in the retina. This can lead to a 'retinal detachment' which will require prompt treatment.  

Please consult our LEC specialist to confirm the diagnosis and suggest any treatments.