Floaters are among the most common vision complaints. They are not harmful and do not require treatment in most cases. However, floaters can indicate the need for immediate attention or addressing their underlying causes in other cases. This article will help you understand the differences among floaters and how to react based on how you experience floaters. If you have floaters or other eye concerns, consider contacting an optometrist at Innovative Eye Care, serving Bakersfield and the surrounding areas.


What are Floaters and Their Causes?

Floaters appear as dark objects passing before our eyes when we look at a plain light background or a blue sky. Often, these objects appear as specks, spider webs, or strings that move away as we try to focus on them. In most cases, the floaters result from changes to the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that fills our eyes between the lens near the front of our eyes and the retina at the back.

As we age, the vitreous contracts and proteins in the vitreous, called collagens, clump together in various shapes. Light passing through our eyes strikes these clumps and casts shadows on the retina, which we perceive as floaters. Besides the normal floaters caused by aging, people may experience floaters due to inflammation in the eyes, bleeding in the eyes, retinal tears, and following certain surgeries and medications.

Managing and Treating Floaters

Most people who experience floaters do not require treatment and instead learn strategies for coping with them. For example, looking up and down rather than side to side often helps floaters disappear more quickly. In most cases, we grow accustomed to the floaters and stop seeing them, even though they have not gone away.

However, individuals should seek medical attention when they:

  • Experience sudden increases in the number of floaters
  • See flashes of light
  • Lose vision to the right or left
  • Have large spots appear in their eyes
  • Experience any other sudden change in vision.

These symptoms may indicate a more serious concern, such as retinal separation that requires prompt treatment to avoid the potential for permanent vision loss. Common treatments for retinal issues include outpatient laser surgery, but some situations may require more aggressive treatment. For many patients, better managing high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic diseases is essential in improving their eye health and reducing the risk of floaters.

Schedule an Optometry Appointment at Innovative Eye Care

Are you looking for an eye doctor near you? Innovative Eye Care serves Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. We will examine your eyes to understand why you experience floaters and determine the best treatment or management approach. Call us today at (661) 213-3310 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.

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