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A 38-year-old member asked:

What causes eye floaters?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jack Sipperley
Ophthalmology 51 years experience
The Vitreous: The vitreous is composed of a clear liquid called hyaluronic acid and fibers called collagen. As we age the vitreous becomes less solid and the collagen fibers become more visible (synuresis). The spots you see are these collagen fiber clumps. They do not cause harm to the eye, they just get in the way. If they are very prominent and reduce visual function they can be removed with a vitrectomy.
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Dr. Kenneth Adams
Ophthalmology 19 years experience
Floaters: Floaters are most commonly caused by debris in the vitreous (jelly like substance inside the eye). While annoying and very common they can also be an early sign of a retinal detachment. New floaters, flashing lights or a veil like sensation over vision should always be evaluated immediately by an ophthalmologist who will perform a dilated exam.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
Floaters: It sounds as if you have had a posterior vitreous detachment. This is a situation where the vitreous(jelly) of the eye detaches (not a retinal detachment), it then "crumples" up leaving dots, spots, strands of blurry vitreous; i.e. The "floater". You should have an exam to ensure the incident did not tear the retina, which could lead to a retinal detachment.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Todd Purkiss
Ophthalmology 18 years experience
This is important to rule out; however, some floaters are just clumps of collagen within the degenerating vitreous gel.
Aug 26, 2015
Dr. Ahmad M Hadied
Orthopedic Surgery 50 years experience
Eye Floater could be: Eye floaters are small moving spots that appear in your field of vision. They may be especially noticeable when you look at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.Once you develop eye floaters they usually do not go away, though they tend to improve over time.Rarely, eye floaters can result from other eye surgery serious eye disorders associated with eye floaters, retinal detachment.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
Floaters: A posterior vitreous detachment causes floaters. This is a situation where the vitreous(jelly) of the eye detaches (not a retinal detachment), it then "crumples" up leaving dots, spots, strands of blurry vitreous; i.e. The "floater". You should have an exam to ensure the incident did not tear the retina, which could lead to a retinal detachment. Wait one year then consider surgery.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

What is the cause of eye floaters?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 53 years experience
Eye tissue renewal: Most floaters are fragments of the normal renewal process in the back of the eye with an occasional fragment getting out of the normal clean up channels and appearing in the visual axis. This is more common with changes in the vitreous composition in older age. We get concerned when there are many floaters at once especially if accompanied by vision loss or light flashing.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Brodhead, WI
A 16-year-old male asked:

How does MS cause floaters in the eye?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matthew Goren
33 years experience
It doesnt: MS will not cause true floaters. Although people with MS can have floaters like anyone else.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What is the main cause of eye floaters?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Bradley
Cornea, Cataract, & Refractive (LASIK & PRK) Surgery 19 years experience
Floaters: Floaters are thickenings in the vitreous jelly inside the eye. They are common with age, myopia, inflammation, trauma, and other issues. They are benign and do not damage your vision. Rarely, they can cause retinal tears which may require laser treatment. Otherwise, no treatment is needed. In very rare cases, the floaters can become dense enough to block vision and may need surgical removal.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Brodhead, WI
A 16-year-old male asked:

How does glaucoma cause eye floaters?

3 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 53 years experience
Usually not: Glaucoma does not affect the vitreous fluid and does not cause floaters
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Eye floaters and flashing lights, can the lights cause you to have floaters?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
Vitreous detachment: It sounds as if you have had a posterior vitreous detachment. This is a situation where the vitreous(jelly) of the eye detaches (not a retinal detachment), it then "crumples" up leaving dots, spots, strands of blurry vitreous; i.e. The "floater". You should have an exam to ensure the incident did not tear the retina, which could lead to a retinal detachment. Wait one year then consider surgery.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Related questions

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What illnesses or diseases can worsen eye floaters cause it to become more disturbing?
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Do you know what causes floaters in your eyes?
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Last updated Nov 27, 2018
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Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.