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A 33-year-old member asked:

What is the cause of eye floaters?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 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.
Dr. Keshav Narain
Retinal Surgery 29 years experience
Floaters cause: Floaters arise when the vitreous gel inside the eye liquefies naturally with age and sometimes earlier in life due to trauma, inflammation, or even high myopia. The floaters may consist of protein precipitates. Though the vitreous gel inside the eye is clear, it is composed of a complex matrix of collagen proteins that undergo changes. The vitreous can become cloudy just like the lens.
Dr. Laura Cozzarelli
Ophthalmology 26 years experience
Aging, mostly: Most of the time floaters appear as a natural consequence of getting older, like seeing the first wrinkle in your forehead. If, however you see floaters that weren't there before, or if you have flashes of light in the periphery of your vision, it's best to get checked out asap by an eye md (ophthalmologist) to rule out retinal tears, which can lead to (vision-threatening) retinal detachments.

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A 38-year-old member asked:

What causes eye floaters?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jack Sipperley
Ophthalmology 50 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.
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
Ophthalmology 32 years experience
It doesnt: MS will not cause true floaters. Although people with MS can have floaters like anyone else.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What is the main cause of eye floaters?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Bradley
LASIK Surgery 18 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.
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 52 years experience
Usually not: Glaucoma does not affect the vitreous fluid and does not cause floaters
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 27 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.

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Last updated Mar 28, 2013

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