What are floaters?

Floaters are tiny, shadowy shapes that appear to drift across your vision. These can be variously described as spots, specks, threads, or cobwebs. They often seem to dart away when you try to look directly at them and tend to move as your eyes move. These visual disturbances are typically caused by tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear, gel-like substance that fills the inside of your eye.

What are the signs of floaters?

Floaters are a common occurrence, especially as people age. Most floaters are harmless and merely annoying. If you suddenly observe an influx of floaters, particularly alongside flashes of light or vision impairment, it may suggest a more severe issue, such as a retinal tear or retinal detachment.

It's essential to consult with a specialist ophthalmologist promptly if you experience these symptoms.

How do you diagnose floaters?

Diagnosing floaters typically involves a comprehensive eye examination. Dr Shastry, as a specialist ophthalmologist, approaches floaters with a keen understanding of their potential ocular implications. Throughout the examination, Dr Shastry will meticulously review your medical background and perform a range of tests to assess the condition of your eyes and eliminate any potential underlying factors contributing to the presence of floaters. These assessments may encompass visual acuity evaluations, dilated eye examinations, and imaging procedures like optical coherence tomography (OCT) to obtain comprehensive images of the retina and vitreous.

How do you treat floaters?

In many cases, floaters do not require treatment as they tend to become less noticeable over time, and the brain often learns to ignore them. However, if floaters significantly impair vision or are associated with other eye symptoms, Dr Shastry may recommend treatment options. One such option is vitrectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the vitreous gel along with the floaters and replace it with a saline solution. This procedure is normally reserved for severe cases where floaters significantly interfere with vision or cause complications. Additionally, Dr Shastry may recommend lifestyle adjustments or strategies to cope with floaters, such as using artificial tears to relieve dry eyes or wearing sunglasses to reduce glare.



1. Could floaters indicate a serious eye condition?

Typically, floaters are benign and arise as a normal consequence. Nevertheless, if you experience a sudden surge in floaters, particularly coupled with flashes of light or a shadowy veil in your side vision, it might signal a retinal tear or detachment, necessitating urgent medical intervention.

2. Can floaters go away on their own?

In many cases, floaters will become less noticeable over time as the brain learns to adapt and ignore them. However, some floaters may persist indefinitely, particularly if they are caused by more substantial clumps or debris in the vitreous.

3. Can anything be done to prevent floaters?

There is no way to prevent floaters, as they are often a natural consequence of ageing. However, maintaining good eye health by eating a balanced diet, protecting your eyes from injury and harmful UV rays, and avoiding smoking may help reduce the risk of developing significant floaters.