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Norwood - Local Town Pages

What’s That Floating in My Vision?

By Graham R. Stetson, OD, MS
Eye floaters are tiny spots, specks, or cobweb-like shapes that drift across your field of vision. Though they can be unsettling, these visual disturbances can be harmless and often occur as part of how eyes change with time. However, in some cases, they can indicate serious underlying conditions. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell normal floaters from problematic ones without a thorough eye evaluation.
Floaters occur in the vitreous, the clear JELL-O like substance filling the inside of your eye. They are typically caused by small clumps or strings of gel that form and are often most noticeable when looking at a plain, bright background like the sky or a white wall. Floaters can also be caused by blood in the eye or by changes in other parts of the brain.
While normal eye changes are the most common cause of floaters, other factors can cause the development of floaters. These include:
• Holes, tears, or detachments of the retina
• A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) – a natural process that everyone will likely experience which can lead to retinal holes, tears, detachments, or other problems
• A hemorrhage in the back of the eye from diabetes, hypertension, a PVD, or other causes
• Eye injury or infection
In most cases, eye floaters do not require treatment. They can become less noticeable over time as the floaters move away from the retina or the brain learns to ignore them. Surgical treatments for floaters are invasive or have not been shown to be very effective, which means that they are not a great option for most people. There is a nutraceutical, a nutritious supplement that acts as a pharmaceutical, that has been shown, through clinical research, to reduce the size of floaters.
While eye floaters are generally a benign part of aging, they should not be ignored. Regular eye check-ups and prompt attention to changes in vision are crucial in maintaining ocular health. If you experience any concerning symptoms, consult with an eye care professional to ensure your vision remains clear and healthy.
If you would like more advice, schedule an eye exam by calling (781) 352-4849 or stop in the office at 696 Washington Street in downtown Norwood. Want to make these articles more relevant to your lives and concerns? Send any questions or topics that you would like to have addressed to [email protected].  

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