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Floaters And Spots: When To Seek Optometry Care

Floaters And Spots: When To Seek Optometry Care

The small dots and strands that you see floating through your vision on occasion are called floaters and they are made of small amounts of vitreous, the gel-like fluid that fills the eye. When vitreous fluid sticks together, it makes a small shadow, which is what causes floaters in your vision. In general, floaters are a normal part of vision that aren’t caused for alarm. The number of floaters you experience tends to increase as you age, but it’s very rare that floaters impair vision. But an increase in these small shadows can occasionally be a sign of serious eye conditions. If you notice that you are experiencing more floaters than usual, visit a doctor of optometry.

When Are Floaters An Optometry Concern?

Although floaters are often harmless, there are a few occasions when they could indicate other eye conditions. And, occasionally, floaters will not dissipate and can cause vision impairment. If you only have a few floaters on occasion, you do not need to be alarmed or take immediate action. Instead, speak to your optometrist about your concerns during your regular eye exam.

Seek Optometry Care When:

There Is A Sudden Increase In Floaters
If you experience many floaters at once, it can be a sign of these serious eye conditions.

  • Retinal Detachment: If the vitreous fluid changes, it can pull away from the back of the eye. As the vitreous fluid pulls away, the retina can detach. This can happen gradually or suddenly, and it may cause an increase of floaters over time or all at once depending on how fast the retina detaches. If you notice that you suddenly have a significant increase of floaters in your vision, it could indicate retinal detachment and you need to seek immediate optometry care. If the retina becomes detached and isn’t repaired, it will lose blood supply and can die, leading to permanent vision loss. If retinal detachment is gradual, it may not be as noticeable. But gradual retinal detachment typically means that most of the retina is still attached and there is no immediate danger. If you do notice a gradual increase of floaters, you should still visit your optometrist to ensure your retina is intact.
  • Bleeding: Another cause for excess floaters is bleeding within the eye, called a vitreous hemorrhage. This can be caused by trauma or infection, or it can be caused by eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or hypertensive retinopathy. Vitreous hemorrhage can also present symptoms such as blurry vision and vision loss and it needs to be addressed right away.

Floaters Impeding Vision
Normally, floaters move a moment after your eye moves and they seem to follow your vision in this way until they eventually disappear. But not all floaters will go away; it’s possible for some floaters to become permanent. Typically, when this occurs it is in your peripheral vision, but sometimes a floater can develop in the centre of your eye and impede your vision. In rare cases when this impedes your ability to complete everyday tasks such as reading or driving, a vitrectomy can be performed. This procedure is performed by an ophthalmologist and it removes the vitreous fluid in the eye and replaces it. This procedure can also be used to address retinal detachment.

Seek Optometry Services For Increased Floaters

If you have occasional floaters, that’s perfectly normal and natural, but if they suddenly or gradually increase, or if your floaters are not going away, seek optometry services. For a sudden increase in floaters, visit an ophthalmologist or seek emergency services at an optometry clinic. For a gradual increase of floaters or for floaters that are in your line of vision, schedule an eye exam at an optometry clinic. At Market Mall Optometry, we can assess your vision problems and determine the cause of floaters and if they require immediate action. If you have any vision concerns or want to discuss vision changes, schedule an eye exam with Market Mall Optometry by calling 1-403-286-4884 or filling out the online contact form.

Q: What counts as an eye emergency?
A: Eye emergencies are any eye trauma or sudden onset of symptoms that affect vision, cause pain, or trigger sudden and/or intense vision changes. Sometimes impact to the eye will cause a partial retinal detachment or other eye injuries that do not immediately present. Read Which Eye Injuries Require Emergency Care for more information. If you suspect you have an eye emergency, it is always best to go to seek optometry care.

Q: How long do comprehensive eye exams take?
A: Most comprehensive eye exams take less than 60 minutes depending on what your vision requirements are and which vision tests are performed.

Q: I’ve already had an eye exam in the past year, but something is strange about my vision. Should I see my eye doctor?
A: If you are having any vision changes, you should schedule an eye exam, even if you had one recently. Your vision and eye health can change in an instant and it is always better to err on the side of caution. Here are 5 Signs You Should Visit Your Eye Doctor. If your vision problem is an eye emergency, come to Market Mall Optometry right away for immediate care.

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