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Advanced Cataract Surgery

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What Is an Eye Floater?

Eye Floater Diagram for West Palm Beach & Jupiter, FL patients

Eye floaters are the specks that appear in your field of vision. They can be dark and tiny spots or appear like squiggly lines that resemble a cobweb. Because they move around in your eye, that information is sent to your brain and you perceive them in your line of sight; a stationery speck would be ignored by your brain.  

Signs & Symptoms of Eye Floaters

You will know you have eye floaters when these floating specks or strings become visible to you. If you try to focus on them, you will probably notice they move out of your line of sight. They are most likely to appear when you stare at a blank background like a white wall or the clear blue sky. Floaters come and go, and will not stay in a fixed position.  

What Causes Eye Floaters?

In most cases, eye floaters occur naturally as your eyes get older. Eye surgery or certain eye medications can also cause air bubbles to form in the vitreous, which leads to floaters. However, sometimes floaters can be indicative of a more serious problem, such as:

  • Retinal tear – When the retina is tugged at too forcefully by the vitreous, it can cause a tear. Left untreated, a tear can lead to a complete retinal detachment.
  • Internal eye bleeding – Following an injury, loose blood cells in the eye may be viewed as floaters.
  • Posterior uveitis – Inflammation occurring at the back of the eye can send debris into the vitreous, which appears as floaters.

How to Diagnose Eye Floaters

During a comprehensive eye examination, the team at Mittleman Eye will dilate your eyes to look for floaters and determine their root cause.

Eye Floater Risk Factors

Patients who are over 50 years old and have had eye inflammation, myopia (nearsightedness) or diabetic retinopathy, or who have previously had cataract surgery, are at increased risk of developing eye floaters.

Eye Floater Treatment

Some patients will find that their floaters go away on their own or do not pose a serious nuisance, and therefore do not require treatment. If floaters bother you, though, the most common treatment offered at Mittleman eye is a laser treatment known as laser vitreolysis that breaks up the floaters in your vitreous to make them less perceptible. Vitrectomy, a surgery that removes the vitreous and replaces it with a comparable substance (without floaters present) is another treatment option you can discuss with your ophthalmologist.  

Cost for Eye Floater Treatment

The cost of eye floater treatment varies, depending on whether one or both eyes are being treated and the type of treatment (laser or surgical) employed. Medical insurance may cover your floater treatment if the severity of your floaters is significant enough; please discuss this possibility with your doctor at Mittleman Eye. We accept financing through CareCredit to help patients who prefer to make payments toward the total cost. 

Schedule an Appointment

To speak to one of Mittleman Eye’s outstanding doctors about your floaters and determine an appropriate course of action, please make an appointment online, or text or call (561) 500-2020. We are committed to helping you see more clearly.