A Look into Eye Floaters

Floaters are specks of dust, flashes of light, or wispy threads that seem to move in front of your eyes. Even when you blink, the floaters do not go away. Floaters may indicate a problem with your eye.


You can learn to live with floaters or ignore them. As time passes, you may notice them less often. However, they can get bad enough to require treatment. If floaters are making it hard for you to see, visit us at Montana Eyecare in Helena for treatment.

Floaters appear in different forms including:

  • Threadlike strands
  • Rings
  • Black or gray dots
  • Flashing light sensation
  • Cobwebs
  • Squiggly lines
  • Specks of dust

What Causes Floaters

Age contributes to floaters. As you grow older, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous shrink down to little shreds that cluster together. These clusters produce a shadow on the retina, which causes floaters.

People between the ages of 50 and 75 are the most likely to suffer from floaters. Floaters are more common if you are nearsighted, or have had cataract surgery. Other contributing factors include diabetic retinopathy, eye tumors, eye injury, deposits in the vitreous, and eye disease.

A migraine headache can cause a visual effect resembling a floater. This effect lasts for a few minutes and can affect vision on both eyes.

Beware of a sudden onset of floaters. The sudden appearance of floaters is a sign of retinal detachment, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

Cellular material in the vitreous may also cause floaters. For example, red blood cells from hemorrhage and white blood cells from inflammation can cause eye floaters.

Risk Factors of Developing Eye Floaters

Eye floaters are likely to occur in adults and are a common reason a person might call to see an eye doctor. Being myopic is a risk factor that can cause eye floaters earlier in life. Highly nearsighted eyes are also prone to developing floaters early in life.

Book an Appointment Today

If you are experiencing eye floaters, come visit Montana Eyecare in Helena for an appointment with our optometrist, who is a specialized eye and vision care expert. An appointment includes an eye check-up, diagnosis, and treatment. We may prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, or have an eye doctor perform surgery on the eyes and the area around the eye. If floaters are impairing your vision, give us a call or book an appointment online now.


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