Eye Exams; What Tests are Done for Eye Floaters in Greenacres, FL? What Can Opticians Do to Help?

Eye floaters are a common phenomenon that many individuals experience at some point in their lives. These small, shadowy figures that drift through your field of vision can range from mildly annoying to be a major obstruction to your vision, depending on their severity and underlying cause. But what exactly are eye floaters, and can they be detected during a routine eye exam? Eyewear Candy Optical RX would like to dive into the science behind eye floaters and explore how eye care professionals identify and assess them during examinations.

What Are Eye Floaters?

Eye floaters are tiny spots, specks, lines, or cobweb-like shapes that appear in your line of sight. Even though it may seem that floaters are objects in front of your eye, this is not the actual case. Instead, they are shadows cast by tiny pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous that have clumped together. As the vitreous gel ages or changes consistency, these clumps or strands can form, casting shadows on the retina which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

What is the Main Cause of Eye Floaters?

• Aging: The most common cause of floaters is the natural aging process. As we age, the vitreous humor inside the eye becomes more liquid, and the microscopic fibers within it can clump together.
• Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD): Often related to aging, PVD occurs when the vitreous gel pulls away from the retina. While it is usually harmless, it can cause an increase in floaters.
• Inflammation: Inflammation in the eye’s back layers, known as uveitis, can lead to the release of debris into the vitreous, appearing as floaters.
• Bleeding: Eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy can cause bleeding inside the eye, leading to visible floaters.
• Retinal Tear or Detachment: A sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by flashes of light, could indicate a retinal tear or detachment, a serious condition requiring immediate attention.

Can Floaters Be Seen in an Eye Exam?

During an eye exam, eye care professionals use various methods to check the health of your eyes, including the presence and cause of floaters.
• Slit-Lamp Examination: A slit-lamp examination allows the doctor to see the structures at the front of your eye under magnification. While it’s more focused on the front, it can provide initial clues about the vitreous and retina’s condition.
• Dilated Eye Exam: The most effective way to detect floaters is through a dilated eye exam. Eye drops are used to widen the pupils, giving the eye doctor a clearer view of the back of the eye. This allows for a thorough examination of the vitreous and retina, helping identify not just the floaters, but also any underlying conditions that may be causing them.
• Ultrasound: In cases where the eye’s interior cannot be seen clearly due to dense floaters or other reasons, an ultrasound may be used. This provides a detailed image of the eye’s inside, including the retina and vitreous.

What Helps Eye Floaters Go Away?

For most people, floaters are more of a nuisance than a serious threat to their vision. They often become less noticeable over time. However, if floaters suddenly increase in number, especially if accompanied by flashes of light or vision changes, it could point to a retinal tear or detachment requiring urgent treatment. In cases where floaters are severely impairing vision, procedures like a vitrectomy which is the removal of the vitreous gel and its floaters from the eye or laser therapy to break up floaters may be considered, though these are relatively rare and come with potential risks.

Eye Exams, Eyeglasses, Sunglasses & More in Delray Beach, FL (Just Minutes Away from Boca Raton, Highland Beach, Kings Point, Golf & Boynton Beach, Florida)

While eye floaters are generally harmless and a common part of the eye’s aging process, their presence and behavior can sometimes indicate more serious eye conditions. Eye exams play a big role in detecting floaters and assessing their significance. Regular eye check-ups allow for early identification and management of any potential eye health issues, underscoring the importance of maintaining routine eye care practices. If you experience a sudden increase in floaters or any changes in your vision, it is important to consult an eye care professional promptly. For quality eye exams and designer eyewear, contact Eyewear Candy Optical RX today.