What Are Eye Floaters And Should You Worry About Them?

Why Are There Floaters In Your Eye

One day when you are waltzing along without a care in your world, you suddenly see these strange black shapes floating around at the side of your eye. You wonder if this is a medical emergency and if you need to brace yourself for bad news. Take a deep breath and calm down! This is actually a pretty common occurrence, especially if you are above 50. While these black shadows or cobweb like flecks are an irritation, your brain will adjust itself to ignore these shadowy effects. It’s similar to how you no longer notice the frames of your spectacles anymore. While these can be mostly ignored, read on about how these flecks suddenly appear and when you need to take them seriously.

Eye Floaters And Their Sudden Appearance

They're Common Among Older People


You’re able to see things when the light passes through your pupil and falls onto your retina. It first passes through a gel like substance called the vitreous humour. The vitreous humour, through childhood and youth, is a clear and transparent gel-like substance. However, as you age this gel starts to liquefy and collect in the center of the eye. Some of the undissolved gel remains as particles and are what cause the floaters. As the light continues on it’s usual path through the pupil, vitreous humor and finally to fall on the retina, they encounter these particles. The shadow of these undissolved particles fall on the retina and these shift about as you move resulting in eye floaters. Women complain more frequently than men do about eye floaters.

Eye Floaters Are Not Permanent

 They Usually Last For Six Months

Since these eye floaters are bits of tissues they reduce in size over time and mostly settle down at the bottom out of line of sight. This can take time and may last up to even 6 months or more depending on the size of the floating tissue. Mostly though, the brain also contributes by starting to ignore the shadowy flecks. If you have an existing disease like diabetes or had a recent eye injury, then it’s best to get medical advice. Otherwise, ignore their appearance as they are just part and parcel of adding on those years.

Eye Exercises To Get Rid Of Them

Exercise Can Strengthen Your Eyes

There are exercises that will help you to get the floaters to reduce and hasten their disappearance too. Rotate the eyes first in the clockwise and then in the anticlockwise way. Do this exercise through the day about 10 times a day, till the floaters are no more. Another good exercise is focusing the eyes. Hold a pencil at arm’s length in front of your eyes and focus on it. Slowly bring it closer to your eyes. Do this 10 times a day to strengthen your eyes.

Antioxidants Help To Strengthen Eyes

Antioxidants Improve Your Vision

Eat a lot of foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help in improving circulation as well as making the retinal layer in the eye stronger. Make your diet rich in green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. If it’s the strawberry season then there is no sweeter way to get your quota of antioxidants. Kiwi fruits and oranges are also good sources of powerful antioxidants. Brewing a hot cup of green tea a couple of times a day will also go a long way in getting those antioxidants into you.

When Eye Floaters Need An Ophthalmologist

While eye floaters are quite harmless, there are instances when they do need you to consult an eye doctor. If the eye floaters are accompanied by eye pain, if your vision gets blurred or if there is a loss of vision, it might be more serious. Sometimes there might be flashes of light for which you need to make an appointment at the earliest with your doctor. Flashes of light are caused when the liquidation of the vitreous humor causes stress on the retina and makes a small tear in it. If not treated, the retinal layer might detach and cause loss of vision which can be permanent.