Eye floaters are condensation in the vitreous humor. The vitreous humor is a gel that fills the space between the retina and the lens. It makes up over 2/3 of your eye area. The purpose of the vitreous humor, or vitreous as it is commonly referred to, is the help the eye keep its round shape. The gel is composed of 99% water and 1% of other elements. These elements consist mostly of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Water molecules are retained by the hyaluronic acid. Slowly the water molecules are released, and a water core is produced. At birth, the gel is clear, but as one ages, the gel can change as deposits are made into the eye. As the deposits are made, they can shift in the eye, making it seem like there are shadows floating.

Eye floaters can be present in one or both eyes. No one will have the exact same eye floaters. The eye floaters may also change from time to time. Floaters are often described as specks, spots, or blobs that are shaped like “C” and “O”. One floater may be seen at a time, but it is common for many to be seen at once. Many times the floaters are gray in color. They can only be seen in the light. If one has their eyes closed, or are in a dark room, an eye floater will not be seen. Eye floaters can decrease in size as well as color over time. Go to AboutFloaters for more information about this.

Eye floaters are most common in adults. This is because of the fact that in order to have eye floaters there must be a deterioration to the eye. It is not common for children under the age of 16 to have an eye floater.

Eye floaters are associated with many diseases. The floaters will occur more frequently in persons that have had eye surgery due to cataracts. Syphillis, toxoplasmosis, and tuberculosis are also diseases that eye floaters are associated with. In very rare cases, leukemia and lymphoma can also be associated with eye floaters.

Eye floaters really possess no danger. They are just caused by the normal aging of any eye. They are mostly bothersome to persons with them. Over time, the brain will adapt to them and ignore them. If a person suspects they have eye floaters, they should be checked by an ophthalmologist. This will give more insight as to if the eye floaters are normal or if there is a retinal tear or other factor that is dangerous. The exam is pretty painless. Your doctor will ask questions about the eye floaters you have seen, and then dilate your pupils. Bright lights will check your retina and the vitreous. The eye floaters will appear to the ophthalmologist and he will be able to tell if they are normal or if other tests or treatment will be needed. Currently there is no way to get rid of any symptom of eye floaters. Over time, your eyes will adapt to them the same way your brain has. Relaxation techniques are often used to help persons with eye floaters adapt better. This can include doing yoga to help relax the eyes. One may also find it helpful to place a warm washcloth over the eyes, lay down, and massage the temples.

There has been no proven medication that will remove eye floaters. Vitamins and herbs are often used by many to help combat the floaters. Vitamin A is essential for the proper development of the eye, and bilberrry has been used to treat many eye diseases, including eye floaters. Vitamin C is often used for the antioxidant properties, as is Vitamin E. Eyebright, known to treat all evils of the eye, will clean the eyes and alleviate strain. There are eyebright drops available at pharmacies, but it has been said that eye drops will not work to reduce the effects of eye floaters.

Surgery may be used to remove the eye floaters but it is not determined whether it will help or not. YAG laser surgery has been used, but there is the threat of harming vision. The vitreous can also be removed. This is performed when there is non-clearing blood in the eye that is in a large amount, or the eye is inflamed due to the debris in it.

Eye floaters are common with age and can be quite bothersome. Seeing an ophthalmologist will help, as will learning relaxation techniques. Taking good care of the eyes with good nutrition can also prevent eye floater trouble. It is always best to work with your eye doctor for a treatment plan that is right for you.