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Recognizing and Treating an Eye Floater

Recognizing and Treating Eye Floaters

An eye floater is a spot in your vision. It can look like gray or black specks, cobwebs, or strings that move with your eyes or dart away when looking directly at them. While most eye floaters are harmless, there are certain signs that mean you should see an eye doctor in your area.

Symptoms of Eye Floaters

Symptoms of eye floaters include spots that are noticeable when looking at a bright, plain background, spots that move when you also move your eyes, small strings or shapes that will eventually settle down and move out of your line of vision, or small shapes that can show as dark specks.

When to See an Eye Doctor

You should see an eye care specialist if you notice more floaters in your vision than usual, flashes of light, a quick onset of new floaters, darkened shadows on one side of your vision, or loss of peripheral vision. While these symptoms may be painless, they can indicate a retinal tear, which is a condition that can affect your vision and needs immediate eye care. Additional symptoms of a retinal tear can be blurry vision, red eye, watery eyes, a scratchy feeling, or sharp pain.

Treatment and At-Home Remedies for Eye Floaters

Most eye floaters don’t need any remedies or treatment. However, if eye floaters are impacting your vision, then you may want to consider treatment. At-home remedies include eating a healthy diet, gently massaging the temples, eye exercises, reducing screen time, and drinking lots of water.

Causes of Eye Floaters

Many eye floaters are caused by age-related changes, but they can also be caused by other things. Bleeding in the eye due to blocked blood vessels or eye injuries can cause floaters. Inflammation in the eye caused by infection or foreign bodies in the eye can lead to floaters as well.

Risk Factors for Eye Floaters

Factors that can increase your risk of eye floaters include nearsightedness, eye trauma, or foreign objects in the eyes, eye injuries, eye inflammation due to eye irritants, complications from cataract surgery, and diabetic retinopathy.

Visiting your Eye Doctor

If you're looking for an eye doctor in greater Boston, including Cambridge, Brookline, Charlestown, make an appointment at Eyes Over Copley.