What Causes Eye Floaters?

what causes eye floaters

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Eye floaters are small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. They often appear as tiny spots, cobwebs, or thread-like structures that drift when you move your eyes. While usually harmless, they can sometimes indicate underlying health issues. In this detailed post, we explore what causes eye floaters and why it’s important to consult with professionals at Liberty Laser Eye Center.

What Are Eye Floaters?

Eye floaters are deposits or condensation within the eye’s vitreous humor. This clear, gel-like substance fills the space between the lens and the retina. Over time, the vitreous can liquefy and shrink, causing floaters to form.

Causes of Eye Floaters

Several factors contribute to the development of eye floaters. Understanding these causes helps in managing and treating this condition.

Age-Related Changes

As we age, the vitreous humor slowly shrinks. This shrinkage causes it to become stringy, and these strands cast shadows on the retina, resulting in floaters. This process is called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

Eye Infections and Inflammation

Eye infections and inflammations, such as uveitis, can lead to the development of floaters. Inflammation in the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, releases inflammatory debris into the vitreous humor.

Eye Injuries

Physical injuries to the eye can damage the vitreous humor or retina. This trauma can result in the formation of floaters due to bleeding or debris from the injury.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, damages the blood vessels in the retina. This damage can cause bleeding into the vitreous humor, leading to floaters.

Retinal Tears and Detachments

Retinal tears and detachments are serious conditions where the retina peels away from its underlying layer. These conditions can cause sudden and significant floaters, often accompanied by flashes of light.

Eye Surgeries

Eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery, can sometimes result in floaters. Post-surgical changes in the eye can lead to the development of these visual disturbances.

Medication Side Effects

Certain medications can affect the vitreous humor, leading to the formation of floaters. It’s essential to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider.

Eye Floaters Causes

Cause Description Related Services
Age-Related Changes Shrinking of the vitreous humor, leading to posterior vitreous detachment Annual eye exams, comprehensive eye check-ups
Eye Infections/Inflammation Inflammation in the uvea causing debris in the vitreous humor Treatment for uveitis, anti-inflammatory eye drops
Eye Injuries Trauma leading to vitreous damage or bleeding Emergency eye care, trauma management
Diabetic Retinopathy Blood vessel damage in the retina causing bleeding Diabetic eye care, retinal specialist consultation
Retinal Tears/Detachments Retina peeling away from its layer Retinal surgery, laser treatment
Eye Surgeries Post-surgical changes leading to floaters Post-surgical follow-up, cataract surgery care
Medication Side Effects Drugs affecting the vitreous humor Medication review, alternative treatments

Why Choose Liberty Laser Eye Center?

At Liberty Laser Eye Center, we prioritize your eye health. Our experienced team offers comprehensive eye care services, from regular check-ups to specialized treatments. We use the latest technology to ensure accurate diagnoses and effective treatments. Our personalized approach ensures that each patient receives the best care tailored to their needs.

Related Services at Liberty Laser Eye Center

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are essential for detecting and managing eye floaters. Our comprehensive eye exams include detailed evaluations of the retina and vitreous to monitor floaters and other eye conditions.

LASIK Surgery

For those seeking vision correction, LASIK surgery can reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Our advanced LASIK technology ensures precise and safe outcomes. Learn about the newest LASIK technology available at our center.

Diabetic Eye Care

We offer specialized care for patients with diabetes to prevent and manage diabetic retinopathy. Regular monitoring and early intervention can help preserve vision and prevent complications.


For severe cases of eye floaters or other vitreous and retinal conditions, we offer vitrectomy surgery. Our skilled surgeons use advanced techniques to ensure optimal outcomes and quick recovery.

Laser Treatment

Laser vitreolysis is available for patients with significant floaters. This non-invasive procedure can break up floaters and improve vision clarity.

Post-LASIK Care

We provide comprehensive post-LASIK care to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal vision outcomes. Learn more about post-LASIK care at our center.

In-Depth Questions

How Are Eye Floaters Diagnosed?

To diagnose eye floaters, an eye specialist conducts a thorough eye examination. This includes dilating the pupils and using specialized equipment to examine the vitreous humor and retina. Imaging tests, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), may also be used for detailed views.

What Are the Treatment Options for Eye Floaters?

Treatment for eye floaters depends on the underlying cause. For benign floaters, no treatment may be necessary. However, severe cases caused by retinal tears or detachment require immediate medical intervention. Treatment options include laser therapy to break up floaters or vitrectomy to remove the vitreous humor.

Can Eye Floaters Be Prevented?

Preventing eye floaters is challenging due to the natural aging process. However, maintaining good eye health can minimize risks. Regular eye exams, managing chronic conditions like diabetes, and protecting the eyes from injury are essential preventive measures.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention for Eye Floaters?

While most floaters are harmless, sudden increases in floaters, flashes of light, or a dark curtain over part of your vision require immediate medical attention. These symptoms could indicate a retinal tear or detachment, necessitating urgent care.


Understanding the causes of eye floaters helps in managing and addressing this common visual disturbance. At Liberty Laser Eye Center, we offer expert care and advanced treatments to ensure your eyes remain healthy. If you’re experiencing eye floaters or have concerns about your vision, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality eye care and ensuring your visual health is in the best hands. Remember, regular eye check-ups and prompt attention to changes in vision are key to maintaining optimal eye health.

Liberty Laser Eye Center
8321 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182

(571) 234-5678

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