Vitreous floaters - do we need to be concerned about them?

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Look at a bright wall or a clear blue sky. What is this picture? Do spots, circles, threads, cobwebs appear on it and you just get the impression that you are looking at something under a microscope? Do these distortions move with your eyes? You certainly can't look at them because when you want to do that, they just… run away. In such a situation, we can really get scared. What is happening to our eyesight? Does this affect how well we see? First of all - what is it and why did it appear? These strange spots are caused by clouding of the vitreous body (myodesopsia). Many people see vitreous floaters and can usually learn to live with them, or even ignore them. But should we be afraid of them? When are they dangerous?

Where do floaters in the vitreous come from?

Our eye is filled with a vitreous gel. This dense substance becomes thinner with age, so waste gets into it more and more easily. They can be seen when they appear on a light beam. Then the shadows form spots. Floaters are also the concentration of collagen fibers in the vitreous body. They usually appear quite late, but there may also be clouding in children.

Do we have to be afraid of vitreous clouding?

If we suddenly notice floaters in the eyes, we may have problems getting used to them and seeing them normally. Something is constantly bothering us, we cannot focus, we try to follow them with our eyes. Usually, however, we quickly get used to this state of affairs and only remember the cloudiness when we look at a clear sky or some bright surface.

Vitreous floaters are a condition that you can get used to, if not enough to interfere with your normal vision. What does it mean? That they are not always a symptom of something dangerous and we have to fight them. First, don't panic - floaters won't make you suddenly lose your eyesight. Treatment is not necessary in most cases.

However, when we feel that something is happening to our eyes, and floaters are so large that they begin to bother us, we should check if they are not symptoms of the disease and go to a specialist.

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What can vitreous floaters show?

Floaters appear not only when the vitreous gel gets thinner. They can be caused by myopia, eye inflammation, or one of the consequences of a stroke. We should remember that such difficulties in vision can even be caused by ... tooth inflammation. When we notice light beams along with the floaters, visit an ophthalmologist immediately, as it may be a signal that the retina is tearing or the vitreous body is delaminating. Then the cloudiness is really dangerous.

How to treat vitreous cloudiness?

If we feel there are too many floaters, there are several treatments we can try. The first and the least invasive are eye drops, of course the ophthalmologist will prescribe the appropriate one. There is also a laser method (laser vitreolysis) in which the laser hits the turbidity and causes it to evaporate from the vitreous body. It is worth noting, however, that this process takes a long time. Vitreous floaters can also be removed by a vitrectomy, which involves excising the vitreous and replacing it with another substance. However, it should be mentioned here that this is a very invasive method and therefore can be dangerous. Retinal detachment or even the risk of cataracts can be an unpleasant consequence.

How to deal with vitreous floaters?

If there is little floaters and they do not really obstruct our vision so that we feel an immediate desire to get rid of them, it is worthwhile, as far as possible, just not to think about them and get used to their presence. Focusing on them will certainly not help us, on the contrary, we will only worry unnecessarily. Of course, if it's impossible to forget and get used to them because they obscure our field of vision, don't ignore them. Eyesight is extremely important and it is worth taking care of it.

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