Everyone experiences eye floaters; those barely visible squiggly lines or spots in your field of vision. For most people they are simply a curiosity. At what point do eye floaters become a situation to discuss with your doctor of optometry?

Normally occurring eye floaters are painless, harmless, and generally do not obstruct your vision to any severe degree. These little dots, lines, and squiggles are caused by small particles of protein in the eye’s vitreous humor, or the gel-like component that fills the eyeball. When light strikes these particles in a certain way, it makes them visible to you. This phenomenon is often more prevalent when you are looking at something bright white or a very strong light source. Other than the amusement they provide when they scurry away as you try to look directly at them, you may not pay them much attention. Some symptoms that accompany eye floaters can signify a serious condition, however, and should send you to an optometry specialist.

Increased Floaters

If suddenly you notice that the number of eye floaters you are experiencing has increased dramatically, you may be heading for Retinal Detachment. This condition is when your retina has begun to separate from its proper seat in the back of your eye. You must act quickly if this is occurring since your doctor of optometry needs to surgically reattach the retina before permanent vision loss happens.

Flashes of Light

Patients who experience flashing lights or odd visual patterns along with pain may be having retinal detachment, migraine headaches or visual migraines. Regular migraines can be very painful and may sideline you for days at a time with nausea, vomiting, throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and more. A visual migraine is more likely to be limited to the visual disturbances alone and usually are not painful.

Eye Pain

Eye floaters should not cause you any degree of pain. The presence of pain could indicate a more serious condition such as an eye tumor, eye strain, irritated soft tissue within the eye, sinus problems, or other conditions. Any time you have eye pain, it is worth a call to your optometry specialist to be safe.

Floaters should not be an issue that causes you concern unless you have other symptoms or conditions that accompany them. Any time you notice changes in your eye health, contact your Phoenix optometrist for a diagnosis.