Have you noticed specks or threads drifting in front of your vision? Do you see curved objects show up in your field of vision? If yes, this may be caused by floaters, and if so may need to see an optometrist as soon as possible.

What Are Floaters?

Floaters are vague, curved objects or wispy threads that float in front of your vision. You can see floaters clearly when you look at a light-colored wall or ceiling, or a blank white piece of paper. They can appear as dots, worms, cobwebs, or circles swirling in your field of vision. However, when you attempt to look at floats, they tend to appear as if they are moving away.

What Causes Floaters?

The appearance of floaters has been linked to aging, prior injuries, inflammation, and even nearsightedness. If you see floaters frequently in your vision, you should see an optometrist to better understand the exact cause and possibly receive treatment. While a few floaters do not indicate a severe eye problem, the sudden appearance of multiple floaters should be taken as an indication that you need to be examined by an optometrist sooner than later to prevent the situation from worsening.

Are Floaters Dangerous?

A few floaters do not suggest a serious eye problem. However, there is no way of knowing what has caused the floaters without having a professional take a look. Scheduling an appointment with your optometrist for an examination is always a good idea. If you see flashes of light appear with floaters, you should visit your optometrist immediately. This combination may be an indication of retina tears, high-speed pressure, or hemorrhaging due to diabetes, and should not be ignored. If left untreated, this could lead to permanent vision issues that can include the complete loss of vision in the affected eye. Immediate intervention can help to prevent a serious problem.

How Long Do Floaters in The Eye Last?

Floaters can vary in size, shape, and severity. The time it takes for them to disappear can also vary. In most cases floaters will decrease in size daily until they disappear. Depending on the initial size, it can take some floaters anywhere from one to six months to disappear. However, some may never disappear completely.

In addition to the recommended annual eye examination, you should contact an optometrist immediately if floaters show up in your field of vision. Even if the situation appears mild, it is always a good idea to get an examination if you notice multiple floaters show up in a short period of time.