Eye floaters are small moving spots that appear in your field of vision. They may be especially noticeable when you look at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky. Eye floaters can be annoying, but they generally don't interfere with your sight. But sometimes eye floaters are a sign of a more serious condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice a sudden increase in the number of eye floaters. Immediate medical attention is especially important if the floaters are accompanied by flashes of light or a loss of side vision. If you have these symptoms, see an eye doctor right away. If available, choose an ophthalmologist with retinal expertise. Without immediate treatment, you can have permanent vision loss. These symptoms may be caused by retinal detachment, retinal tear, bleeding within the eye.
Statistics: Although 6% to 8% of the general population are thought to have retinal breaks, most of these are asymptomatic benign atrophic holes, which are without accompanying pathology and do not lead to retinal detachment. The annual incidence is approximately one in 10,000 or about 1 in 300 over a lifetime. Other sources suggest that the age-adjusted incidence of idiopathic retinal detachments is approximately 12.5 cases per 100,000 per year, or about 28,000 cases per year in the US.
Treatment: Using a laser to disrupt the floaters.:An ophthalmologist aims a special laser at the floaters in the vitreous, which may break them up and make them less noticeable. Some people who have this treatment report improved vision; others notice little or no difference. Risks of laser therapy include damage to your retina if the laser is aimed incorrectly. Laser surgery to treat floaters is used infrequently. ? Using surgery to remove the vitreous: An ophthalmologist removes the vitreous through a small incision and replaces it with a solution to help your eye maintain its shape. Surgery may not remove all the floaters, and new floaters can develop after surgery. Risks of vitrectomy include bleeding and retinal tears.