Sometimes, when looking at a blank wall or background, do you spot small specks of clouds or squiggly lines in your field of vision? These weird shapes are even more visible when you look at a bright object such as a clear blue sky.
If you’re not hallucinating from psychedelics, then you are most probably seeing floaters in your vision. Although this situation can be alarming if you’ve never had it before, floaters are usually benign and don’t turn into something serious.
But, if they appear suddenly or increase abruptly, it could be an alarming situation. They might get such high in concentration that they start to impede your vision.
In this blog, I am going to give you a quick tour of the causes of eye floaters, symptoms and natural treatment for eye floaters.
What are eye floaters?
These are tiny spots forming weird shapes that slowly drift through your field of vision. They often look like tiny dark spots, strings or cobwebs.
Floaters are not a kind of optical illusion. They are clumps of debris floating suspended in the vitreous (jelly-like fluid inside the eye that gives it shape). When these floaters move, they cast shadows on your retina and you see black spots in your vision.
What causes eye floaters?
Most of the time, changes in the vitreous pertaining to your age are the major cause behind these floaters. As your eyes age, the vitreous jelly shrinks and starts to pull away from the retina. This makes the gel clump and the shadows of these stringy bits are what you see.
If the floaters are shaped like a ring, it mainly happens when the vitreous detaches completely from the retina. When it detaches from the optic nerve, it leaves a ring-shaped floater temporarily in your vision field.
Sometimes, it may happen that the vitreous pulls away a bit of your retina during detachment causing the retinal blood vessels to leak blood. This needs immediate attention from an eye doctor so you could seek timely treatment for eye floaters.
People with diabetic retinopathy often spots floaters in their vision. If you’ve had cataract surgery or suffered an eye trauma, these floaters could be complications from those events.
When do eye floaters get dangerous?
Floaters can be a symptom of an underlying eye condition, especially when they appear or increase suddenly. They could also hint towards retinal detachment which can lead to blindness.
When you’re getting your routine eye exam, make sure you report these tiny vision changes and symptoms to the doctor. They can rule out the problem and prevent it from getting worse.
If you’re too lazy to visit an eye doctor’s office, you can get a free eye test at home from our certified and experienced opticians/ophthalmologists.
However, if the doctor finds nothing susceptible in your vision, read below the methods of treatment for eye floaters in the UK.
Medical treatment for eye floaters
It can be bothersome when squiggly lines start to pop up or float in your visual field. Though annoying, these floaters are usually benign and don’t require medical attention.
But, when they get bigger or increase in numbers, they impede your vision. In such cases, your eye doctor will recommend laser therapy or surgery to remove these floaters.
In this therapy, the doctor aims the laser at the clumps of debris to break them into smaller pieces and make them less noticeable.
Laser treatment for eye floaters is a rarely used procedure as an inconsistent aim can damage the retina. While it showed positive results in a few cases, some people see little to no difference in their vision after the therapy.
Vitrectomy is an invasive surgery wherein a small incision is made to remove the vitreous and is replaced with a solution to keep the eye in shape. Your body will produce natural vitreous to replace this solution over time.
This surgery is performed in the case of severe symptoms of eye floaters. Although it’s an effective procedure, a vitrectomy may not always remove all the floaters and they may even come back.
Natural treatment for eye floaters
Sometimes, the best method to treat floaters is to just ignore them and do nothing. This is because these floaters may disappear with time and even if they persist, your brain will eventually learn to ignore them when interpreting visual signals.
But, if you want to reduce the appearance of these floaters by natural means, here are some remedies that’ll help.
When the collagen inside the vitreous is not hydrated or oxygenated enough, it could lead to the shrinkage of the vitreous and you’ll see floaters.
Therefore, staying hydrated is a crucial step to make sure your eyes are hydrated and ocular cells are moisturised. Eye floaters may also occur due to toxin buildup and drinking water is the best way to remove toxins from your body.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
Next up in natural treatment for eye floaters is to pay attention to what you’re eating. Though anti-inflammatory foods don’t work specifically towards floaters, they improve the overall health of your eyes.
Here are some foods that you could include in your diet:
- Organic berries such as strawberries, blueberries and cherries
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach
- Fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna
- Citrus fruits
- Coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- Whole grains and raw nuts
Use eye protection
Eye injuries are the major cause of eye floaters. Many of them could be prevented by using eye protection.
Wear protective glasses if you are exposed to harmful chemicals or while playing sports where you are more likely to get an injury. Flying debris or chemical fumes can get into your eyes and harm your vision. Glasses will protect your eyes from these potential risks.
Rest and relax
When your body is not getting enough rest, your eyes will feel tired and the appearance of floaters will become more apparent. Make sure you get proper sleep so your eyes don’t feel exhausted.
In case the floaters cause eye irritation, place a warm or cool compress over the eyes to soothe the ocular muscles.
Avoid harsh lights
If your day involves using devices for long hours, then you must consider getting a pair of blue light glasses for yourself. Prolonged screen time can cause eye strain which will make the floaters even more bothersome.
Bright lights such as screen lights can make these floaters more noticeable. Make sure you dim the indoor lights if they are too bright. When going outdoors, use UV protected sunglasses to avoid harsh glare from the sun.
Get an eye exam
Most people wait for something to happen with their vision before they schedule an eye exam. But, getting your eyes checked regularly can detect early signs of developing eye conditions.
Before you even start seeing floaters in your vision, a comprehensive eye exam can diagnose this problem and prevent it from developing further.
Eye floaters can be annoying but they usually clear up on their own. If they don’t, make sure you get your eyes tested. Based on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will tell you whether you need medical or natural treatment for eye floaters.