Floaters

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA -  - Ophthalmologist

Coastal Eye Surgeons

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA

Ophthalmologist & Fellowship Trained Retina Specialist located in Greenwich, CT

Floaters, which look like specks, dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs in front of your eye, can be annoying, but they’re usually harmless. In some cases, however, floaters are a sign of a serious problem or make it difficult to see. If you’re concerned about floaters, experienced ophthalmologist Omar Shakir, MD, MBA, can help at Coastal Eye Surgeons in Greenwich, Connecticut. Dr. Shakir provides laser treatment to remove floaters and can determine if you need additional treatment. To schedule an appointment, call the office to speak with a team member or use the online booking tool.

Floaters Q & A

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What are floaters?

Floaters refer to the black or grey dots, strings, specks, and other shadowy shapes that appear in your field of vision. They move around as you move your eyes, seem to rush away every time you try looking at them and are more noticeable when you look at a blank bright surface like a white wall or clear blue sky.

Though floaters appear to be in front of your eyes, they’re actually inside your eye. They’re made up of microscopic bits of vitreous fluid — the clear substance that fills the space between the lens and retina of your eyes. These pieces of vitreous fluid cast shadows on your retina.

What causes floaters?

Floaters are usually a normal part of aging. The vitreous fluid in your eyes helps them maintain their round shape and has a jelly-like consistency. As you get older, the fibers in your vitreous shrink and become stringy, leading to floaters.

Though rare, floaters are sometimes the result of a more serious eye condition, including:

  • Inflection
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding in the eye resulting from diabetes, high blood pressure, or injury
  • Retinal tears or detachment
  • Complications of eye surgeries, including cataract surgery

Floaters are more likely to affect you if you’re age 50 or older and if you’re nearsighted (myopic). 

Do my floaters need treatment?

Most cases of floaters are harmless. Though you may find them annoying, most people get used to them. Though they don’t go away, it’s common for floaters to move to the bottom of your eye, below your line of sight, so they’re not as noticeable. Sometimes, floaters become dense enough to interfere with your vision, a condition known as degenerative vitreous syndrome. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to live with floaters. If you’re having trouble seeing, Dr. Shakir is the only ophthalmologist in the area who performs laser floater removal, using the Ellex Ultra Q Reflex™ system. He can also perform a procedure called a vitrectomy, which involves removing vitreous fluid and replacing it with a salt solution.

Your insurance may be able to cover floater removal, so don’t avoid treatment if you’re concerned about finances. The team at Coastal Eye Surgeons works hard to get you coverage.

Seek treatment right away if there’s been a sudden increase in the number of floaters you’re experiencing. If your floaters also accompany pain, difficulty seeing, or flashes of light, they may be a sign of a serious problem including a retinal detachment. Retinal detachment requires urgent treatment to prevent vision loss.

To schedule an appointment at Coastal Eye Surgeons, call or use the online booking tool.