Have you noticed little specks or strands floating around in your field of vision? If you try to focus on them, do they move away? Are there several of these spots floating around in your eye? You may not have to worry immediately; these specks are actually a very common condition   They're often referred to as "floaters"; and everyone, especially older children and adults, gets them.

What causes eye floaters?

At birth, your eye consists of vitreous that is mostly a gel. As you age, this vitreous begins to break down into a clear liquid. Strands and particles of the gel begin to float around near the retina. As you get older, the fluid no longer fills the back of the eye. The gel at the back and edges of the eye begins to pull away, causing even more floaters.

What can be done to get rid of these floaters?

For many people, the floaters are harmless and do not need to be treated. They can be annoying, but most people are able to ignore them. As long as they are not so numerous that you can't see normally otherwise, you should be OK. On the rare occasion that they become numerous enough to affect vision, they will need to be removed through surgery. This treatment is very risky and should only be done if the floaters are extremely severe.

Are there any other reasons to ever be concerned about floaters?

If you are experiencing a sudden onset of a lot of floaters along with flashes, pain, and loss of vision, you must see an ophthalmologist. You may want to talk to a place like Nevada Institute Of Ophthalmology. This is especially true if there has been any recent injury or trauma to the eye. These kinds of symptoms may indicate there is a problem with the retina or possible retina detachment. The retina of the eye is what converts light signals to the brain.  Not addressing this issue quickly may result in the permanent loss of vision.

For most people, floaters are benign and are nothing to worry about. As long as they don't interfere with your vision or daily life, there's nothing you can do about them. The time to worry is if other aspects of your vision are starting to fail. If you see any sudden change in the frequency or behavior of the floaters in your eye, especially if it affects your vision, see your ophthalmologist immediately.