What are Floaters? Floaters are small, semi-transparent specks or cobweb-like shapes that appear to float in the field of vision. These floaters are actually shadows cast by tiny protein fibers or clumps that form in the vitreous gel, the clear gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye. Floaters are most noticeable when looking at a plain background such as a blue sky or a white wall.


Causes of Floaters: Floaters are typically caused by age-related changes in the vitreous gel, which can lead to the formation of collagen fibers or small clumps of cells. Other factors that may contribute to the development of floaters include:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Eye trauma or injury
  • Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), a natural aging process where the vitreous gel separates from the retina
  • Inflammation or infection of the eye (uveitis)
  • Retinal tears or detachment
  • Bleeding in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage)

Symptoms of Floaters: Floaters are characterized by the appearance of small, dark specks or cobweb-like shapes that drift across the field of vision, especially when looking at bright backgrounds. While floaters are usually harmless and may become less noticeable over time, they can sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Flashes of light (photopsia)
  • Sudden onset of a large number of new floaters
  • Loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • Curtain-like shadow or veil obscuring part of the visual field

Management of Floaters: In most cases, floaters are benign and do not require treatment. However, if floaters significantly interfere with vision or are accompanied by flashes of light or other symptoms, it is important to seek prompt evaluation by an eye care professional. At Retina Consultants of Delmarva, our retina specialists use advanced diagnostic techniques to assess the vitreous gel and retina and determine the underlying cause of floaters.

Treatment options for floaters may include:

  • Observation: In many cases, floaters will become less noticeable over time as the brain adapts to their presence.
  • Vitrectomy: In rare cases where floaters severely impair vision and do not improve with conservative management, vitrectomy surgery may be recommended to remove the vitreous gel and floaters from the eye.

At Retina Consultants of Delmarva, our experienced retina specialists are dedicated to providing personalized care and guidance for patients experiencing floaters. If you have concerns about floaters or other changes in your vision, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. Your eye health and well-being are our top priorities.