Floaters

What are floaters?

Floaters are sometimes described as seeing black spots. While they can be caused by different diseases, the majority is due to vitreous condensation. The vitreous body is a transparent gel - like substance filling up the space between the lens and the retina; light rays pass through the vitreous and project onto the retina. With advancing age, the vitreous body contracts and detaches itself from the surface of the retina. Additionally the vitreous body may develop opacities during this condensation process which form shadows onto the retina. These can be seen as dots, lines, small patches or spider webs. On the other hand, vision threatening diseases such as retinal tear, retinal detachment, vitreous haemorrhage, uveitis can present with similar floaters. Therefore prompt examination by an experienced ophthalmologist is recommended.

Can floaters be cured?

Though most floaters are benign and may become less apparent overtime, there are some medications that may reduce the vitreous condensations.