Some people are born with floaters. For others, floaters occur with age, when the tiny pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous break loose within the inner back portion of the eye. When we are born and throughout our youth, the vitreous has a gel-like consistency. As we age, the vitreous begins to dissolve and liquefy to create a watery center. Some undissolved gel-like particles will occasionally float around the more liquid center of the vitreous, which is why we refer to them as floaters. Even though floaters can be a nuisance, most people become used to them and they rarely cause problems with your vision.
Occasionally an increase in floaters can be a sign of problems inside the eye. If you notice a sudden increase in floaters – either one or more large ones or a shower of tiny ones – call Gailey Eye Clinic immediately at 1-800-325-7706. This may be a sign of a retinal detachment or other serious problems.