Eye Floaters are Never Illusions

Eye floaters are an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes you see them and sometimes you don’t. They may appear as little dots or specks, or they can be long and squiggly as they appear to cross your line of vision. This is not any magic or optical illusion; it is indeed a floater and a common problem among Triangle, NC residents. About 95 percent of people have floaters in their eyes. Fortunately most of these are not a problem.

In many cases, eye floaters are caused by bits of the gel-like vitreous. That’s the clear gel that fills the gap between your retina and lens, which helps maintain your eye shape. Pieces can break apart from the back portion of the eye and then float about.

Most children don’t have floaters because the gel substance tends to break off as we get older. Although rare, surgery is an option to remove floaters if they seriously hamper vision. Talk to our Doctors at Park Ophthalmology if this is something you are having a serious problem with over the course of time.

Most often, these floaters are indeed harmless. Sometimes, they can tug at the eye causing tearing. In these cases, the gel-like vitreous may widen the tear, which can lead to a risk of retinal detachment. This is a very serious situation and you must see a doctor quickly for assessment. It can lead to possible permanent vision loss. So, if you see a lot of eye floaters, blurred or shadowy vision, possibly with light flashes, you must get to an eye doctor immediately. Your retina could be detaching from the back of your eye.

There are also risk factors involved for certain people. Nearsighted individuals have elongated eye shapes, which give them a greater chance of experiencing these problems. Although detachment can occur at any age, it is more likely for those over age 40, and men are affected more often than women. Be sure to get an annual eye exam and immediately report any odd vision changes to our Ophthalmology Team at either our Durham or our Raleigh office.


This article about the benefits of eye care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Photo Credit: Park Ophthalmalogy


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: parkeyemd@gmail.com

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