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Have you ever been looking at something only to be interrupted by a couple of nearly-opaque strings floating across your vision? They hover around for a short time only to drift to the edge of your field of vision and disappear. You’ve probably wondered what these floating objects are, and no, you’re not crazy. You’re not seeing things that aren’t there — they aren’t ghosts, and they aren’t aliens. These floating visions are real parts of your eye that are completely natural occurrences.

Check out what these floating objects are and where they come from:

EYE FLOATERS ARE PART OF YOUR EYE

It would seem reasonable to believe that these floating objects are foreign members such as dust or water drops, but they are actually formed deep within your eye. Your eyes are filled with a jelly-like substance called the vitreous humor. This opaque liquid occupies the most space in your eye to give it shape and structure. When small portions of the vitreous body break apart, they float until they dissolve or rest at the bottom of your eye. What you see of these floating bits of vitreous humor are the shadows of them cast from light entering your eyes.

ARE EYE FLOATERS HARMFUL?

Occasional eye floaters are nothing to be concerned about. They are a natural occurrence that most adults should expect as they age. However, the sudden appearance of many eye floaters or a consistent presence of eye floaters may indicate a more serious vision condition. One of the more serious concerns is the possibility of retinal detachment, which is when your retina — the housing of light-sensitive cells — shifts away from its position in the wall of your eye. If this happens, you can suffer severe vision impairment or blindness within a matter of days. If you experience a heavy presence of eye floaters, you should visit an optometrist immediately.

CAN YOU PREVENT EYE FLOATERS?

Unfortunately, no method is available to prevent eye floaters. Since normal eye floaters only appear for a couple of seconds, they shouldn’t be too much of a nuisance. Chronic eye floaters that are indicative of a serious problem cannot be prevented either, but may be treated by an eye doctor. If your doctor determines your floaters are problematic, they will inject a saline solution into your eye to rebuild its structure from deteriorating vitreous body.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your vision health? Call Silverstein Eye Centers today to make an appointment for an eye exam.

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