What are floaters?
Floaters are shapes that people can see drifting across their vision. Floaters are small bits of debris floating in the vitreous jelly inside the eye. They can come in a variety of forms such as small black dots, short squiggly lines or even large cobweb shapes. New floaters
What testing might be done?
New floaters are a symptom of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), in which the vitreous gel within the eye separates from the retina. PVD can cause retinal tears and all patients with recent-onset floaters require an urgent retinal examination. Eye drops are required to enlarge the pupils and this may blur the vision for a few hours.
How are floaters treated?
If a retinal tear is found during the eye examination, this requires urgent treatment to prevent retinal detachment.
The floaters themselves do not harm the eye, and in the vast majority of people, they do not cause a significant problem, and therefore do not require any treatment. It is possible to carry out an operation to the eye to remove the vitreous gel (vitrectomy), which will also remove the floaters. This is useful in people who find their floaters very troublesome.