The gel-like part of your eye is known as the vitreous, and it fills the posterior part of your eye. When you have eye floaters, they exhibit as deposits in this layer. These can be present in one or both eyes.
Also, they often move around the eye as you look around, appearing as if they are floating in the vitreous. They disrupt your vision and can be quite uncomfortable until your brain adapts to their presence. The question is if you should worry about the existence of these deposits.
How do you know if you have eye floaters?
How can you tell that one or both your eyes are affected by the presence of these floaters? Well, it all comes down to how the eyes work. The cornea and the lens receive light and send this back to the retina, which is at the back of the eye. The retina sends this light to the brain as a signal, and that is how we interpret images.
For the light to get to the retina, it has to pass through the vitreous, which is about 2/3 of the eye. When you are young, this layer is clear and almost transparent. As you get older, deposits accumulate in the layer, and this takes away from its clarity.
In most cases, these deposits are quite normal, and you should not get concerned as to their presence. As they accumulate, they cast a shadow on the retina, and they appear as light black or gray deposits. These are what some patients may see as floaters. They move around the eye, and this affects the positioning of the shadows cast on the retina.
If you have floaters, they can exhibit in many forms. Most people see them as dark spots in their vision. Others see lines, while other people may see blobs, single masses, or strings. The appearance of the floaters varies from one person to the other.
Also, their intensity will depend on the environment in which you are. Take an example of a brightly lit room. Floaters often exhibit as being darker than the background. In this case, the floaters would be more apparent and would interrupt your vision.
Now, take an example of a dimly lit room. The contrast, in this case, is low, and you would not notice the shapes as much. In some cases, you might not even notice them at all.
The variation is floater shapes is high. Even if you have them in both eyes, they will not have the same pattern. They are quite different from flashes, though they can appear at the same time. With floaters, the background is often lighter.
As such, you cannot see them in the dark or when you close your eyes. With flashes, these are apparent even with the eyes shut and lights off.
What causes eye floaters?
Eye floaters result from changes in the vitreous. In some cases, the changes are normal and are not a cause of concern. In some other situations, the changes are a sign of underlying conditions. Changes in the vitreous will start when you start getting old.
Take vitreous syneresis as an example. It takes place when the vitreous undergoes breaking down. In this way, some liquid parts of the layer lie within the firmer one. You can now see the boundaries between the two consistencies as floaters. That is a likely cause of floaters. In this case, the condition owes to changes in the eyes because of age.
As you grow old, the collagen fibers within the layer can thicken. You would also see this as floaters. It has nothing to do with underlying conditions. Instead, it is a part of growing old. Thus, the degree of the floaters will vary from one person to the other.
Once you hit 50 years, these symptoms are quite likely. Posterior vitreous detachment is a common cause of eye floaters. It owes to the shrinking of the vitreous and detaching from the back of the eye. The back of the vitreous now floats in the eye and casts shadows on the retina. This condition can affect one or both eyes.
It is not uncommon for people to suffer from detachment in one eye before it affects the other eye. Note that this condition is quite different from retinal detachment. In the case of the latter, it is a medical emergency that requires timely surgery.
Other likely causes of eye floaters are aging, hemorrhage, diabetic retinopathy, and posterior uveitis. Let us go over these possible causes and their effects on the eyes.
The vitreous works to shape and nourish the eye when you are young. It contains fibers that attach to the retina. Once the eye develops fully, it is no longer necessary for this gel to fill the eye as it did in the past. It thus begins to shrink and liquefy as the fibers pull on the retina.
During this process, floaters come about. Patients perceive them as gray spots, lines, or dots moving in their eyes, disrupting their vision. This process takes place in many stages. The final stage is the detachment, which we will cover in the next cause.
What causes this? Well, it all comes down to aging. By the time you hit 50, your eyes are fully developed, and the vitreous has lost its nourishing properties. At this point, it is okay for the gel to liquefy. Some younger people also experience these changes.
Usually, the liquefaction of the layer takes place fast if there are underlying conditions. One such factor is where a patient had undergone cataract surgery in the past. Myopia and eye trauma are also likely contributors to liquefaction.
Is there a treatment for this? Well, in most cases, patients will not suffer an adverse effect on their eyesight. They can go about their business as they would in the past. That is not to say that this condition is not annoying because it certainly is to some affected people.
Some people opt to have surgery where they get the gel removed. While this may seem like a good idea, it often has complications. As such, it is best for people facing severe eye conditions such as the detachment of the retina.
The best way forward is to embrace the presence of the floaters and to learn to live with them. Over time, they settle to the bottom of the eye and are no longer as apparent. Also, the brain adjusts to their presence such that they become less noticeable. You will probably notice them when working in brightly lit environments.
Are the floaters dangerous? Well, it depends. If the floaters appear gradually and you can pinpoint their cause, they are harmless. Ensure that you consult your eye doctor before deciding on the same. Now, where other conditions accompany the floaters, you probably have a cause to worry.
Causes of concern include a surge in floaters, appearance of flashing lights, and other such changes. These could indicate that the gel is tugging at the retina more than usual. It could lead to a tear, which, if not managed, can result in the detachment of the retina.
If any of these symptoms occur, you should consult your doctor immediately. The longer you wait, the higher the chances that you may lose your sense of sight in the affected eye.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment
In the previous cause, we stated that the final stage of vitreous degeneration is a posterior vitreous detachment. Well, as you age, the vitreous liquefies and starts to shrink. Over time, it starts to detach from the retina owing to the breaking of the connecting strands.
Why does it happen? Like in the case of degeneration, it comes down to aging and happens to people in their middle ages. However, the condition may affect younger people, more so those with myopia or other risk factors. These include recent eye surgery and eye trauma. Thus, everyone should be on the lookout for any changes in their eyes.
This detachment exhibits through flashes and floaters. Flashes appear as sudden lights that take place even in dimly lit environs. They owe to the effects of the vitreous pulling on the retina. Floaters result from the masses formed in the eyes during this process. These cast shadows on the retina, and this affects your field of vision.
It is always best to consult your doctor upon the onset of these conditions as they could indicate more severe eye issues. Also, if the floaters and flashes increase, you may have a cause for worry.
If the detachment takes place normally, you should not have any complications. You will still have the floaters, but you will adapt to them over time. When the tugging causes a tear in the retina, you need medical attention to prevent retinal detachment.
The retina is like the film of the eye. It captures images and sends the signals to the brain for processing. If the retina is not in place to receive these images, you cannot perceive images. And that means that you will see blurred images or nothing at all. Retinal detachment comes about when the retina pulls out of its position, and it can threaten your sense of sight.
What causes this? Again, this condition relates to aging, as is the case with the last two. As you get older, the vitreous will detach from the retina as it liquefies and shrinks. Usually, the connecting strands should break, and that should be it.
In some cases, however, this tugging is quite massive and can lead to a tear in the retina. When this happens, fluids pass into the retinal layers, and this causes the retina to move from its position.
When you have a detached retina, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It allows the doctor to assess what options are available to you and apply the same.
Surgery options include vitrectomy, scleral buckle, and pneumatic retinopexy. Sometimes, the doctor will also consider sealing the tears in the retina using laser or freeze treatments.
As discussed above, you can see that retinal detachment can owe from a tear gone unmanaged. It all starts with the shrinking of the vitreous and consequent pulling away from the retina. Where the forces in play are more than usual, a tear or hole may develop in the retina. This gap allows for fluids to leak into the retinal layers, thus affecting the retina’s ability to capture images.
Symptoms of a torn retina include flashes and floaters, as we discussed under vitreous detachment.
What can cause a hole or tear in the retina? It owes to the strength of the tugging of the vitreous as it detaches from the retina. When posterior vitreous detachment takes place as it should, you should not experience any tears. But where the force is high, the retina can tear in one or more places. These tears allow for fluids to leak into the layers.
If not dealt with fast, it makes the retina to lift off its position, such that it can no longer process images. Most patients will experience a blur in their sight as a result. Where you do not seek medical attention, the detachment can lead to a loss of sight.
Luckily, you can save your sight by consulting your doctor within 24 hours of experiencing flashes and floaters. The doctor can carry out either of two treatments to seal the holes or tears. One is the use of laser treatment, while the other is the use of cryotherapy.
Your vitreous is clear when you are young. As you age, deposits get into this layer, and it thus becomes less transparent. These will often not affect your vision much. Now, in the case of bleeding, you deal with blood in the vitreous.
The blood keeps light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye, and this subsequently affects your sight. You end up seeing blurred images, and in some cases, the blocking may be severe.
You can tell that you probably have a hemorrhage when you experience negative changes in sight. Floaters are one such change, which you may see as dark spots. In some cases, the blood will appear as a dye that gradually fills the eye.
For some people, the interruption is not severe, and they can make do until the blood clears. However, where the hemorrhage is dense, the blood can fill the eye and block light from reaching the retina. When this happens, affected patients can only perceive the presence and absence of light. They end up seeing light and dark.
What can lead to a hemorrhage? The thought of blood getting into the vitreous is quite scary. However, it is often not related to a severe condition, as it owes to the breaking of eye vessels. The vessels can break where they are growing at an abnormal rate or pattern.
Often, this comes about when you suffer from other serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy. These vessels do not develop as they should. They are weak and prone to breaking. Also, as the vitreous detaches from the retina, the tugging may be strong such that it causes a tear in the retina. A detachment of the same can also happen.
This force can lead to the breaking of vessels in the eye. Another common cause is trauma to the eye. Suppose you suffer a blow to your eye, the likelihood of bleeding is quite high.
Can you get treatment for this? It depends on the cause of the bleeding as well as its extent. In most cases, you will not require any treatment as the blood will clear on its own. After this, you should stop seeing any floaters, and your vision will be as good as it was.
The clearing up is not a fast process as it takes months to do so. All this time, your doctor will monitor your progress, ensuring that you heal as needed.
In some cases, you may need more intervention. It could be that the blood does not clear, or the blood is so dense that it severely affects your vision. Here, your doctor can replace the vitreous with a solution to restore your vision. You should consult your doctor for you to find the best way forward.
People who have diabetes are likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy. It takes place where the condition affects the blood vessels and nerves in the retina. The blood vessels may leak, and this blood could cause bleeding, as discussed above.
It is also probable that the retina could grow weak vessels, which can easily break. When this happens, the retina’s ability to capture images and send signals to the brain gets affected. As such, a patient could likely suffer a loss of vision.
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Who can suffer from this condition? Well, people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can get retinopathy. The condition relates to how long one has had diabetes. For example, people who have had diabetes for long tend to be at more risk.
Women who suffer gestational diabetes are also at risk. Where one has an accompanying symptom, the risks are higher. Such would be the case when one has high cholesterol or hypertension. These conditions are known to increase the chances of retinopathy and worsen its effects.
Unfortunately, most people do not notice the effects of the disease on their vision until much later. It is thus important that people manage their diabetic symptoms from the onset. That means watching your diet, staying active, taking your meds, and getting an eye exam often. In this way, you can catch the disease early and slow it, or prevent it in entirety.
This disease progresses as follows: non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). They affect your vision as follows:
This type of retinopathy also goes by the name background diabetic retinopathy. It takes place when the disease progresses such that it affects the nerves and blood vessels in the retina. When this happens, fluid leak into the retina and cause swelling.
As this takes place, the retina’s image-capturing abilities get adversely affected, leading to a blur in vision. The central part of the retina, known as the macula, is especially sensitive to the leaking. When it swells, vision loss is highly probable. This stage of retinopathy paves the way for PDR. As such, if left untreated, PDR comes about, and this can cause a permanent loss in vision.
This early stage of retinopathy does not call for treatment if caught in the initial stages. At this point, you would need regular eye checkups and some changes in your lifestyle. The doctor may recommend that you exercise more and control your blood sugar. Other than that, there is no cause for worry, and you can slow the progress of this disease.
At this stage, the diabetic retinopathy has moved on to an advanced state. Here, blood vessels form on the surface of the retina. These are weak, and they break easily, thus blurring your vision. We had covered a bit of this under vitreous hemorrhage.
What are the signs? How can you know that you probably have PDR? The symptoms include blurred vision owing to the filling of the vitreous with blood. This blood appears as a dye that continues to fill the eye, so much so that it can fill the entire gel.
Another symptom is the appearance of dark spots, also known as floaters. These owe to the blood floating in the vitreous, and they block light from reaching the retina. Other symptoms include flashes of light and inability to see in dark environments. Note that exhibiting any or all of these symptoms does not mean that you have PDR. Eye floaters often accompany similar symptoms.
Thus, the best way to find the underlying cause is to check with your doctor. Once you have had a full eye exam, you can know what the problem is. Luckily, PDR has different treatment options. Leaving it be can lead to more severe eye problems that could result in the loss of vision.
What treatment options are available to you? Your doctor will assess the state of the retinopathy before presenting you with likely treatment options. One is anti-VEGF, where the doctor uses drugs in the eye to stop abnormal vessel growth.
Another is laser surgery, where lasers prevent blood vessels from leaking. It also works to keep new vessels from forming. When you have many leaking vessels, it may be necessary that you get more than one treatment over time.
You can also get surgery where the doctor replaces the vitreous with a similar solution. This last option applies in situations where the blood does not clear.
As is the case with NPDR, you should watch what you eat and make some lifestyle changes. Also, get regular eye exams done to ensure that your eyes are working as they should.
The uvea is the layer between the eyes and the lens. Uveitis refers to a condition where the uvea gets inflamed. Anterior uveitis is the more common condition. However, in this case, we will deal with posterior uveitis, which is a common cause of floaters. It happens when the back part of the uvea gets inflamed. It can also affect the vitreous and the retina.
The inflammation results in the collection of cells that float in the vitreous. These cells appear as floaters and disrupt sight. You may experience them as floaters or notice a blur in your vision. This kind of inflammation develops over an extended period. Also, it lasts a considerable time.
Often, this inflammation relates to a systemic condition such as lupus. In some cases, it may owe to other infections such as shingles. But in most cases, you will find that the cause is not clear.
Treatment of this inflammation is essential, or else it can lead to scarring of the eyes. It can also lead to other eye conditions that could result in the loss of vision. The mode of treatment will ultimately depend on the cause of the inflammation.
The doctor could use steroids to reduce the swelling, even injecting them into the eyes. Where the condition owes to a systemic disease, the focus will be on the latter. Consult your doctor if you experience any changes in your sight. In this case, the eye floaters could be a sign that something is amiss.
Sometimes floaters may arise from medicines or injections administered to you by your doctor. Take an example of an intravitreal injection, abbreviated as IVI. Your doctor administers this into your eye using a thin needle near the back of the eye. The medicine used varies based on the condition being treated.
Examples of conditions that call for injections include diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. We have covered the retinopathy under the causes.
When you undergo such an injection, the symptoms vary from one patient to the other. Some experience added pressure in their eyes while others report a gritty feeling. Pain is not a likely effect of the injection, though you may experience some bleeding.
Also, floaters are likely to appear in your field of vision. In this case, the effects should not last long. The floaters should go away within a few days or lessen in intensity.
As you recover from the injection, your doctor will prescribe some meds you can use to lessen the effects. In such a case, the floaters would likely be an effect and not an indication of an underlying condition. Note that some patients who undergo IVI end up suffering severe complications, and you should thus consult your doctor on the same.
Examples include inflammation, retinal tears and detachments, and bleeding. These can lead to the appearance of floaters as an indication of an underlying condition, and not as an effect. When caught early, these conditions can get treated.
Where you experience floaters accompanied by a change in vision, pain, redness, and other such symptoms, you should consult your doctor. They can tell you if you have a cause to worry or not.
Associated diseases that can cause eye floaters
Eye floaters are common. The question is, should you be worried? Well, unless the floaters are an indication of another serious problem, you should not worry. Of course, you can only find that out by consulting your eye doctor.
Many people suffer from eye floaters for one reason or the other, more so in their middle ages. It owes to changes in the vitreous. However, if you are aged sixteen and below and have eye floaters, you are likely to have another condition in play.
The same also holds for people who are not well into their middle ages. Many diseases can result in the formation of eye floaters as follows:
People with retinal tears, retinal detachments, and diabetic retinopathy often suffer eye floaters. Other risk factors are as follows:
Being myopic puts you at risk of developing eye floaters earlier in life as compared to other people. It owes to the fast rate of syneresis in people with this condition. PVD also occurs earlier for myopic people.
Myopia is quite a common condition, which many people refer to as being near-sighted. People with this condition can see objects that are close to them with ease. But when it comes to viewing objects from afar, they face some difficulty.
This difficulty owes to an eye being longer than average or having a steep cornea. The eye is unable to bend light normally due to a refractive error when viewing objects from afar.
If you come from a family where people have myopia, you are also likely to get affected. This condition does not affect people based on age. However, it tends to develop during one’s teenage years. It can get worse as one gets older.
Diagnosis of myopia takes place through an eye exam where the doctor takes you through a vision test. The doctor also examines your eyes to figure out the extent of the nearsightedness. You can wear contact lenses and glasses to deal with the refractive error. These focus light on the retina, thus allowing you to have normal vision.
Some people prefer having refractive surgery, which shapes the surface of the eye. The most probable cause of action will ultimately depend on what’s best for you.
If you have myopia, the chances are high that you will experience eye floaters at an early age. Unless the floaters arise from another eye condition, there is no treatment for the same. The best bet lies in learning how to cope with the same.
Earlier on, we had mentioned that floaters arise owing to a change in the vitreous. Well, where one has undergone cataract surgery, there is a likelihood that they might experience some changes in their eyesight.
This operation involves the making of an incision in the cornea before breaking up the natural lens. The surgeon then removes the layers of the lens before inserting an implant in the lens capsule. It does not take much time, and at the end of it, you get antibiotics to help with the healing. The doctor also uses a shield on the eye to protect it while it is in recovery.
After surgery, patients use eye drops and follow strict guidelines on how to protect their eyes. Some may need pain killers for their pain. You will have to stay away from some activities during the healing period.
Where do floaters come in? Surgeries always have a chance of complication. While these are rare when having cataract surgery, they exist. They include infections, hemorrhages, and detachment of the retina. We had covered these under the causes of floaters. If left unmanaged, these side effects can have adverse effects on your vision.
You should thus report to your doctor where you experience any changes in your vision. These include new floaters and flashes. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for pain and nausea, which come about after the surgery.
Asteroid Hyalosis (AH)
This eye condition comes about when there is an accumulation of fats and calcium in the vitreous. It exhibits almost like synchysis scintillans. However, the latter comes about owing to a buildup of cholesterol as opposed to calcium.
Most people notice a change in their eyesight when white spots appear in their vision. These are not very noticeable in most conditions. But when you focus on your line on vision in bright lighting, you can notice them. These do not affect vision much, and you might not even see them at first. Probably, your doctor will point them out during a routine eye exam.
What would cause the buildup of calcium and lipids in the vitreous? Well, the causes are not that apparent. However, there is a strong relationship between this buildup and underlying conditions.
These include hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. As is the case with PVD, this condition is common in older adults who are experiencing changes in their vitreous. However, it can also be a complication of surgery, though this is not common.
How can you tell you have AH? You will probably not notice a change in your line of vision, given that these floaters are white. Your doctor can assess your eyes using a slit lamp or OCT scanning.
Once diagnosed, your doctor will advise on the way forward. In most cases, you will not need any treatment as you can learn to adjust to the floaters. But where you have underlying conditions, the AH may make you more vulnerable to vision changes. In this case, surgery may be necessary.
The small white spots in your line of vision are otherwise harmless. They will not cause any problems. It is always a good idea, though, to get regular eye exams to ensure that everything is okay.
This degenerative condition is not common in humans, and it often exhibits as AH, as discussed above. It comes about when the vitreous liquefies, coupled with the accumulation of cholesterol.
Patients with this condition see small white floaters in their line of vision. While the cause of this condition is unclear, it relates closely to diabetic retinopathy in advanced stages.
Acute Retinal Necrosis
The first report of this disease was in 1971. It is not clear whether the condition came about in the 70s or the discovery owed to a lack of earlier reporting. There are now cases of the same reported in children and people living with AIDS. Patients with immunosuppression are also vulnerable to this condition.
This disease affects both genders and is common in young adults. Those affected complain of floaters, reduced vision in their eyes, and high light sensitivity. Some may also experience pain in the affected eye.
When the condition exhibits, it starts in one eye. Where adequate management is not in place, the other eye could get affected. This progression has been shown in about one-third of the patients within a month.
As this disease spreads, it affects the anterior and posterior segments by inflaming them. Treatment options vary depending on the extent of the disease. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe oral suppressive antivirals.
Lymphoma is cancer that attacks the cells in your immune system. Three kinds of lymphoma could affect your eyes. One is the primary vitreoretinal form that affects the retina, optic nerve, and vitreous.
The second is the primary uveal form that affects the choroid, which is at the back of the eye. The third is secondary intraocular, which affects the choroid and iris. The latter rarely affects the retina.
What symptoms do patients exhibit? Some people suffer a loss in vision, while others get blurred images. Floaters, light sensitivity, and redness of the eyes are also common signs.
The cause of this condition is not clear. However, most people who get it have some form of immunosuppression or are elderly. Take an example of people who have had a transplant and are on anti-rejection drugs. They are at a high risk of suffering from this. Sometimes, genetics are to blame as some people inherit a gene that increases their chances of developing lymphoma.
Diagnosis follows a thorough assessment on the part of your doctor. That involves asking you a series of questions as to what symptoms you have. Examination of the eye then follows, as well as any tests necessary for the diagnosis.
In some cases, MRI scans and CTs are required to figure out where the tumor is. A biopsy is the last step where the doctor takes a sample from the eye for testing.
Where lymphoma is present, the mode of treatment varies. It depends on where the cancer is and if it has spread to other parts of the body. Possible options include chemotherapy and external radiation therapy. Stem cell transplants can also come into play. The sooner you catch this disease, the higher the chances of preventing its spread.
While some of these conditions are not common, they could lead to the appearance of floaters. It is thus best that you consult an eye doctor to rule out the likelihood of an underlying condition.
Who is at risk?
Who is likely to get eye floaters at some point in their life? Well, aging puts you at risk of getting them, owing to changes in your vitreous.
People with myopia are also at risk, given their heightened degeneration of the vitreous. Having diabetes or suffering trauma to the eye also puts you at a high risk of the same.
Are eye floaters dangerous?
Now, we come to the answer that you have been waiting for all this time. Are eye floaters a cause for worry or not? They will cause you some annoyance when they first develop. It owes to the distortion of images.
Once your brain adjusts to their presence, you do not see them as much, and the anxiety goes away. When they appear due to aging or other such factors, they are not dangerous. But when they appear suddenly owing to other conditions, they indicate that something is amiss.
Take an example of increased floaters coupled with flashes of light. In this case, you could be having a tear in the retina. The floaters would signify the need for medical attention before the tear results in retinal detachment.
As such, you should always check with your eye doctor to figure out the cause of the floaters. From here, you can know if you should have any concerns.
Will eye floaters go away?
Having floaters can be annoying and can cause anxiety in some individuals. You may wonder if you will ever be free of them. The good news is that they do decrease in numbers, sizes, and darkness over time. It owes to the absorption of the masses in the eye. They could also change positions in the eye such that you see them less.
The most common reason for this reduction is the brain becoming accustomed to their presence. It stops focusing on them, and this creates the illusion that they have reduced. But when you think about it, you are bound to notice the floating masses. If you can keep your mind from thinking about them, you will have an easier time coping with their presence.
When the floaters are a result of syneresis or PVD, as well as other such factors, no treatment options are available. The best way forward is getting used to them and making some lifestyle changes.
Clinical trials are yet to establish the truths behind some herbal cures which people have used. These are said to reduce the intensity of the floaters. Also, there are no eye drops that can reduce floaters. Doctors can only administer these in the hope of treating the underlying condition.
Surgery is another option, which is best for people suffering from severe eye conditions. Note that it comes with a risk of retinal detachment and the formation of cataracts. Thus, before going through with such a procedure, you have to discuss it with your doctor.
Prevention is always better than cure. Now that we have established that treatment options are not many regarding floaters, what can you do? Is there a way that you can prevent their formation? Well, it all comes down to the cause. When dealing with floaters arising from age, there is not much that you can do.
However, when dealing with eye trauma, you can take preventative measures such as wearing safety goggles. For retinopathy, you can manage your diabetes symptoms by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Look into what can put you at risk of this condition and possible prevention measures.
The good news is that most people with floaters barely notice their presence and can carry out their usual activities.
Eye floaters are not dangerous on their own. If anything, they cause discomfort to the affected people by distorting their vision. However, that does not mean that you should ignore them. They could be an indication that you are suffering from a severe condition, which could be dangerous.
While the floaters may be harmless, the underlying condition could be a threat to your vision and your health. Thus, you should always consult your eye doctor when you notice an adverse change in your eyesight. It is also in your best interest that you manage any underlying conditions as advised by your doctor.