Yes, your eye doctor can see eye floaters during an eye exam. While most of the time floaters are harmless, sometimes they can indicate a serious, sight-threatening eye problem – such as retinal detachment.
Eye floaters treatment
During your examination, your optometrist will be able to see any significant floaters in the vitreous humour of the eye and will record and make a note of these so that changes can be monitored.
Retinal detachment diagnosis
If you're experiencing symptoms, an optician should be able to confirm whether you have a retinal tear or detachment. They can make an urgent referral to a hospital ophthalmologist for specialist assessment and treatment.
Treatment for eye floaters
When floaters are so large or so numerous they impair your vision, your optometrist may recommend surgery or laser therapy to remove them.
Options may include surgery to remove the vitreous or a laser to disrupt the floaters, although both procedures are rarely done. Surgery to remove the vitreous. An ophthalmologist who is a specialist in retina and vitreous surgery removes the vitreous through a small incision (vitrectomy).
Sometimes eye floaters are not cause for alarm, and many people learn to ignore them for the most part. However, it is imperative to see a retina specialist at the initial onset of floaters. If you've had them but have never seen an eye doctor before, it would be a good idea to see one.
Our optometrist can diagnose retinal detachment using two tests. The first is a retinal exam. During this exam, we will use a special lens and a bright light to examine your retina. This test allows us to check for retinal tears, holes, or detachment.
Retinal tears can only be detected during a dilated eye exam by your ophthalmologist or retinal specialist. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a retinal tear, please contact your ophthalmologist or optometrist immediately by telephone.
Symptoms of retinal detachment can happen suddenly and include: Seeing flashes of light. Seeing a lot of floaters — flecks, threads, dark spots and squiggly lines that drift across your vision. (Seeing a few here and there is normal and not cause for alarm.)
Floaters are small dark shapes that float across your vision. They can look like spots, threads, squiggly lines, or even little cobwebs. Most people have floaters that come and go, and they often don't need treatment.
Depending on the initial size, it can take some floaters anywhere from one to six months to disappear. However, some may never disappear completely. In addition to the recommended annual eye examination, you should contact an optometrist immediately if floaters show up in your field of vision.
Most of the time floaters are harmless. However, they can be a symptom of a tear in the retina. (The retina is the layer in the back of the eye.) If you notice a sudden increase in floaters or if you see floaters along with flashes of light in your side vision, this may be a symptom of a retinal tear or detachment.
Symptoms. A patient with an acute retinal tear may experience the sudden onset of black spots or “floaters” in the affected eye. This can have the appearance of someone shaking pepper in your vision. Flashes of light (Photopsia) are another common symptom.
A retinal detachment may cause permanent blindness over a matter of days and should be considered an eye emergency until evaluated by a retina specialist. Most retinal detachments occur suddenly and can threaten the central vision within hours or days.
If you've ever noticed shadows or dark spots floating across your field of vision, you are not alone. In most cases, these “floaters” cause no harm and are common, especially as you age. However, if you experience a sudden increase in eye floaters, you should seek immediate medical attention.
They examine the internal and external structure of your eyes to detect conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. They may also test your ability to focus and coordinate your eyes and see depth and colours accurately.
Cover one eye. Hold the grid about 10 inches away from the eye you are testing. Look at the center dot keeping your eye focused on it at all times. While looking directly at the center, and only the center, be sure that all the lines are straight and all the small squares are the same size.
A thorough eye exam by an optometrist will help determine the cause of your blindness or partial loss of vision. Your eye doctor will administer a series of tests that measure: the clarity of your vision. the function of your eye muscles.
Optometrists can diagnose conditions, prescribe medications and treat most eye diseases.
Opticians are able to detect a build-up of pressure in the brain which can be an early sign of a brain tumour.
What age do eye floaters usually start to appear? For most people, eye floaters start to show up in their vision between the ages of 50 and 70. However, you can see the occasional floater any time before then. Those are much less common.
If you already have eye floaters, then smoking can worsen them. If you don't already have them, then this habit is a likely cause. Similarly, excessive drinking of alcohol can cause premature aging to the vitreous humour, which can trigger the development of floaters.
Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes liquifies and contracts. Scattered clumps of collagen fibers form within the vitreous and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.