Many people, wonder what are eye floaters? When you get tiny spots in your eyes it may just be slightly annoying, or it could cause extreme stress. For the most part eye floaters are relatively harmless, but there are times that you should visit a Doctor’s office for a thorough eye exam to see if you are in danger of possible losing some or all of your vision.

In your eye there is a thick fluid that surrounds your eye. Eye floaters are contained within the thick fluid, and the spots you see are the shadows of the floaters cast off of the retina. There are numerous things that can cause eye floaters, but keep in mind that eye floaters are extremely common even among very healthy people.

Rubbing the Eyes

Anytime you rub your eyes you can slightly damage the fluid surrounding the eye and allow tiny bits of debris to enter the eyes. Once the debris enters the eyes you will have floaters in your eye. Do not rub your eyes and it will cut down on the risk of having foreign material entering the eye.

What Are Eye FloatersCredit: Flickr/Roger Blackwell

Any Change in the Eye Gel

The Eye gel, called the vitreous humor, is very fragile. If you rub your eyes it may possible cause it to get damaged and minute particles to enter the eye. The most common cause though is that the gel will alter or shrink as you body begins to age. As you get older the gel surrounding your eye will tend to shrink slightly. When your gel sac shrinks slightly it will cause a chemical reaction that will break down some of the eye fibers. The eye fibers then turn to eye floaters.

Posterior vitreous detachment

Posterior vitreous detachment is also caused by shrinkage of the vitreous humor. This is caused when the vitreous humor is disconnected from the vitreous humor base. It does not need to entirely disconnect from the base in order for you to receive eye floaters. When the vitreous humor and the vitreous humor base get nudged slightly from each other it can cause not only eye floaters, but also what appears as flashes of lights.

Other things that may cause eye floaters include retinal tears, blood cells that leak, and numerous other items. If you suddenly experience an increase in eye floaters or flashes of light that you should immediately schedule an eye appointment to have your eyes thoroughly tested.

Protecting your vision is extremely important, so if you begin to get floaters do not panic because floaters are extremely common. If you do suddenly get a large amount of floaters or flashing lights than it is vital you seek professional help to diagnose the causes. Your floaters may be normal, but there is a chance you have a damaged retina.