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Eye Floaters & Low Vision: Understanding the Connection

Eye floaters are a common visual complaint that many people will experience at some point in their lives. They’re small, dark specks or transparent shapes that appear to float across the field of vision. Even though they’re usually harmless, they can also be a sign of an underlying eye condition that needs immediate medical attention.

At NuEyes Low Vision Solutions, we treat patients with low vision so they can lead meaningful, independent lives. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a sigh-threatening eye disease, contact us to learn how we can help.

April Floaters

Click to watch a video by Dr. Huggett on Floaters

Eye Floaters: Causes and Symptoms

The natural aging process of the eye is the most common cause of eye floaters. This happens when the vitreous, a gel-like substance in the eye, becomes more liquid and detaches from the retina, resulting in tiny fibers clumping together and casting shadows on the retina. This leads to the appearance of floaters.

Eye floaters can also be caused by eye injuries, inflammation, and eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears or detachments, and uveitis.

Common symptoms of eye floaters include: seeing small specks, cobwebs, or strings in the visual field, especially when looking at bright backgrounds or clear skies.

Low Vision: Understanding the Condition

Low vision is a visual impairment that can’t be corrected using standard glasses or standard contact lenses. It impacts an individual’s ability to perform daily activities like reading, writing, and driving.

Low vision can be caused by eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, but it can also be a side effect of certain medications.

People with low vision often experience difficulty seeing objects at a close and far distance, poor night vision, and glare sensitivity. This can trigger depression, social isolation, and a decreased quality of life.

The Connection between Eye Floaters and Low Vision

While eye floaters are usually harmless and do not affect vision, they can be an indication of underlying eye conditions that can lead to low vision. Eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and retinal tears or detachments, which can cause eye floaters, can also lead to low vision if left untreated.

In addition, eye floaters can cause discomfort and annoyance, leading to decreased visual acuity and decreased visual function. Moreover, a significant increase in eye floaters can also increase the risk of anxiety and depression, which can further affect a person's quality of life.

Preventing Eye Floaters and Low Vision

Prevention of eye floaters and low vision begins with maintaining good eye health. This includes regular eye exams, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and protecting the eyes from injury and UV rays. If eye floaters are causing discomfort or affecting vision, it is important to seek medical attention promptly to prevent further eye damage and vision loss.

Find a Low Vision Specialist in Dunedin

If you’re experiencing eye floaters that are contributing to your low vision, schedule an appointment with your NuEyes Low Vision Solutions optometrist in Dunedin.

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