Q:

What causes floaters?

A:

Quick Answer

The causes of floaters include changes associated with aging, inflammation in the back of the eye, and a torn retina, according to Mayo Clinic. Bleeding inside the eye can also result in floaters.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Floaters are mobile spots that occur the vision field. These spots appear when an individual directs his vision onto a bright surface such as a white piece of paper.

Age-related changes are the most common causes of floaters. Aging alters the vitreous, a substance that fills and maintains the eyeball shape. As a person ages, part of the vitreous liquefies, causing it to detach from the inner surface of the eyeball. The vitreous becomes stringy, blocking the light that passes through the eye and forming shadows over the retina.

Back-of-the-eye inflammation that causes eye floaters, or posterior uveitis, occurs in the uvea and may be a result of infections or inflammation-causing diseases. Injuries and disorders in the blood vessels can cause bleeding inside the eye.

When the vitreous sags, it impacts on the retina, causing the retina to develop tears. When these tears do not receive treatment, they result in the detachment of the retina from the back of the eye. This may cause the patient to lose his vision permanently.

Learn more about Vision

Related Questions

Explore