These changes can happen at any age. They most often occur between ages 50 and 75, especially in people who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery.
Rarely, eye floaters can result from other eye surgery or:
- Eye disease
- Eye injury
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Crystal-like deposits that form in the vitreous
- Eye tumors such as lymphoma (rarely)
Serious eye disorders associated with eye floaters include:
- Retinal detachment
- Retinal tear
- Vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Vitreous and retinal inflammation caused by viral infections, fungal infections, or auto-immune inflammation
- Eye tumors
That’s comprehensive and conducive to less panic. Well done, WebMD.
And he’s at least partially right, whoever sawdust-eating, yawn-inducing minion they have chained up in the basement, writing these articles.
Note the ever handy excuse of the medical establishment, with anything that starts with, “as you age”.
“Well, good buddy old chap, you see … as we age, ha, ha. Collagen. Shred-like. What can you do, eh? Here, take this prescription, partially covered by insurance. Btw, have you checked out my new Benz? I’m not getting any younger either. And have you seen our new line of Armani frames? Very fetching, old chap. Try on a pair! As we age, we do want to keep looking good, eh?”
Collagen-eyeball-soup. Not even worried.
So, let’s be serious. Should you worry?
And before we get into it, no. Your eyeball isn’t supposed to disintegrate into a collagen shred soup, just because you turned 55 yesterday.
If you have low or no myopia, and are under 50, then calm down.
Also, not overweight or diabetic.
You just woke up, a little speck or two, probably not a huge deal. If it’s a bunch of floatey bits though, always, always go get that checked out immediately.
There’s also the matter of what seems like floaters but could be low blood pressure or other aspects not related to eyesight. Remember here that I’m the eye guru and not a medical doctor. You shouldn’t ever listen to me on subjects other than myopia.
Always get weird symptoms check out immediately.
But if you have moderate to high myopia, spend lots of time in close-up mode, aren’t the healthiest eater, maybe are lacking in exercise . then the sudden appearance of floaters should make you worry.
And get a checkup with an ophthalmologist, like now.
Why? Because …
15% Chance Of Retinal Tear Or Detachment
A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 found that sudden presence of eye floaters and flashes means that one in seven people with these symptoms will have a retinal tear or detachment.
And up to 50 percent of people with a retinal tear will have a subsequent detachment.
If you have been checked, and got what is a fairly common response of “well it’s a bit of lattice degeneration“, then this might be the time to stop ignoring your eyesight health.
Wikipedia accurately describes lattice degeneration:
Lattice degeneration is a disease of the human eye wherein the peripheral retina becomes atrophic in a lattice pattern and may develop tears, breaks, or holes, which may further progress to retinal detachment. It is an important cause of retinal detachment in young myopic individuals. The cause is unknown, but pathology reveals inadequate blood flow resulting in ischemia and fibrosis.