Eye Floaters FAQ – Questions & Answers

Are eye floaters serious? Are they dangerous?

In the majority of cases, floaters are not something to worry about. However, if you see flashes of light or experience a sudden increase in floaters it's time to consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.

The only other way in which eye floaters could be dangerous is if during any physical activity your floaters pull on your retina. The pushing and pulling of the floaters could cause a retinal detachment in the long term.

Can I cure my eyes naturally?

To actually cure your eyes from floaters can be quite challenging and sometimes even impossible. However, there are many ways you can improve your vision and have healthy eyes once more. Read the eye floaters cure for more information.

Who can develop floaters?

Everyone can see floaters: kids, babies, women, men, etc… even animals are known to develop eye floaters.

Should I have my eyes checked out even if I don't experience flashes of light or anything else?

The answer is yes. While it is very unlikely that you may have an eye problem directly related to floaters, you should have your eyes checked at least yearly (I recommend every six months). It might also be a good idea to take an online vision test.

Can computer use cause eye floaters?

We don't know all the causes of floaters, but we do know that computers; like reading or watching TV, won't increase the number of floaters you see in any way. Computers are likely to cause you eye strain and fatigue leading to a greater likelihood of noticing eye floaters. Computer use also causes more pronounced after-images, which people tend to associate with floaters. You should take care of your eyes when using the computer or watching TV. Some recommendations:

-Get a big monitor and increase its brightness. If you are struggling to see text, then your eyes will take their toll. Get glasses if you can't read.
-Your eyes should be slightly above the monitor and you should be looking down to see it.
-Having additional light really helps. Try having two lamps, one to the right and one to the left. If possible sit near a window so you can take breaks and look to a far-away object frequently.
-Have breaks.

Lastly, prolonged computer use is known to cause computer vision syndrome.

Does chocolate cause floaters? What about some other type of food?

While food cannot cause floaters directly, having a bad nutrition will make your eyes more prone to vision problems. Have a diet for good vision and see the benefits for yourself.

Do you recommend having a LASIK? How about a virectomy?

At AboutFloaters.com we do not recommend any sort of surgery unless totally required. If your eyes are healthy and floaters only bothersome, we recommend that you read the Floaters Cure page.

What are flashes of light?

They are greenish images that can be seen even when the eyes are closed. They mean that a floater may be pulling on the retina or that there is something harming it. While the retina cannot cause direct pain, the brain transmits the flashes to warn that something is wrong. Some people see flashes right after doing exercise and this is not dangerous. Flashes of light are mostly dangerous when they appear suddenly without any sort of "provocation" such as sudden moves, etc. If you are sitting, watching TV, etc. and see a flasher "suddenly" then you should contact a doctor immediatly. Even if you see it after doing exercise, you should also contact a doctor. Flashes can mean something much more serious. Read more about Eye Flashes.

Why do I have trouble using a microscope/telescope/other device?

Just like when you squint and your eye floaters become more obvious, using an instrument for magnifying something will make your floaters more notorious. Additionally, you might notice some imperfections in your vitreous humor (such as "cracks") which makes using these devices annoying and not very accurate. Luckily, there is a way around this. Many new magnifying instruments can be plugged into a monitor, effectively allowing you to see more clearly. It might also be a good idea to reduce the monitor's brightness so that floaters become even less apparent.

What do floaters look like?

Floaters vary in size and shape enormously. I knew a woman who swore that her biggest floater looked like the Titanic. Smaller floaters are also very common and they can look like practically anything. Most people agree that they look like "dragons" or "flies" the most, though this is purely coincidental. For images, please refer to the eye floaters images section.

What causes floaters?

There are numerous causes of eye floaters. The first and most frequent is natural aging of the vitreous humor. As we age, our vitreous tends to liquify leading to new eye floaters. Many patients have reported that after hitting their head they suddenly see floaters. Others report that consuming medications (such as viagra, Roaccuttane) can cause floaters. We do not know all the causes, but the best way to prevent any further floaters is by living a healthy life. Intense anger and high blood pressure can both lead to eye floaters as well. For more information, please refer to the eye floaters causes page.

Is it normal to see black eye floaters?

Although most people see gray floaters, it's perfectly normal to see black eye floaters.

Can a punch to the eyes cause floaters?

Sadly, yes. It's very sad to see kids frequently punching each other's eyes for fun. There are many known cases of box fighters suddenly seeing floaters in one eye after a fight, not to mention the possibility of retinal detachments. We discourage the practice of violent sports and activities as a way to prevent eye floaters and live an overall healthier life.

Can pregnancy cause eye floaters?

Although many changes in the body occur during pregnancy, there doesn't exist scientific evidence that links pregnancy and eye floaters. We have received several e-mails from women who have developed eye floaters while being pregnant. Since we don't really know why they might be caused, there's nothing you can do to prevent eye floaters while pregnant, other than having a healthy lifestyle.

Note: We have researched this topic more deeply and there seems to be a connection between high blood pressure, pregnancy and new eye floaters. Unfortunately, treating high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous to the fetus so if this is a concern for you talk with your doctor.

Are my kids going to have floaters too?

Being prone to eye floaters is definitely an inherited trait. However, there is no way to know for sure. What you can do for now is to keep your kids healthy and to discourage them from any violent sports/activities.

Can a Floater Remain Stagnant Forever?

As the vitreous stays stagnant through most of a person's life, it's very common for a patient to see floaters that have been there for thirty or more years.

18 Comments

  1. The first time I saw eye flashes I was a little scared. I since then went to the ophthalmologist and he said it was normal as I was doing exercise at the time.

  2. Hello,

    I have been looking for an eye floaters cure forever. Are you telling me that surgery is not a viable option? Why? I also have another question – If I sleep face down, is there a chance to harm my eyes?

  3. It seems whenever I’m out in the sun and come inside, the floaters get worse. They look like bugs and sometimes I even swat the air thinking it’s a bug…. :/

  4. hi this is a big question 1 year ago i was playing a video game i got tired then i went to bed and when i look in to my kitchen it look like some had flashed a flare near my eyes what does that mean

  5. Jake G: You definitely need to give more information. How long did it took to go away? Have you seen it ever since? If you continuously see eye flashes, then you should definitely make an appointment. I wouldn\’t worry too much about an isolated event as it could have been caused by anything. If you also see eye floaters since that time, even if it\’s just one, go to the doctor.

  6. I used to be convinced these were cells that (I guess magically) got in focus when in the right spot on my eye…I\’m kinda disappointed but at least now I know they really aren\’t anything of importance to me.

  7. I must be looking up the wrong thing, yes i know what floaters are it seems we all have them at some point in life. The dark things that move when you look at a white wall or book page. But i wish i could post the photo of this, it is a floater that floats around blurring my vision but you can see it (them) i have one photo of one that is clear looks like skin, the 2nd photo is one that is dark. It happens in both eyes. No clue of what it could be. I quit my job to take care of my dad who is dying, so i can\’t really afford to go to a doctor right now. :( wondering if it is something i can aid myself until i can get to a doctor.

  8. Ive had eye floaters for as long as i can remember, but i only found out what they were this year. im 13. Sometimes when im in pitch dark, just before im about to go to sleep, Its like theres greenish yellow blobs going round in front of my eyes, is this bad? Are the eye flashes? Im really scared, I dont want to get surgery. Its only sometimes, like i could count the times on my hands. Please help me :\’(

  9. Dear Sophie – 2011-06-23 don’t worry it is properly nothing, go to your doctor he will make an appointment for you to see an eye specialist.
    This will reassure you and all will be well.
    I am 65 and recently had floaters and eye flashes, I was so scared I had a breakdown but it was nothing, don’t worry you will be fine God bless Allen Cornwall UK

  10. I had flahes a few years ago and went to the doctor and ever since then I\’ve had one floater. A few days ago I saw a couple of brief flashes out of the corner of my eye, but I have not noticed any additional floaters. Is there a need to see a doctor?

  11. I have Uveitis from an autoimmune disease I have (AS). Two weeks ago the eye doc said I have macular edema which is why I can\’t see out of that eye. Last week I started having a lot of floaters and what looks like flashes of lightning in the bottom left corner of the eye. I\’m on steroids & methotrexate for the Uveitis. My doctor is away right now, could my retina be detached or torn?

  12. I am 6-months pregnant and just started getting floaters about a month ago. I am going to a Retina Specialist to get them checked out since they have gotten worse. I am hoping they go away after I deliver.

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