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What causes eye floaters?

Updated on July 17, 2011


The vitreous forms most of the eyeball, it's the white part and consists mainly of a jelly like material, water and collagen fibers. It protects the retina and acts as one of therefractory media in the eye. Eye floaters (vitreous floaters) are small vitreous opacities that can developed due to many causes and results in seeing black flying dots or (flying mosquito/fly) which is called musca volitans.

Causes of eye floaters

Some babies are born with it (congenital) but commonly, it's acquired later in life. Ophthalmologists classify the causes into Primary and secondary causes. Primary causes are explained by degeneration inside the vitreous itself as in old age where calcium crystals may be precipitated in the vitreous or in young people but the cause will be cholesterol crystals, these floaters specially in young age can be very annoying to vision specially with a large number of floaters.

Secondary causes results from changes in the surrounding tissues as in cases of inflammations and infections (cyclitis, chorioditis) and in cases of vitreous haemorrhage. Vitreous haemorrhage occur in cases of trauma to the eye, diabetes, central vein occlusion and blood diseases.

Focusing on floaters and keeping on track with them can drive you crazy! Sometimes they are moving, sometimes they are not. Sometimes you may focus on these floaters to a degree that distracts you from paying attention to what's in front of you.


  1. It's important to search for the cause and treat it.

  2. The best thing a doctor can advise you to do is to IGNORE the moving spots completely and you can do this.
  3. In cases of haemorhage or membranes in the vitreous surgery can be done (vitrectomy)


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    • Mezo profile image

      Motaz 6 years ago from Egypt

      LaTasha: I'm 23 and I've go some floaters, too..the condition seems to be stationery in most cases unless there are causes like inflamamation, trauma, etc that are not treated...glasses are not related to the ophthalmologist will have better answers to your questions :)

      thnx for stopping by

    • profile image

      LaTasha 6 years ago

      i see the floaters a lot to i have had a vison check with my eye doctor and he has said that my vitreous has started to liquidify somewhat.. i am a little scared because he said that it usually doesn't start happening in people a lot older than me but i also have an astigmatism so im wondering will weraing my glasses improve the floaters or make them totally go away? and does the liquidfying stage ever stop or is it life long?

    • Mezo profile image

      Motaz 7 years ago from Egypt

      thanks a lot for the sweet comments, glad u liked my hubs

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      Funny, my husband and I were talking about these just the other day. We weren't sure what caused them so now I'll have to let him know.

    • Mezo profile image

      Motaz 7 years ago from Egypt

      You can't tell until you go to a doctor and have your eyes checked. Mostly, it is not serious but why not make sure everything is ok?

    • profile image

      Jess 7 years ago


      I have floaters and I also see sparks? Is that serious?