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January 16, 2014

Are Eye Floaters Dangerous?

“Oh squiggly line in my eye fluid. I see you lurking there in the periphery of my vision. But when I look at you, you scurry away. Are you shy squiggly line? Why only when I ignore you, do you return to the center of my eye? Oh squiggly line, it’s alright, you are forgiven.”

In 2007, the popular show Family Guy made this very poetic, comical reference to eye care, specifically eye floaters. Perhaps you already knew what they were, or maybe it was a funny moment that made you think to yourself, “What are those darn squiggly lines?”

In Latin, a floater is called, Muscae volitantes, which means “flying flies.” They are generally transparent deposits of different sizes and shapes within the vitreous humor. The vitreous humor is the thick gelatinous fluid that fills your eyeball. Sometimes blood, cells or other by products of inflammation get into the vitreous and float there. The “squiggly line” is caused by their shadows that are cast on the retina. Floaters are more noticeable when looking at a blank surface like a white wall or a blue sky. They can be surgically removed, but for the most part, your brain learns to ignore them by neural adaptation. There currently aren’t any eye care remedies like eye drops of medication that can get rid of them.

If your floaters become a larger problem and you would like consultation from one of our eye care specialists, please call us at 877-871-1684.

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