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Eye Floaters

Some patients experience floaters, as they get older, which are shadows and shapes drifting across their vision.

What are Eye Floaters?

The vitreous is the gel-like transparent substance in the back of the eye. As we get older, the vitreous becomes more liquid. Any remaining solid debris in the vitreous casts shadows onto the retina which we see as floaters. Floaters tend to increase as we get older. A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a natural age-related change in the eye, where the vitreous gel peels away from the retina. This occurs in 70% of people by the age of 70.

People with a new PVD often are aware of a cobweb or net curtain-like floater that can be quite intrusive at first. Floaters due to a PVD are harmless, although occasionally annoying. They usually become much less obvious with time as the brain adjusts to the change and eventually filters them out.

[British and Eire Association of Vitreoretinal Surgeons – Floaters, see]


In rare cases, a PVD causes a tear in the retina, which can progress to a retinal detachment, causing floaters. This uncommon event occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 people per year.

A tear in the retina causes a sudden increase in small dot-like floaters, and flashes in the peripheral vision. Some people also notice a curtain effect coming in from their peripheral visual field. If you notice these symptoms, you should seek urgent attention by an eye doctor.

Inflammation in the eye is a rare cause of floaters

[British and Eire Association of Vitreoretinal Surgeons – Floaters, see]


Floaters can take a variety of appearances such as small black dots, short squiggly lines, or even large cobweb shapes.


Usually floaters are not treated, because they are harmless and do not cause significant visual problems. Surgery to remove floaters is an option for people who have very severe floaters or who have great difficulty adapting to them.

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19:10 21 Feb 24
I recently had permanent lens procedure carried out by Mr Ghosh. Having glasses as a child and contact lenses for many years, this has been an absolute revelation for me. Mr Ghosh was absolutely brilliant and very professional from the start. All the staff are lovely and especially like to thank Dianne, Anita and the team. This has changed my life for the better thanks.
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09:35 29 Mar 23
Beautiful clinic, really nice atmosphere, prompt service and really friendly and professional staff. Fernando was particularly great!I would definitely recommend.
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17:51 17 Jan 23
Excellent care, all staff very courteous and helpful. YAG surgery clearly explained to me by Mr Morgan, who did a brilliant job. I'd highly recommend this clinic.
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14:43 22 Dec 22
Good location
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08:58 23 Nov 22
I visited the My Hearing Clinic knowing I needed a hearing assessment but thinking it was just a build up of wax. It came as a shock that I heard a hearing loss which needed addressing. The service I received from Andrew was outstanding! He explained my hearing loss and went through all my options. He recognised that it was a lot of information to take in so made a follow up appointment, giving me sufficient time to think about what I wanted to do. From start to finish the service has been excellent, efficient, professional and friendly from the moment you walk through the door and meet Lee. The clinic is well located, parking on site, high standard of cleanliness. Definitely a recommendation from me. Thank you!
Andrea BoothAndrea Booth
19:55 22 Nov 22
Absolutely first class treatment and experience at this wonderful clinic. Staff were exceptionally welcoming and friendly Mr Morgan the consultant was lovely explaining everything. I had YAG laser treatment painless no discomfort and almost immediate corrected vision. Thank you all so very very much.
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