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Retina Associates of New York

Retina Specialists & Retina Surgeons located in New York, Forest Hills & New Rochelle, NY

Small dark dots and gray string-like shadows that drift through your visual field are called floaters. They’re common and typically harmless. They can, however, signal issues with your retinal health. The board-certified specialists at Retina Associates of New York can identify whether your floaters are cause for concern. These dedicated physicians serve NYC from three convenient locations: Upper East Side, Manhattan; Forest Hills, Queens; and New Rochelle. Each facility, along with their state-of-the-art surgery center, offers advanced treatment for conditions that may threaten your vision. Schedule an appointment today. Call the nearest office or book your visit online.


What are floaters?

Typically seen as small dots, circles, lines, or web-like strings that seem to drift across your vision, floaters are microscopic clumps of cells inside the vitreous, the gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. They may appear to float in front of your eyes and are more apparent when you’re looking at a white background. Floaters exist inside the vitreous and cast shadows on the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye (retina) as they drift along.

What causes floaters?

Floaters are often related to the natural aging process. As you age, the vitreous fluid can start to liquify and shrink away from the back wall of the eye. When that occurs, these tiny strands or clumps of cells within the vitreous gel may become more noticeable.

Other causes of floaters include:

  • Inflammation that causes the release of debris into the vitreous, possibly related to an infection or autoimmune disorder;
  • Abnormal bleeding caused by changes associated with diabetic retinopathy, high blood pressure, blocked blood vessels, or injury;
  • Retinal tears or retinal detachment that occurs when the vitreous tugs on and tears the retina, or causes fluid accumulation behind the retina that lifts it away from the back of your eye

When should I be concerned about floaters?

Floaters are most often harmless and easy to ignore as they appear to dart away whenever you try to look directly at them. Sometimes, however, floaters can be a symptom of an underlying issue that needs medical attention, such as a retinal tear or diabetic retinopathy.

Schedule an appointment at Retina Associates of New York if you notice:

  • More eye floaters than usual or a sudden surge of new floaters
  • Flashes of light in the same eye as the floaters
  • A curtain-like shadow affecting your side vision (peripheral vision loss)

These symptoms may indicate a retinal tear, with or without a detachment, and require immediate medical attention to help prevent permanent vision loss.

The retinal experts at Retina Associates of New York provide effective treatment for retinal tears and detachment as well as other conditions that may affect your retinal health, including diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory processes, and other concerning issues.

Schedule an appointment today by calling the closest office or booking your visit online.