Posted by: juliegriffey | July 24, 2011


Have you ever stared at the sky only to have little black spots blocking your vision. Well, not me…. but this happens to my husband all the time.

These visual annoyances are called floaters and can appear in various forms; sometimes they appear as a cluster of dots, sometimes as a string and sometimes as a blob. You can tell that they are not part of the environment, because they stay within your field of vision no matter which way you turn your head.

Floaters actually are pieces of a fiberous matrix within the gel-like substance (vitreous) in our eye that connects to our retina. If the vitreous liquifies (which happens when we age or for other reasons) it can cause a piece of the matrix to break off and then you have a floater.

So why do people get floaters? There are a numbers of factors that contribute to the presence of floaters. The three that apply to my husband are 1) over 40. 2) a history of detached retinas and 3) extreme nearsightedness.

Is there a cure? Not really. However, some people report that increasing magnesium in their diet and muscle relaxation techniques such as massage have helped. Floaters can be surgically removed, however many feel that the risks outweigh the benefits.


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