What Are Floaters?

What Are Floaters?Have you ever seen a squiggly line or a bright white floater in your field of vision? You may be experiencing floaters. Perhaps you see specks, dots, or little “cobwebs” that float around in your field of vision. These small, shadowy shapes also sometimes look like thready strands or squiggly lines. They move when your eyes move and appear to move away when you try to look at them directly. When your eyes stop moving, they usually drift. They may appear to be in front of your eye, but actually they are floating inside.

Causes of Floaters

Most floaters are small flecks of protein called collagen. They are part of the gel-like substance in the back of the eye called the vitreous. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that helps your eye maintain a round shape actually shrinks with age. When the vitreous shrinks, it becomes stringy and the resulting strands cast little shadows on the retina, which are commonly known as floaters.

For most people, floaters happen with age. About one-quarter of people in their 60s and about two-thirds of people in their 80s have floaters. Also, people who have had cataract surgery, an eye injury and those who are diabetic or nearsighted are more likely to have floaters.

Floaters are typically common and often increase with age. If your floaters are merely annoying, doctors advise moving your eyes up and down, or left and right, to move a floater.. If floaters appear suddenly or become more frequent, it can be a sign of a serious eye disorder such as:

  • Detached retina

  • Torn retina

  • Bleeding in your vitreous

  • Inflamed vitreous or retina caused by infection or autoimmune condition

  • Eye tumors

Retinal tears and detachments may be painless, but are serious conditions. If you are concerned about your vision, contact your doctor right away. Hampton Roads Eye Associates of Oyster Point is ready and able to care for all of your visual issues and acute vision needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 757.643.8800. For questions about your floaters or to make an appointment, contact us.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

cataract surgeryIn honor of Cataract Awareness Month, Hampton Roads Eye Associates is providing some useful information to help you understand the disease and how to protect yourself. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and affect more than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older. 

Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Fortunately, vision loss due to cataract can be restored with a simple procedure.  Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and has over a 90 percent success rate. 

Risk factors for developing cataract include:

  • Family history of cataract
  • Diabetes, smoking
  • Extended exposure to UV rays
  • Serious eye injury
  • Use of steroids

 Cataracts generally do not cause pain, redness or tears. However, these changes in your vision may be signs of cataract:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Poor vision in bright light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Poor vision at night
  • Yellowish tinged vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription

To learn  more about the Cataract surgery options offered at Hampton Roads Eye Assocaites, please visit our website. 

Can I prevent cataracts?

There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, making these healthy decisions may help to slow the progression of cataracts:

  • Avoid or quit smoking
  • Reduce exposure to UV rays
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Wear proper eye protection to avoid eye injury

One of the most important ways we can protect our vision is to make a commitment to take care of your eyes today. This includes getting a dilated eye exam, which helps to protect your sight for the future not just from cataract, but other eye diseases as well. If you  have not had your yearly eye exam, you can schedule one today by calling us at 757.643.8800, or filling out our online form.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates Receives Best Eye Care Provider in “The Best of Virginia”

Best Eye Care Provider Hampton Roads Eye AssociatesPlease join us in congratulating Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point on receiving Best Eye Care Provider in “The Best of Virginia 2017” issue of Virginia Living Magazine. Hampton Roads Eye Associates has been providing general ophthalmology and eye disease treatment for adult and pediatric patients of the Hampton Roads community for over 20 years.  

Hampton Roads Eye Associates considers this award a great honor, as the winners are selected by more than 10,000 readers voting on the best facilities and services across the five regions of Virginia.   

We would not have received this special honor without the amazing support of our patients. We are so thankful to everyone who took the time to vote. Your trust in our ophthalmology practice inspires us to continue to provide the best services possible with the latest innovative treatments for diseases of the eye and to restore vision. If you would like to schedule an eye exam or have any questions about your vision, please call (757) 643-8800 or request an appointment online. Thank you, Hampton Roads — it is a privilege to serve you all.