Mark D. Weingarten, M.D.
Hours: Monday through Friday with evening and Saturday morning appointments also available
Floaters are caused by a jelly-like substance called vitreous. When a portion of the vitreous becomes liquified, it casts a shadow on the retina, causing small dots, specks, or lines that suddenly appear in your field of vision.
In most cases, floaters don't have any negative long-term effects on vision and usually don't require treatment. Floaters are often caused by aging, which causes the vitreous jelly to shrink and pull on the retina.
They are also common after eye surgery, such as cataract removal, and often occur in people who are very nearsighted. Though floaters usually don't cause any problems, there are certain instances when floaters can be serious and may be a warning sign of a retinal tear and can lead to retinal detachment. A traumatic injury, diabetic eye disease and infections can also cause floaters.