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Floaters: Introduction

Floaters need immediate medical diagnosis by an eye specialist because of the risk of the severe retinal detachment, which can cause vision loss. However, other causes of floaters are more common than retinal detachment, such as vitreous detachment due to aging.

The shapes of floaters vary, with effects such as spots, dots, wavy lines, cloud-like shapes, spidery-webs, and other variations. There may be one large floater, or many smaller floaters, or any combination. Floaters may be caused by opaque substances (e.g. blood) floating in the vitreous or from problems with the retina. Floaters in the eyes are seen by the person, but nothing can usually be seen on the eyes. The floaters move with the eyes, so you usually cannot focus on them. To see them best, look at a white piece of paper, wall, or a clear sky.

Floaters are often associated with visual flashes, where the person sees flashing lights or sudden pulses of bright lights. Flashes are also a symptom of serious disease such as retinal detachment, but there are less serious possibilities also. Any floaters or flashes need immediate medical diagnosis by an eye specialist....more »

» Review Causes of Floaters: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Causes of Floaters:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Floaters. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Floaters: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Floaters

Home medical tests possibly related to Floaters:

Causes of Types of Floaters:

Review causes of types of Floaters in more specific categories:

Review causes of more specific types of Floaters:

Floaters: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Floaters, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Floaters Treatments

Review further information on Floaters Treatments.

Stories from Users for Floaters

Real-life user stories relating to Floaters:

Message Boards for Floaters

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Floaters or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Floaters:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Floaters. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • Blood pressure (high blood pressure may be associated with floaters)
    • Inspect the eye noting the nature of redness, if present. This will help diagnose for uveitis which may cause floaters
    • Visual acuity - in both eyes and with and without glasses (if worn) to determine any refractive error.
    • Visual field testing - to detect either a contraction (a local or general reduction in the area of field) or a scotoma (an island of loss within the field).
    • Examination of pupils and the pupil reflexes
    • Ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp examination
  • more tests...»

Floaters: Animations

Floaters: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Floaters may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Floaters

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Floaters:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Floaters. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Floaters Assessment Questionnaire (15 listings)

Floaters: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Floaters: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Floaters

Floaters are tiny spots or specks that float across the field of vision. Most people notice them in well-lit rooms or outdoors on a bright day. Floaters often are normal, but sometimes they warn of eye problems such as retinal detachment, especially if they happen with light flashes. If you notice a sudden change in the type or number of spots or flashes, see your eye doctor. (Source: excerpt from Aging and Your Eyes -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Organs affected by Floaters:

The list of organs typically affected by Floaters may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Floaters

The list below shows some of the causes of Floaters mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Floaters?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Floaters. Of the 18 causes of Floaters that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 1 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 2 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 16 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Floaters:

The following list of conditions have 'Floaters' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Floaters or choose View All.

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Causes of Floaters Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Floaters based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Floaters?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Floaters, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Floaters:

    Medical Conditions associated with Floaters:

    Blind spot (51 causes), Eye symptoms (5412 causes), Seeing spots (21 causes), Vision changes (2526 causes), Blindness (496 causes), Vision loss (688 causes), Vision distortion (1970 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Vision symptoms (2526 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Visual problems (2143 causes), Impaired vision (1545 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes)

    Symptoms related to Floaters:

    Flashes (29 causes), Vision loss (688 causes), Cloudy vision (316 causes), Blurred vision (982 causes), Double vision (221 causes), Short-sightedness (203 causes), Vitreous detachment, Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), Retinal disorder, Retinal damage, Detached retina, Diabetic retinopathy (9 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Floaters

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Floaters and many other medical conditions:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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