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Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

You may have heard that those little specks that seem to float across your visual field are harmless, and most are — but they sometimes need medical attention. The eye experts at Rocky Mountain Eye Center, with locations in Missoula, Hamilton, Helena, and Butte, Montana, can identify whether your floaters are signs of a serious condition that may threaten your vision. Call today to schedule an appointment or book your visit online.

Floaters Q & A

What are Floaters?

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Eye floaters are moving spots in your vision. They may appear as a combination of dark gray specks, strings, or webs that drift rather lazily around when you move your eyes but shift away quickly when you try to focus on them directly.

What Causes Floaters?

Most floaters are age-related and caused by changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid and begins to shrink or sag. This causes tiny fiber-like debris within the vitreous that can cast shadows on your retina. These are floaters.

The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye. It contains light-sensitive cells that send impulses along the optic nerve, which your brain uses to form visual images.

Along with age-related changes, floaters may be caused by:

  • Inflammation at the back of the eye due to infection or inflammatory diseases
  • Bleeding in the eye, which may be caused by diabetes, hypertension, or blocked blood vessels
  • Torn retina, which may lead to retinal detachment and permanent vision loss if not treated quickly


When Should I See a Doctor for Floaters?

Floaters are often harmless, but see your eye doctor if:

  • You notice floaters for the first time
  • Notice a sudden increase in the number of floaters you see
  • Develop flashes of light along with the floaters
  • Notice dark areas in your peripheral (side) vision


Because these symptoms may indicate a retinal tear, it’s imperative that you see your eye doctor as quickly as possible should you develop one or more. A torn retina, and even detached retina, often responds well to treatment if caught early.

The team of experts at Rocky Mountain Eye Center includes eye surgeons who are well-known for their skill in repairing retinal tears and detachments. They’re also well-equipped to provide effective treatment for other conditions causing increased floaters, such as intraocular bleeding or inflammation.

Schedule an appointment today at Rocky Mountain Eye Center. When it comes to your eye health and vision, you can rely on the skill and experience of this talented team to serve you well. Call the office or book your visit online.