They come out of nowhere, those little dots, squiggly lines or strands in your field of vision. They appear suddenly if you gaze at a bright white piece of paper or look up to admire a cloud-free, brilliant blue sky, then they vanish just as quickly as they appeared. What are these pesky little eye floaters anyway?
The good news is that eye floaters are generally harmless and only mildly annoying. They are composed of clumps and strands of collagen, a substance produced naturally by the body. They are a part of the natural aging process and usually appear more often between the ages of 50 and 75 years old. They are most likely to appear to those who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery.
Over time, the millions of collagen fibers your body has produced can accumulate in the region of the eye known as the vitreous. This is a thick transparent substance in the middle of the eye that makes up two-thirds of its volume. They can alter the amount of light that gets through to your retina (the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) and appear as floaters. In extreme cases, a doctor can replace your natural vitreous with a gel-like substance; but that is very rarely needed or recommended.
The best news is that floaters do not harm your vision or interfere with your ability to see clearly. However, they can be annoying; and if you are near-sighted or have a family history of cataract surgery, you might want to take a few preventive steps to keep floaters at bay.
Vitamins and Supplements
There are several dietary supplements you can use that have shown to help keep eyes healthy and lessen your risk of developing eye floaters as you age, such as:
Vitamin C – this essential nutrient plays a key role in eye health by encouraging healthy collagen production, which supports the connective tissue in the cornea. It also keeps the delicate capillaries in the retina healthy. Finally, this vital nutrient may help reduce your risk of forming cataracts or experiencing a loss of vision due to macular degeneration.
Vitamin A – is another crucial nutrient that keeps your eyes healthy. It helps protect them from infection and eye disease, distinguish between a wide-array of colors and helps prevents night blindness.
Taurine – is an antioxidant that supports your body’s efficiency in getting rid of waste products and can help keep eye floaters from forming.
Bilberry – is a supplement, not a vitamin, which mimics vitamin C in supporting collagen production and strong blood vessels for good circulation to your eyes.
L-Methione – is an amino acid that assists the body in removing heavy metal toxins, which are especially damaging to delicate eye tissue.
Inositol – plays a vital role in maintaining cell membranes. A low level of this substance in the body is linked to several health problems like eczema, constipation and eye issues.
Minerals – magnesium, selenium, calcium, copper, chromium and zinc are all essential minerals that play important roles in keeping your eyes healthy.
Other Causes of Eye Floaters:
There are several things that contribute to increased eye floaters, such as:
Being severely nearsighted
Stress (it causes problems for all parts of the body!)
Some liver or kidney medications
Pre-birth (you can be born with them)
Eye Floater 911
If you get a sudden increase in eye floaters that are accompanied by flashes of light, or you experience a sudden loss in your peripheral vision, get medical help immediately! These are signs of a detached retina, retinal tear or internal bleeding in the eye. All of these issues can lead to permanent vision loss so seek medical help immediately if you experience those symptoms.
While you may not be able to completely avoid experiencing eye floaters, you can take preventive steps to keep them at a minimum with a few dietary enhancements. Adding some of the above supplements into your diet will probably help you “see” some great health benefits.