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Is It Normal for Kids to Have Eye Floaters?

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Eye health is important at every age, and maintaining consistent appointments with your optometrist is crucial for healthy vision. Making sure that your optometrist has an opportunity to catch any vision problems early with your children can get them off to a great start with healthy eyesight.

One of these vision issues can be eye floaters. While it’s not typical for children to have eye floaters, as they are more commonly associated with aging and changes in the vitreous gel inside the eye, children may experience floaters due to inflammation, trauma, or underlying eye conditions. If a child reports seeing floaters, it’s important to have their eyes evaluated by an eye care professional to determine the cause and ensure proper management.

Let’s look at how eye floaters can affect kids and how they develop. 

What Are Eye Floaters?

Eye floaters are tiny specks or strings that can float into your field of vision. While eye floaters can be a nuisance, they usually do not cause any pain or discomfort. 

Eye floaters can appear as black or gray dots, lines, cobwebs, or blobs. In some cases, a large floater can cast a shadow over your vision and cause a more prominent dark spot in your sight. 

Floaters move as your eyes move—so looking at them directly causes them to move away seemingly.

You may be at a higher risk of developing eye floaters if you: 

Eye floaters are natural due to the eye’s vitreous body – the vitreous provides physical support, lining the inside of the eye and acts as a storage zone for metabolites.  It is a complex meshwork made of fibers that feels like a jelly-like substance.

Eye floaters are usually a cause of normal changes in your eyes. They occur as you age, with tiny strands of your vitreous sticking together and casting a shadow on your retina.

Anyone can get eye floaters at some point. Still, they are ignored because they’re relatively painless and shouldn’t cause you much discomfort.

Some less common causes of eye floaters include:

  • Eye injury—if the eye is hit or damaged by an object during an accident, you may experience eye floaters.
  • Nearsightedness—nearsighted people can experience eye floaters more frequently.
  • Inflammation—swelling and inflammation in the eye caused by infection may cause eye floaters.
  • Diabetic retinopathy—diabetes can damage blood vessels that lead to the retina. When those blood vessels become damaged, the retina may struggle to interpret the images and lights hitting it. 

While the causes of eye floaters can vary, people usually allow them to linger because of the relatively low level of discomfort. 

Eye Floaters Treatment

In most cases, eye floaters won’t require treatment, and most people opt to ignore them and move on. However, if eye floaters begin impairing your vision, you will need to contact your optometrist and may need laser removal or surgery

Eye floaters are rarely troublesome enough to result in additional issues. Maintaining frequent check-ups with your optometrist can help you monitor and react to any eye floater issues. 

An image of the sky with floaters present, to mimic what having floaters looks like

Eye Floaters & Kids

Eye floaters are more common in adults but can also occur in children. Occasional floaters are usually harmless and will come and go. 

The cause for concern can arrive if multiple floaters or floaters are accompanied by flashing lights, this can signal a retinal tear or inflammation inside the eye

It’s normal for your children to have eye floaters that come and go. It’s essential to monitor how severe their floaters get or if they experience flashing lights or multiple new eye floaters. 

Depending on the severity or how uncomfortable your children feel, your optometrist can determine if they require further treatment and the best course of action.

Eye Floaters vs. Black Spots vs. Dots in Vision

Floaters are typically described as small, semi-transparent shapes or strands that drift across the field of vision, often appearing as specks, strings, or cobwebs. They move with eye movement and are more noticeable against bright backgrounds.

Black spots in vision can indicate more serious issues such as retinal detachment or bleeding within the eye. They appear as dark, localized areas in the visual field and may not move with eye movement.

Dots in vision may refer to pinpoint spots or specks that appear stationary and can be indicative of various eye conditions such as floaters, retinal issues, or migraines with aura.

It’s essential to consult with your child’s eye doctor to determine the cause and appropriate management if someone experiences persistent dots, black spots, floaters, or changes in vision.

Preserving Your Vision

Eye floaters appearing can be stressful, especially for kids. The good news is that eye floaters are harmless in most cases and cause minimal discomfort. The symptoms of a more serious eye condition can develop, and your optometrist can assist you with the next steps. 

Book an appointment with your optometrist today for more information on eye floaters.

Written by Total Vision

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