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noun. tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous that fills your eye

You usually notice floaters when looking at something plain, like a blank wall or a blue sky.


As we age, our vitreous starts to thicken or shrink. Sometimes clumps or strands form in the vitreous. If the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye, it is called posterior vitreous detachment. Floaters usually happen with posterior vitreous detachment. They are not serious, and they tend to fade and become less noticeable over time. Severe floaters can be removed by surgery, but this has risks and is seldom necessary or recommended.

You are more likely to get floaters if you:

  • are nearsighted (you need glasses to see far away)

  • have had surgery for cataracts

  • have had inflammation (swelling) inside the eye

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