Keep your eyes healthy in a technology-driven world.

Ask an expert: should I be worried about the floaters in my eyes?

Between work, everyday communication and Netflix, most of us stare at computer and smart phone screens for hours each day. What impact does all this screen-time have on our eyesight?

Q: I often see semi-transparent specs floating across my field of vision—does this mean I have an eyesight problem?

A: The short answer is no. The semi-transparent shapes in our in our field of vision, often called eye floaters, appear with the natural aging of the eye—when vitreous gel in our eyes degenerates. These floaters are more common for people with short-sightedness, also known as myopia, and become increasingly common as people get into their late-20s and 30s. However, if someone develops a lot of eye floaters very suddenly, this could be a sign of retinal detachment and should be addressed right away.

Q: I spend almost one-third of my day in front of a computer and I seem to have lots of floaters in both eyes that do not disappear. What can I do?

A: Almost all of us have eye floaters under certain lighting conditions. They are most obvious when looking at a bright or white surface. Unfortunately, eye floaters can be a real nuisance in work environments with very bright computer screens or backlighting. The best solution in these circumstances is to turn down the brightness on your computer monitor and eliminate sources of glare, such as from a window or bright lighting.

Read the full article at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Insitute.

Dr. Patrick Ma is a Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute researcher and clinical professor at the Department of Ophthalmology at UBC.

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