Should I Be Concerned About Seeing Floaters After Eye Surgery?

Aug 01, 2023
Should I Be Concerned About Seeing Floaters After Eye Surgery?
Are you noticing dark specs of floating material when you move your eyes? Explore the reasons behind eye floaters after surgery, when to be concerned, and when to seek medical attention.

Eye floaters are visual disturbances characterized by spots in your field of vision. They often appear as black or gray specks, strings, or cobwebs. These floaters may move around when your eyes are in motion and tend to evade direct focus when you try to observe them directly. 

While they can be unsettling, floaters after eye surgery are relatively common. But if you experience a sudden increase in eye floaters, we recommend you seek immediate attention, particularly if you also notice light flashes or experience a loss of vision. These symptoms can indicate a severe emergency that requires prompt medical intervention. 

With offices in Rapid City, SD, and Casper, Wyoming, Cory Bergman, MD, can help you get to the bottom of your floaters after glaucoma, cataract, or other eye surgeries. 

What are floaters?

The primary cause of most eye floaters is age-related changes to your vitreous, the jelly-like substance in your eyes. As you age, this substance can undergo liquefaction and contraction. Clusters of collagen fibers disperse throughout the vitreous, creating small shadows on the retina, manifesting as floaters.

Generally, floaters are harmless and tend to diminish or become less noticeable as time passes. However, there are instances where they may warrant further investigation, which is why you'd want to visit Dr. Bergman sooner than later.

Symptoms associated with eye floaters include small shapes in your visual field, appearing as dark specks or knobby, translucent strings of floating material. These spots may move when your eyes are in motion, swiftly evading direct gaze. 

They are often most noticeable when observing a plain, bright background, such as a blue sky or a white wall. Over time, these small shapes or strings tend to settle and drift out of your line of vision.

What to expect after eye surgery 

Procedures like cataract surgery involve delicate manipulation of the eye's internal structures, including the vitreous humor. In these surgeries, it is common for the vitreous to be partially or entirely removed and replaced with a clear fluid or gas bubble. 

This alteration in the vitreous composition can make pre-existing floaters more noticeable or even result in the emergence of new floaters. Observing floaters following eye surgery is often a common aspect of the healing journey. 

During the initial phases of recovery, you may notice a rise in the quantity and intensity of floaters as residual inflammation and the presence of gas bubbles or clear fluids introduced during the surgical procedure. As the eye heals over time, these floaters become less bothersome and eventually subside without intervention.

When to be concerned

While floaters after surgery are typically harmless, there are situations where they might indicate a more serious condition. If you encounter any of the following severe symptoms, we strongly advise you to contact our office or seek immediate medical attention:

  • Sudden escalation in the number and size of floaters
  • The presence of flashing lights or a curtain-like shadow obstructing your vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision or a sudden decline in overall visual clarity
  • Eye pain
  • Redness
  • Intensification of light sensitivity

These symptoms could signify a retinal detachment or other complications requiring urgent medical intervention. While it's important not to panic, contact Dr. Bergman for prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment if needed.

Dr. Bergman and his team understand that even though it can be alarming, observing floaters after eye surgery is common. In most cases, it is not a cause for alarm, as these floaters typically fade over time. However, it is crucial to remain vigilant about any sudden changes in your vision or the presence of additional symptoms. 

If you experience any warning signs mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact Cory Bergman, MD, or seek immediate medical attention. Your eye health is our utmost priority, and we’re committed to ensuring your peace of mind throughout the recovery process. You can call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online.