Ophthalmologist Questions Eye Floaters

Are eye floaters a problem of the eye or a neurological problem?

My father in law is 72 years old and is complaining of eye floaters, which I honestly haven't heard of. Is something wrong with his eyes or is it a neurological problem?

9 Answers

Vitreous floaters are common and in most patients are more of an aggravation than anything serious. However, floaters may be a sign of a potentially serious retina problem. Unfortunately, you can’t differentiate a minor aggravation from a more serious problems just based on his symptoms. Onlyan eye exam can reliably determine that, so he should go see his eye doctor.
Usually, occasionally associated with age and the vitreous changing showers of floaters. I recommend a vitreoretinal evaluation.
It can be either. Vision can be disturbed by:

1-Particles floating inside the eye may be harmless, or may indicate the new onset of a retinal tear or hole in the retina.
2-Vision may also be obstructed by particles passing through the bloodstream of the eye, and may suggest you have carotid artery plaques, a stroke risk.

Either should be checked by your eye doctor.
Floaters mean the jelly in the back of eye is degenerating, which could become a retinal tear or detachment. He needs to see an ophthalmologist. It is not neurological.
A "floater" is not uncommon after the age of 50 and more common in people that are nearsighted. A new "floater" should be evaluated as the process that creates the "floater" can tear the retina and lead to a retinal detachment with permanent vision loss.
Floaters are almost always an eye problem, most commonly caused by separation of the vitreous gel that fills the back 2/3 of the eye separating from its weak attachment to the optic nerve head. Less commonly, but less benign, floaters could be caused by a detachment of the retina, or bleeding in the eye. Finally, the symptoms of a migraine may be confused with floaters.
In any event, any new onset of floaters should first be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. 

RICHARD P. MARGOLIES, MD
They are an eye problem, but should be evaluated to be sure there isn't an underlying inflammation, infection or retinal problem causing them.
It's due to the vitreous degeneration in aging eyes. Usually no cause for worry but see an eye doctor if there are flashes of light.
It is not a neuroligical problem. Floaters are tiny spots inside the jelly that fills your eyes. It is very common to develop them and not a reason for concern, unless they are covering your vision or come with flashing or flickering lights. In that case, you may need to see an ophthalmologist within a few days.