Having eye floaters is quite common in almost 70 – 80% of people which can happen at some point in their lives. The common cause of eye floaters is ageing where the jelly-like substance that fills our eyeballs (technically called the vitreous) changes as we age.
With the vitreous, the eyeballs can maintain their round shape but as we age, the vitreous pulls away from the eyeball’s interior surface and shrinks and sags. The vitreous then clumps and gets stringy. The resulting debris can cast tiny shadows in the retina of the eye by blocking some light that passes through. These shadows are seen as “floaters”.
With this fact, it is quite normal for adults to have “floaters” but having eye floaters is not normal for children. Thus, it can be quite alarming for parents if their children have eye floaters and related symptoms. Children having eye floaters is a rare occurrence.
To help parents to address eye floaters, here is a guide on what eye floaters are and when it can happen to children:
1. What are the symptoms of eye floaters?
Children may sometimes talk to their parents about anything that bothers them which can include concerns in their vision. For parents’ understanding, here are the common symptoms of eye floaters which can affect one or both eyes.
- Floating shapes in your vision that looks like tiny black or grey specks (or dots) or like threads or strings or fragments of cobwebs.
- The “floaters” are moving when you move your eyes and when you trying to look at them directly, these “floaters” drift out of your line of sight.
- The “floaters” are most obviously seen when you look at a white wall or blue sky or any bright background
Knowledge of these symptoms can help parents determine if their children are having eye floaters and help them decide if there’s a need to seek medical help.
2. When to see a doctor?
It is advisable for parents to immediately seek medical help for their children if they feel that their child has an increased number of eye floaters or if there is a sudden appearance of new eye floaters and if flashes of light are observed in the same eye as the floaters. More importantly, if there is peripheral vision loss or any disruption in your child’s vision, seeking medical help is a must to avoid permanent blindness and any irreversible eye conditions.
3. What are the eye floater treatments available in Singapore?
Some cases of eye floaters are mild and harmless and thus do not require any treatment. For children, regular consultations with an eye doctor can help in the detection of any severe conditions causing the eye floaters. In severe cases, your child’s eye doctor may suggest the following eye floaters treatments:
- Pediatric vitrectomy
This surgical procedure is done when the eye floaters are disrupting a child’s vision. During the procedure, the vitreous gel causing the “floater” is removed and replaced by a saline solution or bubble filled with gas or oil. However, vitrectomy is only performed during serious circumstances only since there also certain risks involved.
- Laser vitreolysis
This procedure is using a non-invasive laser that acts to disperse the “floaters” and break them into multiple pieces making them their effect less visible and less obstructive.
Do note that there is a need for a careful and thorough examination of your child’s case before any treatment of eye floaters can be done and parents should always discuss their options with their doctor.
How to prevent eye floaters?
There is no specific prevention for eye floaters, but parents should be able to make sure that their child’s eye health is taken care of to prevent any eye diseases or conditions.
Here are a few tips for parents:
- Let your child get some natural outside light.
Studies show that letting your child come outside and get some natural light can improve their eyesight and prevent eye disorders such as nearsightedness.
- Physical exercise
Physical activity minimizes the risk of obesity and diabetes in children as some studies show that weight problems can affect one’s eyesight. By being obese or diabetic, there is a higher risk of having a condition called Retinopathy where the tiny blood vessels in the eye are damaged and if left untreated can lead to permanent blindness.
- Proper Dietary Habits
Parents should make sure that their children learn to eat a proper diet. A diet containing food that is good for eye health should be highly considered.
- Regular Eye Check-up/Exam
Letting your child have a regular eye check-up/exam can help in the early detection of an eye-related problem. Some cases can get worse if undetected or untreated. Parents’ best choice would be to always turn to an experienced eye expert for the treatment of their child.
Where to get eye floaters treatment for your child in Singapore?
For eye floaters treatment, you can come and visit Dr Claudine Pang at #15-10 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238859 (Phone: +65 6732 1741). Dr Pang has more than 13 years of experience in ophthalmology and is an internationally recognized Retinal Eye Surgeon. Dr Pang’s specialty includes cataract surgery, retinal detachment surgery, macular surgery, myopic diseases, age-related macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, central serous chorioretinopathy, inflammatory retinopathies, and inherited retinal diseases. She has established the Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre that has a vision of providing quality eye care in a comfortable setting with attentive and personalized care for all her patients.
Dr Claudine Pang
#15-10 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd,
+65 6732 1741