What are floaters?

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HAVE you ever come across seeing tiny dust- like or tiny thread-like chains and dots floating loose within your eye when you look at something bright such as flashes, a blue sky or white paper? They might annoy you for short a while. The tiny small spots that drift through your fields of vision are called eye floaters. Floaters earn their name for moving around in our eye and they tend to dart away if you try to look at them directly. These floaters are not serious if they can come and go. But sometimes floaters can be a sign of a more serious eye condition. If you notice an increase in floaters and they don’t go away, it’s time to seek treatment with the ophthalmologist. Floaters are small flecks of a protein called collagen. Eye floaters have solidified parts of a gel-like substance within the middle of the eye called vitreous. As we are getting older, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous starts to shrink within our eye, creating these small particles. Floaters slowly drift through the vitreous. As they move, they pass in front of your macula, which allows you to see them. This is normal and doesn’t mean that your eyes are no longer healthy. It is important to maintain regular eye exams over time, especially if you are experiencing excessive floaters.

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The Petri Dish is malaysia’s first dedicated science newspaper. Through The Petri Dish we aim to engage the public on the latest developments on biotechnology.