Vitreous floaters, more commonly known as eye floaters, are small spots that appear in your vision.\nDenise Gallagher, MD, an ophthalmologist at UPMC Eye Center explains more about the cause and treatment of eye floaters.\nWhat Are the Causes of Eye Floaters?\nThe most common cause is aging.\u00a0 It is normal for the vitreous gel in the back part of our eye to become more liquefied as we get older, and the strands that hold the gel together begin to clump and form the floaters that we are then able to see.\nWhat Conditions Are Eye Floaters Associated With?\nEye floaters can also be associated with a retinal tear or detachment.\u00a0 Other conditions that can cause floaters include inflammatory conditions within the eye, and diabetic retinopathy, which can cause bleeding inside of the eye.\nWho Develops Eye Floaters?\nMost people will develop floaters as they get older. This process happens gradually with age and the floaters can start to be seen even in a person\u2019s 20\u2019s and 30\u2019s.\u00a0 There is no effective way to prevent this from happening. It is more common the older you are, or if you are more near-sighted.\nWhen Should You See a Doctor?\nIt is always recommended you see an ophthalmologist if you suddenly develop new floaters.\u00a0 As mentioned above, new floaters can sometimes be associated with a number of eye conditions and it is best to see the ophthalmologist to rule out any other conditions. A dilated retina exam is recommended in order to assess for these.\nWhat Are the Treatment Options?\nIn most cases, the ophthalmologist will just monitor the vitreous floaters if there are no other abnormalities noted on exam. The floaters typically cause no harm and become less noticeable with time. Vitreous surgery can be performed to remove them in extreme cases, but this carries the risk of having surgery on an otherwise healthy eye and is usually not recommended.