• You're all caught up!

Eye Floaters and Exercise

author image Dr. Bernadette Hromin, MD
Bernadette Hromin has been a practicing ophthalmologist in the New York area for more than 10 years. Having a professional fluency in Spanish, she writes a blog which educates health care workers in the bilingual clinical environment. As an eye doctor, Bernadette is a stickler about eating one green vegetable daily.
Eye Floaters and Exercise
A male skiier wearing goggles in the mountains. Photo Credit Digital Vision/Valueline/Getty Images

From time to time, everyone sees small dark specks moving in their vision. These "floaters" are actually condensations of vitreous humor -- the gel that fills the inside of the eye. The more movement a person makes, such as during exercise, the more floaters that can be seen moving. Most of the time, floaters are harmless. However, sometimes floaters indicate the development of a retinal tear. This involves damage to the retina -- the part of the eye that allows you to see.

Gel Shadows

Vitreous humor is made of collagen, a transparent jelly-like material that over time becomes less solid and more liquid. It contracts and forms clumps that float freely inside the eye and are seen as dark spots, or floaters, moving in your field of vision. They are more common as you age. Any activity, such as rapidly moving your eyes to look at something, can stir up these gel clumps and make floaters more noticeable. Exercise that involves pronounced head movements, such as jogging and trampoline jumping, can have the same effect.

Potential Problems

Flashes of light can sometimes accompany floaters. This occurs when the vitreous gel rubs against or tugs the retina. Floaters and flashes that are stirred up through activity usually settle and dissipate after a few seconds. If floaters persist or decrease the vision in your eye, it is not normal. This may mean the vitreous has torn the retina. Exercise has not been found to cause retinal tears, but if you experience symptoms of blurry vision from floaters, you must see an eye doctor for immediate evaluation. Left untreated, a tear or hole in the retina can lead to fluid collecting underneath the retina and detaching it, resulting in loss of vision.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media