Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Does altitude affect floaters? 

Answer:
Floaters are clumps of cells, protein and debris within the vitreous gel inside your eye.  Altitude does not directly affect them.  Floaters are more noticeable in brightly lit environments when your pupils are small, so they may be more noticeable at altitude if there is bright sunlight or snow.

If you have a sudden increase in your floaters, if you develop flashes of light associated with new floaters, or if a new veil or curtain is in your vision, you should seek prompt attention from your Eye M.D.  These may be signs of a more serious problem (such as a retinal tear or detachment), and early evaluation can save your sight.

Answered by: Aaron Weingeist, MD Dr. Aaron Weingeist

Categories: Eye Injuries, Eye Conditions, General Eye Health

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Answered: May 25, 2011

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