What are Floaters are small moving spots which appear to “float” across our vision. They are located in the back cavity of the eye, in the gel called the vitreous. Floaters are not usually concerning, however, occasionally they are a sign of another, more severe condition. Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they notice an abrupt increase in the number of eye floaters, or the size of their floaters. Floaters can result from:
They are usually more noticeable when a person is looking at something bright like a piece of white paper. Eye floaters can be frustrating.
Most floaters are the result of tiny flecks of a protein named collagen which shred in thin strands from the back compartment of the eye. This area is filled with a gel-like material called the vitreous humor. As a person ages, the vitreous and the millions of fine collagen fibers within it, shrink and shreds accumulate.
Floaters generally appear to dart away when a person tries to focus on them. Floaters can be different shapes including:
Most people eventually adjust to their floaters and don’t require treatment. Still, any new floaters need to be evaluated.
For people who are bothered by floaters, two types of treatment are available:
The simplest and safest option is an in-office laser procedure. Surprisingly, until recently most eye doctors, even those practicing at prestigious universities, were unaware that floaters could be treated with lasers. At InVision Eye Care, however, we have successfully used lasers to correct floaters for patients for over 20 years. We are among the most experienced centers in the country in performing this procedure. Lasering floaters is painless, and when performed properly by an experienced surgeon, risk of complications is extremely low. To date, no patient who’s undergone this procedure at our office has experienced any complications.
If the floaters are symptomatic of another condition, then treating the underlying cause can improve the frequency of floaters.
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