Is there a treatment for eye floaters?


Most floaters are a nuisance,
something that people notice and can easily ignore or get used to, and that’s usually because they’re not affecting people’s vision, either significantly
or at significant times. Many people who do have
bothersome floaters have them all of the
time and are essentially looking through a central haze, or such that they can’t see clearly, and having constantly to
move their eyes sideways to try and get the
floaters out of the way. In that situation, if you’re
trying to read and can’t read, if you’re trying to use a computer and have this cloud in
the way all the time, then, understandably, that’s
a significant problem. I think sometimes floaters, for people, in their dominant eye,
can be quite significant, because they potentially affect
them when they’re driving. It’s not uncommon for people to describe not being able to see road
signs until much later, just feeling uncomfortable
and unsafe when driving, particularly in wet weather and such. I readily treat people with floaters. The most important thing about treatment is to look at the eye, to understand which
treatments are possible, which treatments are safe for your eye, and then to discuss what that
means from your point of view, the risks, the potential benefits, and how much benefit you might get. So the two main treatments for floaters are laser and surgery. Laser is done in the
office, in the clinic, and is basically fairly
safe, but it has risks, and the most important thing
I’ll do before I do any laser is make sure that you’re
as low a risk as possible of the potential complications of laser. Those include hitting the macula, which can cause permanent visual loss, or hitting the lens at the
front of the eye, which can mean that you need an urgent cataract
operation, which would not be the ideal type of
cataract operation either. When it comes to surgery,
there’s a lot of discussions that’s necessary, and
it’s generally better to tailor that discussion
specifically to the patient rather than to give a whole
series of benefits and risks. It’s much more important that you’re seen, and that that discussion
is specific to you. I try never to book
patients for either YAG or surgery on the day. I usually ask patients to go
home, think about it, consider.

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