Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can I reduce my amount of eye floaters?"
I normally just ignore them, I know that they're harmless, but floaters are still annoying and I seem to be experiencing more than normal
In order to rule out any serious issues, I recommend that you visit an ophthalmologist. The eye is composed of many layers of tissue and fluid filled cavities. There is a large cavity in the interior of the eyeball between the lens and the retina that is filled with a refractive fluid called the vitreous humour. The vitreous humour is a gel-like fluid composed of 99% water and 1% dissolved solids. When we are young, the vitreous humor is perfectly clear with no imperfections. As we age, however, imperfections in the vitreous humor develop. These are commonly perceived as floaters. Most commonly, floaters are linear imperfections that can occasionally be perceived by the patient because they refract or block light, causing shadowing or distortion of the image being focused on the retina. The linear floaters are thought to be caused by contraction of the vitreous humor as we age. When the vitreous humor shrinks with age, this can cause some dissolved solids such as collagen to come out of solution, causing linear particles to appear suspended in the vitreous humor. Rarely, floaters can occur as a result of retinal detachment or other eye trauma that releases tissue into the vitreous humour. Although a rare cause of floaters, retinal detachment is a serious problem that can threaten vision, so patient with floaters should have an eye exam by an ophthalmologist. Most of the time floaters do not cause a significant enough problem to warrant treatment, and even then, treatment options are very limited. Procedures have been described where the vitreous humor is surgically replaced for severe cases of floaters and some specialists are trying to develop laser treatments to deal with floaters, however these are still considered experimental and unproven. There are certainly no simple home remedies or even prescription medications for floaters at this time. My recommendation is that you make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for an eye exam, to rule out any serious visual problems, and if floaters are causing significant visual problems for you, perhaps you can discuss with your doctor whether any surgical treatment options would be warranted in your case.
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