Most eye floaters don't require treatment
In most cases, eye floaters don't require treatment. Learning to cope with your floaters may take time. Living with eye floaters may be frustrating. With time, you may find you can ignore the floaters more easily and that you notice the floaters less often.
Treatments for floaters that impair your vision
In rare cases, your eye floaters may impair your vision. Rarely, floaters may be so large or so numerous that it's difficult to go about your daily tasks. In these situations, you and your eye doctor may consider treatment for your eye floaters.
Options may include:
Jan. 24, 2012
- Using a laser to dissolve floaters. During laser therapy, an ophthalmologist aims a special laser at the floaters in the vitreous. The laser may break up the floaters and make them less noticeable. Some people who undergo laser therapy for their floaters report improved vision, while others notice little or no difference. Risks of laser therapy include damage to your retina that can occur if the laser is pointed incorrectly. Laser surgery to treat floaters is considered experimental and isn't widely used.
- Using surgery to remove the vitreous. During a vitrectomy procedure, an ophthalmologist makes a small incision in your eye and removes the gel-like vitreous. A solution is placed in the eye to help it maintain its shape. Eventually, your body makes and fills your eye with fluid that will replace the solution. Vitrectomy may not remove all the floaters in your vision, and new floaters can develop after surgery. Risks of vitrectomy include bleeding and retinal tears.
- Charles S, et al. Vitreous. In: Riodan-Eva P, et al. Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=19. Accessed Dec. 21, 2011.
- Differential diagnosis of ocular symptoms. In: Ehlers JP, et al. The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008. http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&NEWS=N&PAGE=booktext&D=books&AN=01337416/5th_Edition/3&XPATH=/OVIDBOOK%5b1%5d/METADATA%5b1%5d/TBY%5b1%5d/EDITORS%5b1%5d. Accessed Dec. 21, 2011.
- Sendrowski DP, et al. Current treatment for vitreous floaters. Optometry. 2010;81:157.
- Facts about floaters. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/floaters/floaters.asp. Accessed Dec. 21, 2011.
- Retinal detachment: Torn or detached retina treatment. EyeSmart. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/detached-torn-retina-treatment.cfm. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.