Floaters suddenly appear in your field of vision and usually disappear just as quickly. Transient floaters are harmless, but many patients develop large or frequent floaters that interfere with their vision. At Astorino & Associates Eye Center, Arthur Astorino, MD, and Tram Ho, OD, safely and effectively eliminate bothersome floaters using laser floater removal. If you’d like to get rid of floaters, call the office in Newport Beach, California, or schedule an appointment online.
Floaters are fleeting spots, strings, or other shapes that drift across your field of vision. When you experience a floater, you see a shadow created by tiny clumps of protein in your eye’s vitreous humor.
The vitreous humor is a gel-like substance inside your eye. It supports the shape of your eye and helps keep the retina attached to the back wall of your eye.
As you get older, this structural gel shrinks and becomes stringy. When loose strands become suspended in the vitreous humor, they cast a shadow on the retina, and you see them as floaters.
In addition to your age, your risk of developing floaters increases if you’re severely nearsighted, have diabetes, or had cataract surgery.
Nearly everyone will experience random floaters during their lifetime. These floaters are harmless. They sink to the bottom of your eye and settle out of your line of sight.
However, floaters can become a problem when they’re so large or frequent that they interfere with your vision or affect your quality of life.
Floaters also signal a serious problem when they suddenly increase in number or size, or flashes of light or a change in your vision accompany them. These are signs of a detached retina, infection, inflammation, or eye injury, all of which need emergency eye care.
Before laser floater removal or laser vitreolysis, the only way to treat floaters was with a vitrectomy. Vitrectomy is a procedure to remove your vitreous humor along with any floaters, then replace it with a salt solution.
However, a vitrectomy is a high-risk procedure that can cause complications. Collagen fibers that run through the vitreous humor are also attached to your retina. Vitrectomy has the potential to cause retinal detachment or tears. By comparison, laser vitreolysis has a high success rate and a low risk of complications.
Astorino & Associates Eye Center can safely perform laser floater removal when your floaters affect your vision. During laser floater removal, your provider uses an ophthalmic laser to vaporize the clumps of protein.
If you’re bothered by large or frequent floaters, call Astorino & Associates Eye Center or schedule an appointment online.