11 Jun Eye Floaters
Eye floaters are mentioned daily by patients, with varying degrees of disturbance. People will describe dark spots in front of their eyes, or string like images what drift through their vision, typically when looking at a bright background.
What are eye floaters and where do they come from?
The vitreous is a clear jelly like material that fills the back of the eye and is one of the medium we look through. It keeps the eye round and functioning normally. With age the constituency of this gel-like material changes, liquifying effectively. This changes the structure of the vitreous and the membrane that holds the vitreous against the retina slowly separates (posterior vitreous detachment). Disease of the eye can also accelerate this degenerative change.
Patients often mention their difficulty with night driving, again if the transparency through the vitreous is deteriorating when the light level is low their ability to see detail is compromised. Conversely when the lights of oncoming cars enters the eye, the light is reflected and scattered within the eye. When there is debris such as floaters and density differences within the vitreous this is greatly exacerbated.
Over time as various cells in the eye are regenerated and replaced some of the by-products from this rejuvination do not get transported away or dissolved fully. What remains can forms clumps or string like matter, we see as eye floaters. The more liquified our former jelly-like vitreous becomes the more freedom of movement, the remaining debris has to move and thus cross our line of sight far more frequently.
Certain patients are more prone to eye floaters, high myopes (shortsighted) menopausal women and certain syndromes (e.g. Stickler) have increased risk factors for eye floaters.
What can be done about eye floaters?
Typically there was a wait and see philosophy around floaters as the surgical intervention was considered drastic and carried potential side effects far worse than the floaters themselves. Once examination has established the the presence of floaters are not associated with any retinal complications, patients are asked to live with them and hope they resolve spontaneously.
Two procedures are available
– Pars plana vitrectomy, where the patients vitreous is removed and the floaters there-in and replaced with an artificial vitreous substance
– nd:YAG laser vitreolysis, a relatively newer, but improving procedure using lasers to zap the floater, the procedure is not fully adopted due to the lack of significant safety evidence.
Fortunately there is a newer simpler method to dissipate eye floaters with a specific micro-nutrient that was developed by the School of Health Science in Waterford, Ireland.
VitroCap N capsules offer a safe and inexpensive, hassle free way to reduce the inconvenience of eye floaters. Initially a 3 -month (90 box) course is recommended and if necessary and the results are not achieved, the patients continues for another 3 months.
Studies have indicated, previous patients that enjoyed success from these micro-nutrients VitroCap N, repeat the course as and when they become aware of floaters in later years. Remember as we age degenerative changes are unfortunately ongoing.
In clinic we measure the effects on the contrast sensitivity and this is a great indication of the improvement of the ocular transparency through the vitreous. Patients will appreciate the reduction of their eye floaters but what they may not be aware of is the general improvement of their transparency. Where they are aware, is the improvement in their night vision. The less debris in the eye, the less reflections and glare they experience.
ig eye floaters are a concern or inconvenience feel free to contact us for a consultation for an assessment and recommendation as to how to resolve this issue.
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