Floaters are dark, variably shaped, objects which can be seen by people against a bright background. They are very, very common.
They see objects that resemble flies, mosquitoes, maybe cobwebs or strings, sometimes comma shaped other times very elaborate in shape against a whitish wall or a bright blue sky and they can actually be seen to move with eye movements.
Sometimes people think they are going crazy as they imagine these objects are in front of them!
Floaters are caused by the aggregation of proteins in the vitreous or the ‘gel’ of the eye. They can present suddenly or be longstanding. If they present suddenly… it’s usually due to something called a posterior vitreous detachment. That’s the natural separation of the gel of the eye from the back part of the eye called the retina.
Often people say they can see ‘flashes’ of light as well. Especially at night (when it’s dark).
It is not to be confused with a retinal detachment which is much more serious.
People Who Encounter Floaters
Some people don’t see their floaters at all. whereas some people see them only if they look hard for them. For these people nothing is needed. However, some people have prominent floaters that can be very close to the centre of the visual axis and be very bothersome. Some people are distracted by them when using a computer monitor or reading. Others can’t even drive without being distracted by them.
They can be a real nuisance.
It has been said that there is nothing you can do about them. However that is not true. There has been an operation available for many years called a vitrectomy. This removes floaters.
However, it’s an operation. An operation which has risks of problems in the eye.
New Procedure for Floaters
Now there is a new procedure for floaters called YAG laser vitreolysis.
A laser, called the Ultra Q Reflex is shone into the eye directly at the floaters and the floaters are vaporised. ‘Dissolved’ if you like.
Listeners will be interested to know that the laser is an Australian invention.
It’s made in Adelaide by a company called Ellex and Adelaide exports them to many countries of the world. Including the US and Germany (these are the countries we often associate with advanced laser technology). So it’s quite amazing!
No procedure is without risk. However, because there is no surgery, that is, there are no cuts made in the eye, no holes into the eye, no scalpels, no needles so there is no risk of infection or haemorrhage and those other potential problems associated with surgery.
Ulltra Q Reflex Laser
If people have troublesome floaters, they should know that there is now an noninvasive option available to them: the Ultra Q reflex laser from Ellex (Australia).
More information is available on: www.ellex.com (this is not Dr Moshegov’s website).
Click here for more information about: Laser Eye Surgery Sydney.