WHAT is a Floater?
A floater is characterized by noticing "floating" particles within your line of vision. The floaters may resemble patterns that move with the eye, but in reality, they are small bits of vitreous gel that have clumped together. Although it is not directly a sign of a serious visual condition, floaters can cause unwelcome symptoms. Over time, many people will get used to their floaters and notice them less. However, if your floaters are constant and creating vision concerns for you, you should be examined by a credentialed eye surgeon to determine the cause and best treatment method going forward. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Alison R. Tendler regularly examines the eyes of patients with stable floaters who are experiencing undesirable symptoms and are in hopes of finding an effective solution to improve their vision. At ART Vision you will personally meet with Dr. Tendler to see if you are a candidate for floater treatment. For more information, read on, then contact our team to schedule your visit.
How do they affect us?
Patients describe their floaters in many different manners. Some compare them to dirt on the car windshield, or as insects that dart across their line of vision. Regardless of what they resemble, they are generally more noticeable in brightly lit situations or when looking at electronic screens. Stable floaters seem to move with the eye in a consistent fashion. No matter your profression or personal hobbies, floaters can profoundly impact your quality of life.
Why do they occur?
Floaters are very common and many people have them. Most are small and manageable, but others are larger and more visually disturbing. It is believed that floaters are caused by the natural aging process. Over time, the vitreous fluid in our eyes begins to shrink and thicken, causing small clumps. The clumps cast shadows over the retina, which causes the floaters we are seeing in our line of vision. As the vitreous continues to shrink, it can pull away from the retina, which could potentially lead to a common floater type, a posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD. Although most floaters occur because of aging, some can occur earlier or more noticeably in patients with myopia and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, Some vision-related surgeries, traumas, or head injuries can increase an individual's risk of experiencing floaters.
During your appointment at ART Vision, Dr. Tendler will assess your floater(s) and determine not only the type of floater you have, but discuss how it is impacting how you desire to live your life. She will assess it's size and location, and then discuss possible treatment options with you along with expectations. Some minor, stable floaters do not require treatment and could self-resolve or become less noticeable. However, for some patients, floaters cause a dramatic vision obstruction and decreased quality of life. In these cases, laser treatment or surgery may be needed.
Floaters are not harmful and good treatment options have been limited. Surgery is not commonly performed for standard floaters due to the risks involved. Recently, however, laser technology and protocols have been introduced as possible options in the right patient. Dr. Tendler performs YAG vitreolysis for patients whose floaters meet requirements for laser treatment. This laser procedure is safe, effective, and non-invasive, and can contribute to improved symptoms for patients with stable floaters. Due to the advanced nature of the laser technology and Dr. Tendler's experience and skill, YAG vitreolysis allows for the precise targeting of stable floaters. The energy delivered during the treatment works to vaporize the floater and eliminate associated symptoms.
Seek Relief today
Though floaters are rarely a serious issue, we at ART Vision understand the impact they can have on your vision and daily life. To learn more about the cause of your condition and ways that we can treat it, contact our Sioux Falls, SD facility to schedule your consultation with Dr. Alison Tendler. Let us help you to See the World Better and See Yourself Better.