Eye Floaters and When to Seek Treatment?

Eye floaters are small specks or strings that show up and drift around in your field of vision. For over 40 years, the award-winning team of eye doctors at Access Eye have helped patients in the Fredericksburg, Stafford, King George and Spotsylvania area by treating their floaters. Here, these doctors explain when it makes sense for you to take action to address floaters.

Most Floaters Go Untreated

Overall, eye floaters are harmless. Since they usually minimally impair a patient’s vision, most people choose to forego treatment altogether. When it comes to other eye conditions, postponing or skipping treatment can be dangerous to your ongoing vision, but having floaters is a case where Access Eye’s optometrists agree that care is not urgent or even necessary.

When Floater Treatment Is Appropriate

Just because floaters do not threaten your health does not mean they can’t become annoying. If your floaters bother you enough that you would like to put a stop to them, then it makes sense for you to seek treatment.

Usually, floaters can be treated with a minimally invasive laser. At Access Eye, we treat most cases with ELLEX, which uses a YAG laser to reduce or eliminate floaters in the eye. The laser’s energy breaks up the specks into particles so small that they become far less noticeable. The procedure is typically completed in half an hour.

If Your Floaters Are More Serious

If you have dense floaters that remain in your field of vision consistently, then getting treatment may be necessary rather than a matter of preference. In this instance, it may make sense to have an ophthalmologist perform a vitrectomy, which involves draining the vitreous liquid from the eye (along with the floater debris) and then replacing it with a saline solution.

Continue to Pay Attention to Floaters

A wait-and-see approach is fine, but you should continue to monitor your floaters. Pay close attention to whether the floaters get larger or enter your field of vision more often, because that may be a sign that a more serious health problem is at play. Although floaters are almost always due to natural changes that occur in your eye as you get older, they could also be indicative of a torn retina, posterior uveitis (inflammation at the back of the eye) or blood in the eye. Our trained eye doctors can check for these problems and treat them as necessary — usually treating these conditions makes the floaters go away permanently.