Floaters – Minor Nuisance or Disease?

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Floaters are hair-like, fly-like, grey linear structures that interfere with vision, especially when looking at a bright white background like a white wall, the sky, a hill of snow, etc. Floaters are not seen in dim light situations or when looking at dark backgrounds, such a dark wall or floor. Floaters move with eye movement. When the eye stops moving, floaters keep floating a little bit, hence the name “floaters”.


The eye before vitrectomy


The eye after vitrectomy

A recent study published in the American Journal of Opthalmology evaluated the impact of floaters on the quality of life. The results surprised doctors. What we previously thought of as a minor nuisance, turned out to have a significant negative impact on the quality of life. According to patients, floaters are equal to age-related macular degeneration and greater than diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma in their negative impact on the quality of life. According to this study, patients perceive that floaters are worse than mild angina, mild stroke, colon cancer and asymptomatic HIV infection.

Most remarkably, the investigators of this study found that these patients were willing to take an 11% risk of death and a 7% risk of blindness to get rid of the symptoms related to floaters. As the authors state, patients with floaters are willing to trade off 1.1 years out of every 10 years of their remaining lives to get rid of the symptoms of floaters.

Dr. Sebag of the the VMR Institute in Orange County near Los Angeles and Long Beach is able to offer a cure for floaters. Contact us to seek consultation with Dr. Sebag and determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for the cure for floaters.


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