Nearly 300,000 people are afflicted by floaters, but almost all of those affected do nothing, when nowadays they can be cured painlessly and definitively.
Floaters, also called myodesopsias, appear as spots, dots or threads that move across the patient’s field of vision, especially on bright or well-lit backgrounds, such as a computer screen or the sky.
In reality, these spots are nothing more than the remains of proteins and tissues that are detached and remain floating inside the eyes, in the vitreous humor. Another cause may be condensations of the vitreous humor caused by age-related dehydration. All these organic debris and condensations produce shadows inside the eye (not in front of it), what we know as floaters.
Floaters and myopia
Floaters affect all types of people to a greater or lesser extent, but in people with myopia and those over 50 years of age they tend to have a higher incidence. Most people get used to living with them, but sometimes they can alter the quality of life of patients considerably, depending on the quantity or density of these spots and the perception of each patient.
Treatment of floaters
As mentioned above, it is important to know that it is possible to get rid of most floaters. To do so, an ophthalmologic examination must first be performed to determine the feasibility of the treatment, in order to foresee possible complications of the condition in each patient.
Floaters do not usually disappear on their own. Traditionally, in the most severe cases, vitrectomy had to be performed, an aggressive surgery that consists of removing the vitreous humor gel and replacing it with a saline solution. However, this technique entailed serious risks, such as retinal rupture, retinal detachment, cataracts or infections.
In fact, myodesopsias have been a pending subject for ophthalmologists for many years, since, until two years ago, nothing could be done to cure them, except vitrectomy in severe cases.
Fortunately, there is now the Yag laser, a high-precision laser that can locate and “pulverize” the flies one by one, effectively and painlessly, without altering the adjacent tissues. This laser is applied in sessions lasting between 5 and 30 minutes, sometimes only one and sometimes more than one. Thus, patients with floaters should be aware that this pathology is treatable in most cases.