LOCATIONS

SEATTLE,WA

2285 116th Ave. NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

P: 425.451.2020

CHICAGO,IL

145 W North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610

P: 312.701.2020

AUSTIN,TX

11005 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78758

P: 512.596.2020

Floater Treatment

The process called vitreolysis is a non-invasive procedure that can reduce or eliminate the visual disturbance caused by floaters. The procedure is performed in-office and takes only about 10-20 minutes. The procedure is pain-free, so no anesthesia is required. 

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WHAT ARE FLOATERS?

Floaters are located between the lens and the retina. When we are born, the vitreous humor (the gelatinous substance filling the eye) is perfectly transparent. As we age, this vitreous humor degenerates, losing its form and liquefying. Without the stable vitreous humor, the collagen fibers collapse and bind together to form clumps. It is these fibers that cast shadows on the retina and appear as spots, strings, or cobwebs that are commonly referred to as “floaters.”

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

HOW DOES IT WORK?

POST-PROCEDURE

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Until recently, patients suffering from floaters were told they had only two options: learn to deal with them or have a vitrectomy.

Vitreolysis has changed all of this. We can now use a YAG laser, a laser used in eye surgeries for decades, in a specially designed way to vaporize the vitreous strands and opacities that cause floaters. When approving this procedure, the U.S. FDA classified this as a “non-significant risk procedure.” Studies compiled by ophthalmologists after the FDA’s analysis reflect the same conclusion.

Ophthalmologists’ high success rates, combined with the low complication rates, make this procedure a great option for patients suffering from floaters.

HOW DOES VITREOLYSIS WORK?

First, a complete eye exam is required to assess the health of your eye. Then, the cause of the floater and its location are determined to see whether you would benefit from laser vitreolysis and whether you are a good candidate.

If recommended, the procedure is then scheduled and performed in 10-20 minutes with only dilating drops and numbing drops to prepare your eye. You will not feel the pulses and may actually see the floaters disappearing during the procedure.

We will check the pressure in your eye 30 minutes after the conclusion of the procedure and then you go home.

WHAT'S THE POST-PROCEDURE LIKE?

There is one follow-up exam approximately one month later to ensure that the floaters have disappeared. It sometimes takes more than one session to clear the floaters to an acceptable level. No drops are required after the procedure.

Risks are very rare but have been reported. They include temporary eye pressure elevation and the chance of hitting eye structures such as the lens or retina. This could cause the formation of cataracts or retinal damage. We will go over all possible risks and benefits thoroughly at your evaluation.