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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11159
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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retina, blood vessels..vision is not impaired (male age 58)..floaters

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After exam my opthalmologist recently said retina, blood vessels, pressure, etc. all normal and my complaint of "floaters" is no present concern if vision is not impaired (male age 58).
I should have asked: Will the floaters tend to get worse with age? Improve? Any options to decrease the number of floaters? Do they rarely or often cause significant problems with vision ?

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

You are likely experiencing a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, a common event that happens in many people.

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may see.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam is precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

Dr. Rick :

Since you have already seen your ophthalmologist, your retina should be OK

Dr. Rick :

To answer your question: Floaters don't go away, and they don't really get worse. Over time they tend to "sink" out of your central vision and you brain "filters" them out so you don't notice them so much anymore.

Dr. Rick :

They almost never cause significant visual problems except, of course, if they cause a secondary retinal detachment as discussed above.

Dr. Rick :

The only way to decrease or remove the floaters is with a major surgery called a vitrectomy. As a retinal specialist for almost 2 decades I've only done this procedure to remove floaters in a handful of cases. I

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

I see you are in the chat room.....but you are not chatting -- wish I could get my daughters to do that :o)

Dr. Rick :

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