Floaters : The treatment of filamentous and fuzzy objects in the vitreous
What is vitreolysis?
Vitreolysis also known as laser treatment for eye floaters is a painless procedure that can be applied to the outside of the eye to eliminate visual disturbance due to floaters.
The objective of this process is to perform a functional recovery.
In short, the purpose of the vitreolysis is to allow the patients to return to their normal daily activities
How Vitreolysis Works?
Vitreolysis eliminates vitreous strands and particles which cause vitreous haze by evaporation with nanosecond laser beam shot. During this process, molecules of collagen and hyaluronic floaters is converted to a gas. As a result, the floaters are either removed or decreased to a minimum amount that will not affect your vision.
What Happens During The Process?
Vitreolysis is an outpatient procedure performed; There is no need to stay overnight in the hospital. Just before the treatment, the eye doctor will apply an eye drop which provides a mild anesthetic effect.
Then a special microscope will be used for applying laser beams to your eyes through a contact lens which is in contact with your eyes.
During the treatment, you will possibly see the floaters turning into gas bubbles and some small stains or shadows. These gas bubbles will dissolve and will be absorbed in vitreus.
After the treatment, your eye doctor can apply an anti-inflammatory eye drop to your eyes.
A single treatment session can be 20-30 minutes and the most of the patients need 2 or 3 sessions to maintain a perfect treatment.
What is waiting for me after the treatment?
After the treatment, you may observe some small dark stains just under you view but these little gas bubbles will disappear in a short period of time. In some occasions, patients may feel a little dizzy or may encounter a blurred vision.
Complications and adverse effects
There are so little side effects in the reports of vitreolysis and they can be a sudden increase of eye pressure or can be cataract.
Who can be treated?
Eye examination is necessary in order to understand your eligibility for vitreolysis treatment.
*Age : In patients whose ages are below 45, the vitreolysis treatment is not suggested due to the distance of these floaters with the retina is so near as 1-2 mm.
*Start of the symptoms : If the floaters are increased in short period of time, maybe there can be a correlation with PVD (Posterior Vitreous Detachment). Vitreolysis can be performed on this situation.
*Characteristics of floaters : Large floaters who are away from the retina’s soft borders are ideal for vitreolysis treatments.
What is Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome ?
The vitreous body is the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the eyeball of humans.
Vitreous fluid at a young age is completely transparent. When we get older, the vitreous fluid begins to lose its shape and starts liquefying. In this case of non-stable vitreous, collagen fibers collapse and they stick together to form clusters. These can be seen as dots, strands or webs because of they make shadows on retina. This is usually called as floaters.
In most of the cases, when the patient is old, vitreous can be detached from the retina. This is known as PVD (Posterior Vitreous Detachment). In PVD, the floaters increase suddenly.
Type of Floaters :
Floaters are flying little particles in vitreous body. The shadow of these particles falls on retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue behind the eye. If you have floaters, you may see these shadows flying on your view.
As a result of collagen fibers are clustering in the vitreous, the thin, dense floaters occur and/or some form of spider webs can be seen. This is mostly seen on teenagers. These floaters can be treated by vitreolysis depending on the size and location of them.
This cloud shaped floaters can be occurred due to the natural aging process. This kind of floaters can be cured in one session of vitreolysis, but in some occasions the patient may need a couple of more sessions to be perfectly cured.
Weiss Ring Floaters
This is usually a big floater far from the lens and the retina. So that the vitreolysis can be performed in an effective and secure way.
What if Vitreolysis Won’t Work For Me?
Clinical studies have shown that vitreolysis is a safe and effective treatment for most patients. If the floaters are visible again, the doctor may suggest a surgery.
There are different surgery types according to the diagnosis. In the operation, the vitreous can be changed with a stable salt solution. This operation has a risk of infection and bleeding. Also as a result, there can be a formation of cataract. This operation lasts for 1-2 hours approximately.