I WAS TOLD MY EYE FLOATERS WILL GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN – WILL THEY?

A common question from floater sufferers: “I was told by my eye doctor that if I just give it time, my floaters will go away on their own”. How long will it take? How long should I wait?

Some times the well meaning ophthalmologist will be even more specific by suggesting that the floaters will go away in so many stated weeks or months. Unfortunately, this well-intended advice is usually wrong. First, let’s understand that we are referring to ‘non-pathological’ eye floaters. We are not talking about eye floaters caused by hemorrhage, diabetes, foreign bodies, inflammation, or fungal balls, or rare tropical parasites. The floaters we treat are aggregations or hazy, thickened regions of collagen that have always existed in the eye. There is no reason why the eye, the immune system, or any other mechanism would recognize these naturally occurring proteins as something that shouldn’t be in the eye.

Stated more clearly, there is no mechanism within the eye, or filtration system or chemical process that will clear the floaters out of the eye.

It is possible for some smaller floaters located close to the retina to move further away from the retina. Even very small floaters, if located closer to the retina can be seen quite distinctly. These small floaters, if they move even just a few millimeters away from the retina may become less bothersome or not even noticeable at all. I think this accounts for the anecdotes we hear of friends, family, or colleagues who ‘used to have floaters’, but since then they have gone away.

The good news is that, unlike something like cancer where early treatment is imperative, there is no optimal time to treat floaters, and there is no penalty for waiting as long as you want to. If your local, trusted eye doctor suggested waiting 6 months for them to go away, or for your brain to ‘get used to it’, you can. If you want to wait longer, you can. If on the other hand, you find that your floaters haven’t changed their behavior much, and you don’t think you can live with it for the rest of your life, it may be worth a consultation to see if you are a candidate for treatment with Dr. Johnson, The Floater Doctor.

 

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