RE-FORMATION OF EYE FLOATERS AFTER YAG LASER TREATMENT

This post will address the fairly common phenomenon of re-formation of floater material after treatment. This will elaborate on an issue already addressed on one of the sub-topic pages in this web site: EXPECTATIONS FOR TREATMENT .

There are different types of eye floaters, some dense and ‘plastic-like’, others are this and cob-web-like, and still others may be soft and diffuse clouds to give a few examples of the most common types and appearances. The different types of floaters interact with the laser differently as well. The dense, relatively smaller and well-defined Weiss ring floaters are our favorite to treat. These are the ones usually used as an example of treatment as seen in some of our videos. They absorb the laser energy well and are fairly efficiently vaporized and destroyed.

In contrast, the soft and cloud-like floaters are less-efficiently vaporized and destroyed. Part of the collateral effects of the laser are to create microscopic collagen protein fragments of the original floater. The fragments may do one of two things:

  1. The protein fragments may finds their out of the eye via the eye’s normal drainage system, the trabecular meshwork.
  2. Because the protein is ‘sticky’, the fragments may re-form or re-aggregate by as soon as the next day. The re-formed floaters more often than not will form long, thin, fuzzy strands. They look like thin strands of yarn under water.
2-steps forward-one-step-back
Two steps forward – then 1 step back

TREATING RE-FORMED TYPE OF FLOATERS

The re-formation of floaters is a frustrating thing. Each time the re-formed floater presents itself, it should be smaller and smaller and so it is still considered to be progress, but these cloudy types of floaters responsible for this generally require more overall treatment sessions to get to a satisfactory and stable outcome.

With very few and notable exceptions, the reformed floaters will usually be positioned in the mid-globe where they are amenable to treatment.

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