TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR PATIENTS

The use of the YAG laser to treat eye floaters is not widely available. Most of our patients have found us through their own research and efforts. We do not use celebrity or other paid endorsements. These are real stories by real patients who have suffered their floaters just like you. We think you will find their stories and experiences very valuable.

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88 Comments

  1. Diane Taylor

    Wow! I can see again! Thank you Dr. Johnson. I was told from drs in Utah, that ” i was just getting old, deal with it” and from another, that ” i needed surgery, not laser, for my floaters”. Wrong. I had such bad floaters i could not see to drive, use the computer, or see TV. After a few treatments, i can see everything clearly. Dr. Johnson is the Dr for floaters. Most other drs don’t have the knowledge or experience that he does. Or even the consideration that floaters really are a big problem. He is worth the travel, so that you can see again. A million thanks!

  2. After being told by my ophthalmologist that I would get used to my floaters, I was somewhat discouraged because the floaters in my right eye were really annoying and restricting my visibility, especially when driving on a bright sunny day, when your pupils are constricted. A large grey “blob” would drift in my line of vision and stay there, making me practically blind in my right eye. Shaking my head to clear it would not help much, as the blob would return almost immediately. The left eye was somewhat better, but bothersome nonetheless. Since I am also a private pilot, the ability to see properly was of a prime concern. I was afraid that unless I was able to get rid of these floaters, that I would have to give up flying, and that was devastating to me.
    After a thorough search on the internet, I came across only 3 doctors in the USA that seem to be able to treat floaters effectively with a YAG laser. I read every website multiple times, along with all the comments and blogs, and even investigated a Vitrectomy procedure, but decided that procedure was too invasive, with risks of infection, complications, etc.
    Dr. Johnson had the best website for the procedure, with thorough explanation of the procedure, expectations, etc. Dr. Johnson was also the only doctor that specialized in this procedure only and that gave me much better confidence that he was very experienced in treating this condition, and that he could probably help me. All the comments from former patients also increased my confidence level as well.
    I decided to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson for an evaluation and fly out to California (from NC). My original intention was to get an evaluation for both eyes, and if possible, to get my right eye done and see how that worked out before going ahead and doing the left eye as well. There is always a bit of apprehension when somewhat is going to stick a laser in your eye…
    After a thorough explanation by Dr. Johnson of the possible scenarios and treatments, Dr. Johnson examined my eyes and declared that I was a good candidate for the procedure. My original expectation was if Dr. Johnson could restore my vision to 80% of clarity, I would be happy with that. He did the procedure in my right eye first, and I saw immediate dramatic improvement (ie: 60%). Based on that, I had a second treatment on the right eye the next day (resulting in 90% improvement) and decided to get the left eye done as well, the same day (50% improvement). I was lucky that Dr. Johnson had a fairly light schedule the rest of the week, so I went back for further treatment on the left and right eyes during the next 3 days, for a total of 8 treatments overall in 5 days. The net result was a 90% improvement for both eyes, and I was very happy with that result.
    It’s been a little over a month now since those treatments, as Dr. Johnson had warned me about, some little bits of debris has clustered back together, especially in the right eye, and a couple of larger floaters have re-formed in the right eye, but nowhere near to the extent prior to the treatment. I will probably have to go back for further treatment in the right eye in about a year or so, to clear up any floaters that have reformed (a touch-up). However, now that I know what to expect and the dramatic improvements that can mean to my vision, I will not hesitate to do that.
    Unfortunately, Dr. Johnson is in California, and that’s a long way to go for treatment. If this procedure could only be recognized by ophthalmologists and Insurance companies as a bonafide procedure, a lot more patients with this condition could be helped and improve their quality of life…
    Dr. Johnson was very informative, totally professional, interesting, made you feel relaxed throughout the process. I would recommend Dr. Johnson who would like to drastically improve their vision and quality of life due to these nasty floaters.

  3. Raquel Liverant

    I visited Dr. Johnson after being told by two ophthalmologists that there was no treatment to clear my right eye from floaters. I was very pleased by the fact that Dr. Johnson is truly dedicated to help his patients. I did not understand why he puts aside 90 minutes for the first visit, but he explained to me everything about this procedure: risks, benefits, types of floaters, etc.
    After checking my eye he told me that I was a perfect candidate for the treatment, so I decided to take the first session right away.
    It has been now about 18 hours and seems that my eye cleared about 70%. Per Dr. Johnson, I will let me eye settle down and see what happens in the next weeks.
    I truly recommend all of you out there with floaters to visit Dr. Johnson. He will be very honest with you.

  4. Gail Hobson

    First is was ants and then it was a dead spider floating in front of my left eye. The next day I noticed flashes of light when I moved my eye quickly. I visited a local retina specialist who diagnosed a weiss ring that was still attached to the retina. He said to live with it and that I would eventually get used to it. A couple of months later there was a dead spider in front of my right eye too. I went online to learn more about the problem and ran into Dr. Johnson’s Vitreous Solutions website which was very informative. After additional research, I decided to visit Dr. Johnson to learn about my options. I almost cancelled the appointment…it’s my eyes after all and what if he messes things up? After discussing the problem with him, I elected to proceed the same day and walked out with the floater in the left eye almost completely gone. We decided to hold off on the right eye as it was still pulling on the retina. A later visit got the right I completely clear the first time and a tweak on the left. So instead of having a couple of dead spiders floating in my vision, I have one small ant. Maybe I’ll go back one more time, then again maybe it’s good enough.

  5. Todd Nelson

    It’s been about a month since I was treated for floaters in both eyes caused by a PVD. I visited Dr. Johnson 3 times, once for the initial consultation appointment and treatment for the left eye, then a second time for follow up treatment on the left eye and first treatment of the right eye. Then I had a final visit with him for a second treatment on the right eye. Upon completing the exam, Dr. Johnson said I had one of the easier cases to treat since the main issue I had was 2 perfectly round weiss rings, one in each eye.

    Dr. Johnson was very empathetic and answered every question I had. When he was finished with all the treatments, the weiss rings were completely gone, but I still had many small floaters in both eyes that didn’t seem to go away even after the 2 follow up treatments. During my follow up visits he tried to get everything he could, but most of these small floaters he was unable to see . I discussed this with him, and he said that over time some of them may go away on their own after about a month or so, but that there was no guarantee. He also explained that every case is different and that sometimes there is leftover material from the PVD that can’t be treated.

    Over a month after my treatments, the small floaters that I still had never really went away. That being said, the weiss rings were completely gone and those were the most bothersome so overall I’m pretty happy. My vision and quality of life has definitely improved with the weiss rings gone. I’d say that my floaters are about 70% better than they were before seeing Dr. Johnson, mainly due to the removal of the weiss rings. I may return in the future for more follow up treatments to see if he can find some of the smaller floaters and zap them.

    1. DrJohnson

      Thank you, Todd. This is probably a good opportunity to mention that the onset/presence of a Weiss ring is not an entirely isolated event. It is by definition caused by a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). There will almost always be a more comprehensive disturbance and disruption of the vitreous including cloudy regions and cobwebs. Some of these can also be treated, and some may be difficult or unsafe to treat – especially if they are too close to the retina. The goal of treatment may be 100% improved, but that is an unreasonable expectation. A more reasonable expectation is “a lot, lot better“. -Dr. J

  6. Steve Werfel

    In April 2012 Dr. Johnson successfully treated floaters in my right eye.
    Last month, when floaters appeared in my left eye, I went online to retrieve his phone number and noticed postings from some people who had unsatisfactory experiences. I read them closely, because I’m very cautious about which doctors I go to (as you will read later), and one has to be open to new information.

    After considering what I knew, I went back to Dr. Johnson, who successfully treated me again this July 2016.

    Why did I return to Dr. Johnson?

    First, obviously, he had already treated me successfully once.

    Next, I remembered who originally commended me to Dr. Johnson in 2012: an opthalmologist who himself is an expert in Laser procedures (though not floaters), who led one of the world’s leading eye clinics, who regularly treats other doctors, including opthalmologists, whom he also teaches and consults with on difficult cases.

    Lastly, I was able to place the negative information posted about Dr. Johnson in a proper and useful context, which I’d like to tell you about, and which has the added benefit of being absolutely true…..

    I have an extensive medical history: 8 surgeries, and an additional 11 surgical procedures.

    Because I searched them out, I’ve been treated by some of the best surgeons in the world in their surgical sub-specialties, but for now I’ll concentrate on one, whom I will call, without exaggeration, The Best Colorectal Surgeon Who Ever Lived (TBCSWEL).
    Inadvertently, he could have killed me–three times.

    I came to TBCSWEL in 2005 for a routine screening colonoscopy. For those unfamiliar, the idea behind a colonoscopy is to locate benign growths–adenomas–on the colonic wall and if found, remove them before they can turn into adenocarcinomas, which is to say, cancer.

    My colonoscopy report showed that no growths were found. But five years later I had colon cancer.
    When it came time to have colon surgery, I double-checked with my primary physician about going back to TBCSWEL. I have no trouble remembering how my primary doctor referred to him, since he only used two words: “He’s God.” And I thought he was merely TBCSWEL.

    So in late 2010, TBCSWEL operated on me, and a CT scan was done that same day to determine if there was evidence that the cancer had already spread. The CT scan report showed nothing other than a small, indeterminate ‘low density’ area in the liver. Neither TBCSWEL nor four other doctors seemed concerned by it.

    At a followup visit a month after my colon surgery, TBCSWEL tacitly acknowledged that my colon cancer almost certainly resulted from missing an adenoma that was likely present at the time of the 2005 colonoscopy. Now, even though all indications were that I had an early stage cancer, TBCSWEL encouraged me, as an additional safeguard, to undergo chemotherapy.

    However, extensive reading and my own thinking led me to conclude, contrarily, that chemotherapy was unlikely to increase my likelihood of survival, and that I still needed to be concerned about the spot on my liver..
    So I asked my oncologist for an early follow-up CT scan, after only three months instead of the usual six.

    Sure enough, the follow-up CT showed the spot on my liver had tripled in size. So I went for liver surgery, and was operated on by yet another world-class surgeon who consults with government health agencies on liver cancer and liver surgery. A month after the liver surgery, he told me that had I gone ahead and done chemotherapy after the colon surgery, as TBCSWEL recommended, it would have masked the growth of the liver tumor, but would not have eliminated it. Almost surely, the cancer would have had time to spread undetected, instead of remaining visible enough to be surgically removed.

    So let’s recap: TBCSWEL failed to detect a benign tumor that eventually turned cancerous (which actually happens 25% of the time–colonscopies aren’t perfect), failed to note or followup on a potential metastatic tumor, and encouraged me to do chemotherapy, which likely would have masked, but not eliminated the growth of that tumor.

    So, I hope the point here is that the best surgeons in the world make mistakes, and that while it is human to hope for good results from surgeons, it is neither reasonable nor realistic to expect perfection.

    A few months ago, TBCSWEL retired and I attended the retirement ceremony that was held for him, along with dozens of his patients and many of his colleagues. This is a man who, in addition to the thousands of patients he personally treated, has developed surgeries and procedures that are employed today by colorectal surgeons all over the world. A blank book was made available to those of us who wanted to convey our thoughts to TBCSWEL. In addition to whatever mistakes he may have made, I considered that he cleared his entire surgical schedule (normally booked three weeks in advance) to operate on me and that I’ve never had the slightest surgical complication from the operation he performed. So I wrote: “I woke up this morning–thank you.”

    Now just imagine if I had been treated by him about forty years ago, early in his career. And imagine further if, in a well-intended effort to help others, at that time there was an easily accessible internet where I could post my experience with him, detailing his failures and omissions. Imagine all the harm I would have done, had I convinced many colon cancer patients to stay away from him.

    The people who posted their negative experiences with Dr. Johnson should not be criticized for having done so. They have provided a service, but it must be placed in context. The best evidence of Dr. Johnson’s expertise is that, since the first postings several years ago, very few people have posted similar experiences. If he truly didn’t know what he was doing, the likelihood is that many dozens, if not hundreds of patients would have chimed in.

    LIke TBCSWEL Dr. Johnson is responsible for many innovations in his surgical sub-specialty; until he did them, they’d never been done before. Ever. By anyone. It’s hard to be perfect, but especially when you’re doing something that’s never been done before.

    If you have floaters, see Dr. Johnson; if he can, he will reduce or eliminate them, while observing rigorous guidelines for safety. Don’t tolerate floaters because you fear injury. The odds of that happening are not zero, but they are minuscule.

    Can I, or Dr. Johnson guarantee your results. Of course not.

    As it turned out, TBCSWEL turned out to be somewhat less than God.

    And while there’s considerable likelihood that Dr. Johnson is The Best Treater of Eye Floaters Who Ever Lived, he is not God either.

    But if Dr. Johnson retires in the coming decade or two, and I’m invited to his retirement ceremony, I will write: “For restoring my sight for many years–thank you.”

    1. DrJohnson

      I don’t think anyone has to be concerned of my retiring anytime soon. I love what I do and will continue to do so, in part, because of the gratitude from patients like Steve. Thank you for that lengthy testimonial that helps put things in perspective. Although I am not saving lives or curing cancer like the important work of others, we can agree that clear vision contributes to the quality of life. -Dr. Johnson

  7. D.S.

    Dr. Johnson neutralized a very bothersome, nebulous floater. in one of my eyes. He takes time to listen to you describe all of your symptoms with no time pressure. Consequently Dr. Johnson diagnosed the possibility of a cataract that Kaiser Permanente ophthalmology and optometry completely missed! For years I knew something besides the floater was affecting my eye and yet it was a mystery. Instead of rushing you out of the office, demeaning your symptoms and ignoring almost everything you say the way KP ophthalmology does, Dr. Johnson discusses everything you want to talk about in detail. He is a communicator who responds to your messages. Dr. Johnson strives to help treat and inform you the way people expect a doctor should. Thank you.

  8. Two months ago (in March 2016), I made the Minnesota-to-Southern California trip to meet with Dr. James Johnson for YAG laser treatment. It’s May now; I wanted to wait before posting my experience to take note of any post-operation issues or improvements, and – spoiler alert! – the news is all good. My expectations have been met…and indeed, exceeded.

    This journey began two years prior to my visit with the good doc, when I’d first contacted him to inquire about laser treatment of the floaters that had recently appeared due to (I later learned) posterior vitreous detachment in both eyes. Our 2014 email exchange impressed me because of the wealth of helpful information he freely provided, even after I’d stated up front that I was not ready to actually go ahead with laser treatment at that time. His detailed responses to my many questions alleviated the worry that I’d felt following the sudden onset of these unwanted ocular occupants.

    Fast-forward to this past February, when I celebrated my 61st birthday. It was then that I acknowledged I’d been living with floaters, severe enough to make reading, computing, and close-up activities slow and tiresome, for over two years. While Dr. Johnson had assured me in 2014 that there was no risk associated with waiting to proceed, I was now truly ready to proceed.

    My only remaining question was a big one: would my particular “floater profile” be treatable with this method? Again, I emailed Dr. J. to ask about this potential deal breaker, and again his reply was both informative and conservative: there were no contraindications based on what I’d told him, but he would still need to evaluate my eyes and the floaters in person to determine whether I’d be a good candidate. That made sense to me, so I made my travel plans.

    The evaluation exam Dr. Johnson conducted was extremely thorough, and as he coupled it with essentially a mini-education in the anatomy of the eye, I found it fascinating. I really appreciate the way he has structured his practice to allow for in-depth work with each patient – he spent over three hours with me during my first visit and about 90 minutes on the follow-up, which included a second laser treatment. (I must admit, Dr. J. is very personable and we did get to chatting, leading to a longer consultation…but still, expect at least a couple of hours for your initial visit if it includes a laser treatment.)

    As it turned out, the evaluation exam yielded great results: my particular breed of floaters happened to be among those most amenable to successful YAG laser treatment. It was certainly reassuring as well that all potential risk factors were on the low end, and therefore I gave the go-ahead for treatment that same morning.

    What can I say about the YAG laser treatment itself? First of all, read the detailed technical description and watch the video of the procedure on TheFloaterDoctor.com – they are surprisingly close to what you’ll actually see on the receiving end. The treatment itself is completely painless, as promised – for me, the most uncomfortable aspect was having my pupils dilated, but even that doesn’t hurt at all. I’d guess the first treatment lasted about 45 minutes and the second about half an hour. Subjectively, the experience for me was like watching Dr. J. play the old video game “Asteroids” – using my retinas as the playing field. He actually takes precise aim and shoots a laser beam at each floater-object, and every successful “hit” results in a shower of black shard-like fragments in your visual field. Kinda fun, if you imagine it that way.

    Aftereffects were minimal. It took several hours for the dilation to wear off, that was it. And, once my vision had returned to normal, the results were nothing short of fantastic: 90% or more of my floaters were. Simply. GONE. What an astoundingly positive outcome…and what a relief!

    Because I was hoping not to have to change my flight plans, the follow-up visit was scheduled the very next day. Usually, Dr. Johnson told me, he prefers to wait a week between first and second treatments, but since the first treatment had gone so well, he determined it was okay. During my second visit, he explained that the remaining 10% of my floaters were of a diffuse, cloud-like nature that is not effectively targeted by the YAG laser beam.

    Let me tell you, though, that 90% improvement is plenty for me. It has made a HUGE difference in my quality of vision – and hence, my life. I am also confident that if anyone can be called a true innovator in this field, it is Dr. James Johnson. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if down the road he finds a way to zap some of those stubborn floater remnants, too.

    Should you consider this treatment? Clearly, this is a major decision, and you only get two eyes, so the stakes are high. As with any new application of technology, one must be willing to think, and act, outside the box. I did my research, took my sweet time to move forward, and when I finally did, was fortunate enough to be in the high reward/low risk demographic for this particular procedure. Obviously, “your mileage may vary,” but if you are willing to invest in what could be a major quality-of-life enhancement through improved vision, I wholeheartedly endorse and recommend paying a visit to the talented, pioneering, and courageous Dr. James Johnson.

    Laiki Huxorli
    Bloomington, Minnesota

  9. I am a cardiologist who has suffered from a large obtrusive floater in my left eye since I was a teenager. Of course I was told it was not serious, nothing could be done about it, and to learn to live with it. And this is what I did for years but unfortunately my mind never learned to completely ignore it. So from time to time I would do an internet search to see what, if anything, was new in the treatment of this condition. And then I came across Dr. Johnson’s web page.

    I have had three treatment sessions with Dr. Johnson and my floater is substantially better. I’d estimate it at 80% improvement. Dr. Johnson is very personable, approachable, and dedicated to helping his patients. As a procedure oriented cardiologist where being careful and meticulous matter, Dr. Johnson is the same and I suspect is the most experienced in his field. I give him my highest recommendation.

    Thank you Dr. Johnson!! for improving my vision and for your practice dedicated to the treatment of vitreous floaters.

  10. Gary Peterson

    Having had a posterior vitreous detachment in the left eye over 20 years ago, I was stuck with one very large floater, plus a general haze of sorts, which would frequently cross into my central vision, making my work, that of a show band pianist in a fairly stressful sight reading situation, considerably more difficult. Other tasks, such as driving, were also adversely affected.

    Having already endured the long healing time after vitrectomy surgery (Due to retinal detachments), I had little interest in repeating that experience. Also, floaters only vitrectomies were a rarity until very recently, and my retina specialist was also less than enthusiastic.

    I had heard some vague references to laser treatment for floaters, but only recently thought to research it and see if and where there may be some opthalmologists who actually performed this procedure.

    My Google search turned up only three doctors in the entire USA, Dr. Johnson being the closest to my location. He also responded quickly to my inquiries, which neither of the other two doctors did at all.

    Long story short, I ended up going to Dr. Johnson for what ended up being three consecutive days of laser treatment. The treatments lasted about one hour each. They were at times somewhat tiring and stressful (For doctor and patient alike in this case – Dr. Johnson told me later that mine was one of the worst cases he’d ever treated), but after that hour, it’s done, and nothing to do other than wait for the dilating drops to wear off. There were no restrictions on activities. There is no pain at all, during the procedure or afterward. It is simply like looking into extremely bright lights for an hour. Compared to the pain, swelling, recovery time, and uncertainty over the final result of an FOV, this was a walk in the park. Results were very good, although I may go back in future for some more cleaning up of smaller floaters. But most importantly, the haze effect is gone, the largest of the floaters is cut roughly in half, and since it doesn’t have the “Hazy aura” that it did previously, it doesn’t pose as much of a problem, even when it does enter my line of sight.

    With the laser treatment, going back for future “Cleanups” is easy and safe. With a vitrectomy, you get what you get, and that’s what you’re stuck with.

    With most of the debris gone, my vision in the left eye is as good as, if not better than, it has ever been.

    YAG laser vitreolysis certainly worked out well in my case, and I would urge anyone considering a FOV to also check into this alternative.

    Dr. Johnson is extremely meticulous in examination, patient education, and laser operation. I felt relaxed and confident going in, and am thus far very pleased with the result. It’s been one week now, and things keep improving as the small speck-like floaters that remain settle out of my field of vision. At this point, it’s all good!

    Kudos to Dr. J!

  11. Ming Chan

    After being rear ended by another car at high speed in 2015, I was debilitated by traumatic brain injury and have been seeing a lot of floaters since. It was an extremely frustrating experience as I felt like looking through a fish tank every day with all the dense floaters moving around in my vision. I went to visit local eye specialists and every one of them told me to live with it and there was nothing they can do other than a surgery to replace the fluid, which is extremely risky. I did many research online and found out about YAG laser treatments, apparently there are only 3 Doctors in US that specialize in using YAG lasers to treat floaters. I decided to go to Dr. Johnson’s office in Southern California due to the close proximity from Seattle.

    Dr. Johnson is personable and authentic, compare to many other MDs and medical providers I have seen in recent years, he is definitely in a class of his own. He operates out of a boutique and small office near the Orange County airport. He takes time to work with one patient at a time with plenty of rooms between appointments.

    During my initial consultation, he patiently went over the physics of YAG laser and the procedures. He was extremely knowledgeable and thoroughly addressed every single question I had. Most importantly, he was honest about the prognosis and setting the right expectations of the treatment based on the type of floaters I have. He provided me the necessary data and his professional opinions, never pressured me on the decision.

    I decided to come back for full treatments on a separate trip, in those treatment sessions, he meticulously searched and hunted down the treatable floaters. He was very prudent and not willing to take risks on the floaters that are close to my retina. I certainly appreciate that as no one would like to come out of the treatments worse than going in. As he expected, I do see good improvements on my right eye after the treatment sessions. I am so glad I went down there to get my treatments. I certainly won’t hesitate to go back there in the future to do more sessions to clean them up further.

  12. Alan K

    Dr. Johnson is clearly the expert in this field. He is very thorough in describing the procedure and what can be done both on his website and in person. I was one of the luckier younger patients that was able to have a large floater destroyed.

    Don’t waste time with the other floater doctors who rarely respond (if at all), and don’t waste time on supplements/diet changes/etc. you might find on the web.

    If you are treatable, the procedure is quick and painless and you will see the results almost immediately.

  13. Rogers Walker

    On February 8, 2016 I experienced a PVD in the left eye. It was a frightening event resulting in the instant formation of several “floaters” in the eye including a very large Weiss Ring about 30-35 degrees to the left of my central vision area. That evening I also noticed circular flashing lights around the periphery of the eye which was very alarming. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my local ophthalmologist here in Bend, Oregon and she confirmed the PVD and the associated “floater” issues. She indicated that there were no retinal issues and sent me to a retinal specialist to confirm that diagnosis. I was happy that both doctors agreed I had no retinal tears, holes or bleeding, but the “floaters”, particularly the large one near my central vision, were driving me crazy. I could not read, work on the computer and avoided going outside. My life was turned upside down as a result of this problem. I was given the typical story about “floaters” by my local doctors that I would adjust, my brain would compensate or perhaps they would just go away. After almost a month of spending most of my time indoors, in the dark, I could not stand it any longer. I located Dr. Johnson’s web-site and scheduled an appointment to see him in Irvine on February 29th. His office is conveniently located across from John Wayne Airport with Hotels within walking distance.
    Dr. Johnson spent considerable time with me discussing the anatomy of the eye and the reason for the “floater” issues I was experiencing. I was relieved after he did the initial examination and indicated he could treat my “floater” problem! The laser treatment was absolutely painless and completed within 15-20 minutes. After the eye dilation had subsided that evening, the large Weiss Ring type “floater” was gone! It was the first time since February 8th that I felt like a normal person with again. He saved my life as I could not have lived with this large object near my central vision bouncing from side to side/up and down every time I shifted my vision.
    When I returned to Bend and was reexamined by the doctors here and they all commented how amazing that my “floater” disappeared so quickly on it’s own. I then shared with them my story of laser treatment and they have all become believers in Dr. Johnson’s laser procedure for “floaters”. I have become an advocate for those patients living in my area that suffer from this type of eye condition. My ophthalmologists have interviewed me in depth concerning my treatment by Dr. Johnson and my impression is that they may be recommending laser treatment as an option for those suffering from serious “floater” issues.
    I have a follow-up visit scheduled with Dr. Johnson on April 12th to do some fine toning on the eye, but the initial visit in February was a total success. Thank you Doctor! I hope anyone reading these comments will be encouraged and not delay in seeking your help.

    Rogers Walker
    Bend, Oregon

  14. Larry Carlson

    Saw Dr Johnson last week for treatments on both eyes. Like everyone else has commented, I was told just to live with it, etc. I caught a flight down from Seattle, was able to get lodging within walking distance. I was fortunate that my floaters were in the position and type that he could do his work. The whole procedure was so easy, no pain, no worry. After we were done I just wore sunglasses and walked back to my motel. He was able to clear up about 98% of my floater issue, which is awesome. I really appreciated his direct approach and concern for my vision. Not wanting to damage my eyes. I am going to give him the highest recommendation possible. I am sending my son to see him. Today is a sunny day in Seattle, and I am enjoying the heck out of it. Thank you Dr Johnson, you are the best in my book.

  15. Alonia Coleman

    Dear Dr. Johnson. As you know I saved and traveled from Seattle to Irvine to be examined by you for vitreous eye problems at the recommendation of a physician who is a family friend. Thank you so very, very much for the outstanding service and education you provided me in diagnosing that my problems stemmed from cataract lens that need to be replaced. It would have been so easy for you perform surgery on me and I would have been none the wiser. I am so grateful to you for your complete honesty, integrity, and professionalism in informing me that the surgery you perform was not necessary for me. I thank God for physicians and surgeons with your integrity. If I ever require vitreous eye surgery, I will be making the trip to Irvine to have you perform it. You have earned by trust and loyalty. Thank you so much. Alonia Coleman from Seattle, Washington

    1. DrJohnson

      Thank you for your kind words and good luck with your cataract surgery for when you decide to pursue that matter. – Dr. Johnson

  16. Steve Lane

    They said that it couldn’t be done. There was nothing anyone could do to get rid of my floaters except for a very invasive surgery. They said I my brain would get used to them. They were wrong. My brain never got used to looking through sheets of floating fog. It was like putting Vaseline on the lenses of my glasses and looking at the world. Like Squiggly windshield wipers. Hazy clouds that would jump around in the center of my visual field. 2 1/2 years of this and I’m supposed to get used to it? I searched for an answer on the Internet and found Dr. James Johnson.

    I looked at his website for about eight months before I finally had the courage to call him. He returned my call and answered all of my questions so I set up a date to fly from New York to California for an office visit with the only doctor around that performs a noninvasive way of removing the floaters in my eyes. He’s like a pioneer. He understood what I was going through. He’s very easy to talk to and a really nice person. Above all of this is his expertise and experience with his YAG laser. After my first evaluation I learned that I did not have a single vitreous detachment but instead my vitreous was filled with lots of scattered protein. The prognosis was not the best of getting rid of everything because there was not one simple target. His experience tells him that this type of procedure is more difficult. He would prefer the outcome would be a higher percent for dramatic results. I made the decision to have him do whatever he could with his laser and the results on my end were very noticeable.

    My floaters were directly in my field of vision before and after the treatments I have what I consider to be very clear sight. It’s a very dramatic change for me. I can still see floaters around the perimeter of my visual field but the results of the procedure has exceeded my expectations. It was like I was in a cage for 2 1/2 years and finally I was set free. The things I can see and the things I can do (without wiggling my eyes back-and-forth trying to get the floaters to move away) with ease like reading, computer work, driving and other continuous daily activities are so much easier now. I found Dr. James Johnson on the Internet and was a little concerned about finding him that way. In the end it was the best thing I could have done. Non invasive, no pain, no restrictions and clearer vision as soon as the dilation of my pupils went back to normal size. It feels like a miracle to me. Don’t hesitate to call him. It was worth the trip for me and there’s really no price I can put on my vision. Dr. James Johnson is the only one I would trust for this way of removing floaters.

    1. DrJohnson

      Steve, thank you for your kinds words of appreciation. The diffuse, ill-defined, generalized vitreous fluid degeneration problem like yours is difficult to predict how it will respond to treatment, and technically very demanding. You’re right that I would prefer the “easier” treatments, but it is particularly gratifying to successfully treat the difficult ones – especially knowing that some of the other experienced doctor would not. Cheers, Dr. Johnson

  17. Deborah Kline

    Dr. Johnson is a saint. I wish more doctors were like him.
    My local retinal specialist in Texas told me laser would not work for my Weiss ring floater and that I would end up with a hundred small floaters. So when Dr. Johnson vaporized it like a miracle, my local doctor didn’t want to see the results. You would think they might want to learn more instead of telling people to learn to live with it. Obviously, my Texas retina specialist has never experienced the distress of having a large dark ring waving back and forth in his eye. I bet if he gets one, he’ll be looking for Dr. Johnson.

  18. Patricia H.

    My journey began with a P.V.D in my right eye in July 2015. I developed a large floater that was blurring my vision when I would move my eyes from side to side and would look like a white cloud in bright light plus two smaller blob floaters that would temporarily blur my vision until I blinked. It was disturbing and I was worried not knowing what it was. I went to an optometrist to get my eyes checked. She told me I have no retinal holes or tears and that my eyes are healthy. After being reassured about that I went to the internet to research eye floaters.

    I found Dr. Johnson’s website and found it to be very informative and thought the prices were reasonable especially the touch-ups but then you cannot put a price tag on your vision. The condition was very distressing to me day in and day out so I finally made an appointment with Dr. Johnson after three months of suffering, as it took me that long to get the nerve up to have the laser procedure done. I am fortunate he is in Irvine CA. as I am in N. CA. so not too far away. He is located a short walk from John Wayne airport.

    I found Dr. Johnson to be highly skilled in this specialty (he is dedicated to laser treatment of eye floaters only) and very professional (plus he is a nice guy) He will put in the time and effort for you. It took more than a couple of treatments but Dr. Johnson lasered away the two smaller blob floaters 100% and the large floater about 95%. All that is left is a thin strand but it is in the peripheral so not so bothersome (I could get a touch-up for this)

    There is no need to fear this treatment as it is very safe and effective under Dr. Johnson’s care. I only wish I had not suffered three months before I got the nerve up to do it. I am happy to be back to my normal self again thanks to Dr. Johnson’s successful laser treatments. I highly recommend him if you are suffering with eye floaters.

    Thank You Dr. Johnson for saving my sanity!!

  19. Elizabeth

    My story begins with a frightening drive home. Flashing in my eye resulted in me warning my daughter to stop playing with a laser pointer. Even as I said it, I knew she did not have a laser pointer and I was having serious vision problems. Floaters drew an opaque curtain with dark spots down across the vision in my right eye.
    The floaters did not settle down. My vision was no longer crystal clear and I was looking through various shape and size floaters moving around inside my right eye. Overnight I lost ability to read small font size print.

    It was time for Google. I found the mainstream treatment, vitrectomy, an invasive procedure that carries multiple complications such as retinal tears and detachments. It also carried a 50% to 78% risk of developing cataracts. I was not ready or willing to take this risk. I also found an alternative treatment of laser ablation of the floaters. There are only three providers who specialize in laser treatment of floaters and only one provider, Dr Johnson, was a prolific writer. I read all the postings on Dr. Johnson’s website and watched his youtube videos. I also read about the pros and cons about the surgery. I waited nearly a year before flying to California to meet with Dr Johnson on a Friday.

    The first visit was nearly two hours long. Dr Johnson provided an extensive explanation of the possible diagnoses and complications for nearly 75 minutes while we waited for my eyes to dilate. This was the most extensive consult I ever experienced. His explanations were balanced and they included an explanation of all the risks. He examined me and I learned I had a Weiss ring from a post vitreous detachment. Based on the information I was given, I felt comfortable with my decision to move forward with the treatment, which occurred that visit. After this initial treatment, I experienced a 60% improvement in my vision. The following Monday’s treatment brought me to about 80% improvement and a third treatment on Tuesday brought me to 90-95% improvement.

    I am pleased with the outcome and the experience. The most valuable part of this experience was the fact that I had a lot of information that I needed to make an informed decision about my healthcare. Thanks to the skill of Dr Johnson I have my sight back. I give Dr. Johnson my highest personal recommendation for anyone considering the procedure he offers.

  20. Paul B

    I had spent several months suffering with floaters in my left eye and couldn’t take it anymore. Seeing three other ophthalmologists, I was repeatedly told there was nothing I could do. Baloney. There are a very few doctors in the country that specialize in treating eye floaters. He’s one of them. My experience was world class. Dr. Johnson first spent a substantial amount of time speaking to me about the procedure, how it’s done, expectations, etc. One concern I had was, what if he “missed” with the laser? There’s no such thing. Whether he hits a floater or not (and yes, he’s a sharpshooter), the laser beam terminates completely at a particular distance. Amazing technology. I quickly saw that this man is not about the money. He’s about old school doctoring. Very refreshing. After a thorough exam, I was again counseled. My case was a little tougher because there was “stuff” everywhere. It was 100% painless. There were many laser “zaps” on each of my two treatments. Each took about 30 minutes. I stayed down in Irvine overnight to avoid the commute for the next morning’s treatment. The net result was a 50% improvement. I was amazed and could now function without losing my mind. You get two procedures for the cost. Subsequent ones are much cheaper. What is a fair price for good vision? Less expensive than I expected. I will be booking a couple more treatments to get to where we believe I can be. As the procedure becomes more common, specialists like Dr. Johnson will be more “on the radar”, giving relief to more floater sufferers. Thanks Dr. Johnson. You’re a rock star. Paul B, Thousand Oaks, CA.

  21. Stephen

    I started to have serious floaters in my right eye from April when I traveled to Shanghai. The major one was like a “wiper” which moved from one side to the other of my eyesight. I was diagnosed to have PVD and received YAG laser treatments several times in Taipei in May 2015 but it improved only by 50%. I didn’t continue the treatment in Taipei because the local doctor said that’s all he could do for me.

    I am lucky enough to find Dr. Johnson’s information from his website in July and learnt a lot of valuable knowledge from his sharing. I flew to Irvine in the last week of October and received treatments from Dr. Johnson 3 days in a row. Although I still have minor floaters, my eye condition has improved at least by 80% from 50% in May and I feel much more comfortable and happier now.

    Dr. Johnson is not only extremely patient and professional, but also is very capable to identify the right floaters which bothered me the most and eliminate them. Seeing Dr. Johnson and receiving treatments from him is definitely the best medical experience I have ever had in my whole life. Thank you so much, Dr. Johnson.

  22. Mike

    My experience with Dr. James Johnson was great from the information on his web site, to the consultation, to the treatment process and results. I had a large (at least to me) bothersome floater in my right eye that my opthamologist at back home said I would “just have to live with it”. No referral to, or even discussion of the fact that there are a few doctors out there that treat this condition. That was over 3 years ago.

    I did my own research online and found Dr. Johnson’s practice in Irvine, CA. I travelled there to his office (located very conveniently near the Orange County Airport), and he went through the entire process, explaining how floaters form and how the YAG laser treatment is able to literally destroy the floater. Most importantly, he discussed the risks of the procedure (minor for most people) and was not pushy in the least about going ahead and doing it until I was ready.

    He was able to totally treat my floater and now I do not have that nasty visual distraction. No side effects either.

  23. Michael D Redmond

    As a 61 year old semi retired physician, I developed a posterior vitreous detachment a couple of months ago. I have been near sighted since childhood and remember noticing stringy floaters since my 30s. But the PVD was associated with a dark oval shaped Weiss ring that would rapidly move back and forth such that ignoring it was impossible. I got seen promptly by my ophthalmologist and thankfully there was no retina injury. Vitrectomy could have been done if I really pushed for it, but the risks were too high. Interested in quality of life but not perfection, I was happy to find Dr. Johnson’s website and YouTube videos. These provided the practical information needed to make an informed decision. The fact that we had both served as Army physicians added a another layer of trust, as we had faced similar experiences and hardships years earlier. What convinced me to travel across the country to see him included the numerous positive testimonials, the low risk of injury, and his vast experience from performing this procedure alone for many years. The costs were spelled out up front, and he did not overpromise. As many have said he is compassionate, meticulous with the initial consult, and provided an in depth informed consent. He has a streamlined process which allows adequate time for questions, and most importantly, for the procedure itself. He describes what he sees during the laser treatment, and it is quickly apparent that he is a skilled artist. He manipulates the floaters so that they can be dissolved in a safe and effective manner. I ended up having 3 sessions on the eye with PVD, and 2 shorter sessions on the less affected side. My results: the Weiss ring was totally removed and my central vision was clear after the first session. Remainder of sessions were used to reduce peripheral floaters. I was extremely pleased. Do I still see a small amount of debris? Yes, but now I have 61 year old eyes which allow me to do anything without aggravating distraction. If you expect perfection, that is not the right mindset, and may not be possible. But if you want meaningful, immediate, life improving results please consider the comments of an older, hard to please physician (who paid the full price plus travel expenses). Thanks Dr. Johnson.

  24. I’ve become cynical as I’ve had further dealings with those in the medical profession with time wasted in the waiting room (though I had a designated appointment). the doctor is too busy or too disinterested to listen and communicate with me properly, and then I’m rewarded with a hefty bill. Well, with Dr. NONE of this applied! In fact he exemplified a level of consideration, empathy and respect for his patient (me!) that should become the gold standard. More so because, despite my protestations, he would not accepted any payment from me.

    Let me explain. My left eye’s a minefield of debris and my ophthalmologist diagnosed the myriad of specks as protein floaters. He told me I had no alternative but to learn to live with them. Unacceptable, so I discovered Dr. Johnson via the magic of Google. His diagnosis–thoroughly explained–was that the specks were blood cells (not protein floaters) and that I had had a vitreous hemorrhage. Though not a great deal of blood had entered the eye, the shadows of hundreds of thousands of tiny blood cells were the cause of my obstructed vision.

    I was ready for the laser work to begin; in fact I insisted on it! This is when Dr. Johnson’s integrity and care shone through. He could have zapped away and charged me a fortune. Instead, he patiently explained how the blood cells would eventually die on their own and be metabolically absorbed by my system. He emphasised that it would be a lengthy process but after 100 days I would experience an appreciable improvement.

    Then he sent me on my way, after devoting 90 minutes to my case and dilating and anesthetising the offending eye. He did all this without charging me a penny! I cannot speak more highly about Dr. James Johnson’s generosity of spirity, integrity, and unique wisdom in the still developing specialty of floaters.

  25. Ron

    I have a unique perspective on floater surgery and all who are interested in the procedure should read this. I have been to all 3 floater doctors in the country with Dr. Johnson being the latest, about 2 weeks ago. In a nutshell, Dr. Johnson takes the time needed with all patients to explain and ascertain the level of floaters and how to approach the problem. Since this is all he does and schedules at least 90 minutes with each patient he is not running from room to room for different patients every ten minutes. He worked on both my eyes and my vision is greatly improved. The cloudiness I had, especially peripherally, is pretty much all gone. The central floaters are much improved with just some residual floater debris in my right eye, which I have scheduled a follow-up visit to clear up. I am very happy with Dr. Johnson and wish I had gone to him originally. The other floater doctors helped some but not nearly as much as Dr. Johnson. My recommendation is strongly with him. If you live in the midwest, or even the east coast, I would urge you to spend the little extra money and time and travel to California for the procedure. What a difference it makes to see good!

  26. I first looked for a floater Dr. where I live in Japan, in spite of all the lasers and robots in this place, no luck. Then I looked at the U.S. and out of the very few Drs doing this procedure, I felt Dr. Johnson had the most credible website. He was also willing to spend some time on e-mail to guide me where on his thorough web site I could find answers to the questions I was asking.

    Going against all this was the Dept. of Opthamology at my medical school alma mater where I inquired about this kind of laser treatment. Their only reply was, “we don’t know about this kind of treatment and can’t recommend doing anything to your eye if it not a serious condition”. I’m not sure what they think a serious condition is if I can’t drive or ride a bicycle around town safely.

    I knew I did not want to live forever with the “blob” running amok in one of my eyes, and after reading some papers Dr. Johnson had on his site, and reading that a few other persons in the U.S. also did this treatment safely, I decided to take the plunge.

    My floaters were about 90% gone the day after the procedure, and they are well over 99% gone now 5-years later. While it is possible they might have diminished or gone away over time without the treatment, it is clear to me that they did not go away the 6 months I had them before the treatment and I am convinced I would have had them for many months if not years had I not had the treatment from Dr. Johnson. I think it is possible the treatment split up the floaters into small pieces so that the final 10% bothering me could eventually break-apart or be reabsorbed faster, I don’t know but they are all gone now.

    I wrote again to the Opthamology Dept. at my alma mater to tell them they needed a sea change in their repertoire of procedures…no reply. Medical care can be very conservative and until there are a critical mass of Dr. Johnsons in each state this will be slow to change.

    The procedure does cost some money, but if you think about this cost compared to other medical costs it seems reasonable and worth the cost. I was able to take it as a medical expense off my taxes in Japan, but there is no sense to have the money as a number in your bank account when you can transfer this number into a clear view on a sunny day. “Keep Going” Dr. Johnson!

    Thank you, Doug for taking the time to write that lengthy testimonial. I appreciate it, and I am sure many prospective patients will too. – Dr. Johnson

  27. Jan Vallone Roberts

    To Everyone Suffering with Floaters: Do yourself a favor, and go see Dr. Johnson. He worked a miracle for me.

    I suddenly developed floaters in my left eye in December 2014 and in my right eye in February 2015. For me, they were debilitating. My eyes seemed like two snow globes with dense particles floating around and ricocheting constantly.

    I was beside myself after several ophthalmologists and the Internet told me there was nothing I could do about the floaters except have a vitrectomy and risk the various quite scary complications, like retinal detachment and tears and cataracts.

    I started taking every eye supplement recommended on the Internet, and of course, none of them helped.

    Then I did my research and discovered Dr. Johnson. To be honest, I didn’t feel confident about having to choose a doctor on the Internet without a referral by a doctor I knew. Buying a pair of shoes on Zappos is one thing; choosing an eye doctor is another. For all I knew, Dr. Johnson was a quack. But I was desperate and decided to go for a consultation and see if he seemed competent or not.

    Dr. Johnson helped me feel comfortable right away. He explained the physiology of the eye in great detail and clearly described what floaters were and what he could do about them.

    He informed me quite clearly that there were some floaters he couldn’t treat as well as others. He told me he wouldn’t treat me if he thought it wouldn’t help. He did all of this before even looking at my eyes.

    When he looked at my eyes, he told me my floaters were of the type he could treat. He performed one laser treatment on my left eye and four on my right, and my floaters are totally gone!!! Miraculous!!!

    The process is completely pain free and takes under an hour per treatment. There is no reason at all to have any fear.

    To see Dr. Johnson, I flew to CA from Seattle using frequent flyer miles. The cost for the treatments was around $4000. I did have to incur additional costs for a hotel, as the treatment requires a visit on each of three consecutive days.

    I realize that the total cost is prohibitive for many people. I will say, though, that when facing what could have been 30 years of floaters, it seems like nothing–less than 40 cents per day!

    I’ve always thought the world was beautiful, but never was it so beautiful as it seems to me now.

    Go see Dr. Johnson!

    Sincerely,
    Jan Vallone Roberts
    Seattle, WA

  28. Joseph Bermudez MD

    My experience with eye floaters began approximately 10 years ago with the gradual onset of bilateral hazy spots randomly moving through my visual fields especially after head motion. I am a 59 year old actively practicing anesthesiologist and a commercial multi-engine instrument rated pilot. Excellent visual acuity constitutes a critical priority in my life. My overall vision has been 20/20 without correction after Lasik eye surgery approximately 16 years ago. The floater problem escalated from the occasional nuisance to a troublesome daily distraction over the past 5 years.
    For about the past 2 years, I used specific “eye vitamins” without any change in my floater symptoms. Nonetheless, I advocate proper diet, exercise, and even rational vitamin supplementation as strategy toward maintenance of general good health despite the fact that all these measures did not improve my eye floater symptoms.
    No definitive treatment seemed to exist for my floaters until recently when I found Dr. James Johnson through an internet search which yielded his website. I reviewed his helpful website in detail and within a few months, I traveled to his office for my scheduled appointment.
    Dr. Johnson impressed me as one of the most careful and conscientious physicians I have ever known. After a thorough eye examination and complete explanation, Dr. Johnson presented all my options including no treatment. All aspects of his practice demonstrated the utmost in professionalism and integrity. I confidently choose the option of YAG laser treatment for my bilateral eye floaters because Dr. Johnson demonstrated a clear understanding of proper patient selection for that procedure and Dr. Johnson possessed the experience and qualifications demanded for skillful application of that medical intervention.
    My eyes were appropriately examined before and after all treatments. The entire YAG laser procedure was painless and only topical local anesthetic eye drops were required. After several laser treatments spaced over a 4 day period, my individualized treatment plan rewarded me with exceptionally clear vision essentially free of any noticeable floaters. I could not be more appreciative.
    My new clear vision is life-changing because I have been freed from the troublesome distraction of floaters which plagued my professional and personal pursuits. I commend Dr. Johnson for his exceptionally kind manner and superb medical skills. I most highly recommend Dr. Johnson for the evaluation and treatment of eye floater problems.

  29. Mark Graham

    This guy is just the best! Back in 2010 a gigantic floater appeared in my right eye. When I would look right to left and left to right the floater would cross my eye in the opposite direction. My optometrist said that there was nothing that could be done to rectify the problem. Finally in 2013 I saw Dr. Johnson. After the first two sessions the floater was reduced by 70%. Six months later I had two additional treatments and now the floater was 90% gone. I had a fifth procedure performed by a third party, because he was in my insurance’s network. Not only was the treatment ineffective, but the cost was over $10,000! I recently returned for a sixth treatment (the fifth by Dr. Johnson). The floater is now over 95% removed. I will need to return for a sixth and maybe seventh procedure, but my experience with Dr. Johnson has confirmed to me that my floater will eventually be gone and at a reasonable price. Thank you so much for alleviating this irritating burden. The optometrists and ophthalmologists I have seen about this condition all initially said: “Learn to live with it.” That’s easy for them to say. But after seeing Dr. Johnson’s work, they too have become believers.

  30. Jeff

    I received a trauma to the eye several years ago that led to a floater forming in my left eye which was quite bothersome and always told that there some no treatment for this. Again after a Google search, found out about YAG and decided to try it, I originally went to another YAG specialist Mr Bailey in London, who was very quick to take £450 for a 45 minute evaluation, only to tell me that he can see the bothersome floater but did not use a contact lens in treatment and so my floaters were too fast to treat.

    I did not want to take this as a final answer so I looked up Dr Johnson in America and arranged to visit when on holiday in the country a year later. Dr Johnson was far more understanding and DID use a contact lens unlike the guy in London and also was interested in taking payments only after knowing that treatment was successful from myself and seemed far more interested making sure the job was done properly rather than how much $$ could be charged unlike Harley Street in London.

    I had 3 days/sittings and the main bothersome floater in my left eye was dissolved. Straight after the treatment I saw black bubbles in my vision and was told that this was caused from the floater being dissolved, pleasantly after this I could see that the floater was gone and after several hours when my dilation had gone I could see that it had gone for sure.

    I still have floaters in my left eye but these are only bothersome in daylight where as the larger one was bothersome even in dim lighting. I have since recently returned back to California to see if the remaining spec could be removed however unfortunately these are possibly too close to treat but still very grateful for what was removed last year.

    Dr. Johnson was certainly very helpful and unlike my experience with the guy in Harley Street London. Personally I would recommend the flight to see an experienced Dr Johnson in California than anything in the UK, will probably cost less also.

  31. Bernadette Brown

    Try and beat this testimony! From 1999-2010 I have had FIVE lasik surgeries and ONE PRK. All leaving me with disasterous “corrective” surgery results! During my first lasik, my head was positioned wrong during the procedure. In my second attempt, called an enhancement, I baked cookies the next day, not knowing the heat would warp my corneas. And in the third attempt, I was left with the devastation of irregular astigmatism, not treatable with contacts or glasses, I was beyond depressed!!! I traveled all around the US and Canada trying to find solutions. After ten years with fuzzy vision and not being able to see 20/20 following ELECTIVE procedures, I finally found a surgeon in Canada who performed a PRK on my eye. After six sloooow months of healing, there was a reason to celebration! I could finally see 20/20 again! Then two years later….I have flashes, then suddenly there is a clump in the middle of my right eye that obstructed my vision, and it moved back and forth with any eye movement! What the heck! After 10 years of poor vision…my corneas are improved and now I have this beyond annoying, more like dibilitating, floater in my eye! Local opthamologists did not give me any solutions. I researched on line and found Dr. Johnson!! I then talked to a previous patient of his, who was quite pleased with the floater removal treatments he had had with Dr. Johnson. Desparate for a solution I flew to Irvine, CA and met the good doctor! He thoroughly explained that I had had a PVD and this annoying floater was the result. I had more than one treatment, as I was a tough case. However, the results are worth all the money, time and effort!!! THEN, this February I had another PVD and retinal tear in my other eye that required a retinopexy…And once again I was left with fast moving annoying floaters. This time, without hesitation, I flew out to the good Dr. and he lasered them away. It has cost quite a bit of money to fly clear to California when you live in Montana….but my eye sight is worth it! I am not sure you can put a price tag on your vision? My floaters are now minimal and do not obstruct my vision any longer. I am truly appreciative there is a Dr. Johnson! This procedure is painless, stressless, and exceedingly beneficial…that is…IF you want to SEE!

  32. Todd Alexander

    Dr. Johnson, You truly have a God giving talent that should not be hidden from anyone living with floaters in their eyes. Thank you again so much for helping me see clearly when all other doctors said, “You will just have to get used to it and live with the floaters in your eyes.” I am very grateful that I did my own research online, found Dr. Johnson and trusted him for a second opinion. I recommend anyone that is experiencing floaters to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson. YES, you don’t have to live with annoying floaters any more.

  33. Nancy Miller

    Dr Johnson is my hero !! I woke up on Christmas day with a floater not the present I was hoping for, I had never heard of floaters until I starting asking around and I didn’t like what I was told, everyone said just get use to it nothing will help, oh the brain will adjust and won’t be so bad. I could not get use to this black dot bouncing around each time my eye moved, I could hardly drive because I kept blinking thinking something was in my eye. When I found Dr Johnson website and read everything and watched the video I began to have some positive hope, made my appointment got the treatment and I walked out of his office a new lady a very happy lady. I’m very lucky that I only live one hour from Dr Johnson but I would fly anywhere needed to have Dr Johnson treat me. Dr Johnson is very knowledgeable in this field of ophthalmology and I will refer his services to everyone.

  34. Marty Chambers

    I’ll start by saying that I would highly recommend Dr Johnson.
    In March of 2013 I developed a large floater in my right eye. I am a highly competitive archer and this had a very negative impact on my shooting. I went to my personal eye doctor and he said to learn to live with it, that nothing could be done.
    So after a year of struggling with it I started to research floaters on the web.
    I found Dr Johnson’s web page and decided to contact him. I sent him an e-mail telling him about my situation and asked if he thought my floater might be treatable.
    He answered and said by my description that it should be, but he needed to do an exam to know to what degree.
    I when to see Dr Johnson on Jan 29th 2015. After explaining floaters and his procedure in detail he did the exam. He said my floater was not the best type to treat, but it was treatable. We talked about the possible success and that it was located where there would be very low risk for problems. I said lets do it! He fired a bunch of shots and said come back in the morning to check it again and do some touch up shots if needed. When I got up the next morning the big floater was gone! All I could see was some small pieces. At the morning check up he saw the pieces and fired more shots to clean them up. As of today Feb 1st 2015 I can still see some of the small stuff, but would say I have around 90% less floater. I am very pleased and will go see him in the future to have my left eye done. It has some floaters, but not as bad as my right was.
    Marty Chambers
    Dallas,TX

  35. Amazing! Better Than Hoped! A Quantum Leap of Improvement!
    I’m not good with testimonials but it important to take the time to not only thank Dr. Johnson (no relation) but also give some info to help others make an informed decision. I am a practicing optometrist for 40 years. I have been telling patients during this time that floaters “are something you need to live with” or “they will go away with time”. I have had floaters since my teenage years and I chalked them up to a minor inconvenience. As they have gotten worse over the years I started to understand that “there are floaters and then there are FLOATERS”. I did some research beyond the “standard of care” for floaters (i.e. do nothing or surgical vitrectomy). I became interested in the laser as a realistic solution. In Las Vegas where I practice there is no one using this technique. Dr. Johnson’s web site is the best site I have seen on the subject – the information is fantastic and presented in a way that is useful for patients and professionals.
    My right eye’s “floater” has been getting worse and worse over the last year to the point where it was “becoming a quality of life” issue. The “clump” of floaters was centered in my line of sight and I have been constantly aware of the reduced acuity during this time. I decided to take a few days off and make the trip to Irvine for a consultation.
    Everything went well. Dr. Johnson has his practice setup to be able to spend as much time as needed to assess the problem, explain the situation and tell what treatment can be done and what to expect. My floater was unusual as it was a clumped mass. He explained how this may take some time to get rid of as theses masses tend to break into smaller masses. I elected to have the treatment on the right eye (the left eye has the smaller less noticeable floaters and they weren’t bothersome and I didn’t have this eye done). It was hard to tell right away how much improvement due to the dilation and the “after image wash out” of the vision. By that evening I was seeing a great improvement. I went back the next day for my follow-up visit and the drive to the office was surprising – no clump or mass to distort the vision! On the visit he double checked the eye (vision, eye pressure, etc.) and he was very happy with the results. He did a second series of laser bursts to clean up the little debris left and get any little spots that were now a little easier to see. Again it felt right away that there was a big improvement but I knew it would be a few days before I could see how much improvement there was. He said at the time jokingly that he turned the “good eye into the bad eye” as now I am aware of the floaters as the right eye is almost completely free of distracting spots. As I write I am noticing a few strands or spots in both eyes. They are not completely gone (I’ll probably go back some time next year to get the left eye done and maybe an enhancement on the right eye). I am so much better off and happier that I had hoped. This has been a great success for me.
    My experience with Dr. Johnson was terrific. I was lucky that my floaters were treatable. Some are easier to treat than others. My understanding of floaters has increased and now I can offer to my patients a third alternative to floaters. There is actually a treatment that works!

  36. Elizabeth

    I’m 43 years old and had PVD in January 2014. I had a large dark Weiss Ring and a cloud. This caused me a great deal of anxiety and depression. I sat in dark rooms at work when I could, I couldn’t enjoy reading and despite trying to not focus on it ,I was aware of it CONSTANTLY. I saw several doctors who said I would have to live with it or that I would get used to it. Yeah right! I couldn’t accept this. I did my own research and found Dr. Johnson. I was reluctant to try the Laser only because the doctors would not support me in my decission to try it. And it is nerve racking to go against the norm. However, I can whole heartedly recommend this treatment. My only wish is that I would not have suffered 6 months before getting the guts to do it. The treatment is easy, painless and Dr. Johnson makes you feel comfortable. My ring is completely gone. I do still have lots of cloudy stuff and may go back for future treatments. But I now can go most of the day without thinking about it or obsessing about it. Money well spent. I am one month post laser and have not had any adverse effects. Thank you Dr. Johnson!

  37. Jeffrey F

    I had my floaters treated by Doctor Johnson in June 2014. I am close to retirement and since about a year and half ago the floaters were getting progressively worse. When I went into a store with bright fluorescent lights they were particularly bothersome. It was becoming close to being a translucent curtain through which I had so see everything.
    Now the curtain is gone and I can see much better.. I would say there’s been about an 80 to 85% improvement. I can still see some floaters, but there has been a very noticeable improvement. It was definitely worth the expense and time of my flight to Irvine to have this taken care of. Also, I appreciated his honesty about what to expect and not to expect and his explanations about the whole process

  38. Jeff George

    KUDOs TO Dr. Johnson!

    I’m thrilled to say that I can see well again after laser treatment by Dr. Johnson last week. I researched the three US providers who perform this procedure at length. Though Dr. Johnson is the most distant of the three for me, I was convinced he was the best for these reasons: he specializes in/ has considerable experience in this treatment, and he does not have the “assembly line” mentality about patient care that his competitors seem to. I’m glad I made the trip — I have a huge improvement in my vision.

    I suffered from weiss ring floaters in both eyes for over 3 years. At times I would have to quit reading and wait for my floaters to move. My job demands lots of reading, including PC and web program use. When leading training sessions, I often had to “stall” my presentation till I could read again — talk about embarassing! And, while participating in web-ex meetings, I would really struggle to keep pace with others, due to my lag in ability to read…

    Dr. Johnson thoroughly explains every point about the procedure and how feasible it is given the position and nature of the person’s floaters. It really is painless, with immediate results. Despite the dilation, I knew when I drove away from the office that the results were great. I’d say 95% reduction in floaters!

    By the way, I work in admin for a 35 physician group. For those of us who feel that physicians should relate well to their patients, show an interest in them, be approachable, and “treat” the personality of the patient, I have to say Dr. Johnson is a great example of these characteristics. Heck of a nice guy!

  39. Bob Orange

    In my early 20’s I experienced my first floaters in both eyes, though they were worse in my right eye. Treatment back then was steroid shots which did stabilize them, but did not eliminate the floaters. The doctors I saw stated you would just have to learn to live with them. I did, my vision was relatively fine- but it certainly was not pleasant having floaters bobbing around in my field of view. This past year and decades later (now in my 50’s) my right eye started to have an increase in the floaters which really did start to impair my vision. Most noticeable was the formation of what I would describe as a translucent blob. Kind of like having to look through a small piece of wax paper that waved around in the center of my right eye. New glasses were no help. My dominant eye, which had been my right; had switched to my left (more on this later). Most significant was that it was starting to affect the ability to do my job as a Deputy Sheriff. To cut to the chase and show the reality of how it impacted my daily life; here is a prime example of the consequences of having floaters.

    On enforcement vehicle stops I was started having trouble reading the license plate which would have to be radioed in to dispatch. I had to move my eyes around to get the floaters out of the way so I could read the letters and numbers which took precious time. I was not able to take a quick glance at the plate and comprehend it. An additional result was that I was unable to fully concentrate on what was happening with the occupants at the same time while doing this. It had become a safety issue in my job and a solution had to be found, otherwise I was looking at a earlier than planned end to my career.

    Through research I found Dr. Johnson’s website and read every single word contained within. I watched the videos and read about the other doctors in the world that did this procedure. I decided that Dr. Johnson would be the man to consult with and have him do the procedure if he felt he would be beneficial. I then made an appointment and consulted with Dr. Johnson on the phone. Subsequently, I flew into John Wayne airport in the morning from northern California and met with Dr. Johnson in the afternoon. After examining my eyes he determined that he could help me with the newer floaters that I had been experiencing, but not the floaters that I had for decades. He went right to work with the laser on my right eye doing hundreds of laser shots. I stayed the night at a hotel just a couple blocks away. I noticed immediate improvement in my vision that very night after the dilation went away.

    First thing the next morning Dr. Johnson performed the second treatment going after the remaining floaters with hundreds more laser shots. He was so determined to eliminate floaters that he even did the so called “bank shots” with a mirror to get those floaters in the periphery of my vision. You will know what I am talking about if you have read all of his comments and postings.

    The final results staggered my mind! My vision in the right eye had improved drastically. I was immediately able to return to work with a vision that I had years prior. Needless to say I was able to read vehicle license plates on car stops with no problems again and have overall improved sharp vision.

    Another thing I noticed is that my right eye after treatment became dominant again. At the onset of the most recent floaters I had to switch to using my left eye in shooting firearms. This is because it became awkward to acquire the sights on my guns with the “floaters” being right in center of view of my right eye. After the treatment with Dr. Johnson my right eye returned to being the dominant one again is shooting guns- with both open and telescopic sights. Those of you who read this who shoot firearms and have floaters will be able to relate to this. But I think it also shows how floater impaired vision can impact other aspects in the quality of your life. I am just giving a specific instance of how I was personally effected by floaters rather than just a eye chart test.

    I decided to wait a little while before making a post to see what the long term results would be like. The procedure was done in November of 2013 and I am now writing this post almost five months later in March, 014. The result is just the same as the day after the treatments and there have been no after effects or problems. There have been no return of floaters in my right eye and my vision remains significantly improved. I have no hesitation in returning to Dr. Johnson for additional treatments if needed and it has been a extremely positive experience for me. I recommend him for people with a similar situation to mine.

    Flying into John Wayne airport at Irvine was easy and Dr. Johnson’s office was close. I really could have walked the distance to his office and the hotel, but I rented a car very reasonably there at the airport terminal which made for a much easier commute. I stayed at one of the closest hotels to his office and it worked out fine. The area was clean, safe and upscale.

  40. Julian Serwinowski

    I am a 61 year old professional Gymnastics coach who suffered a trauma to my right eye about two years ago, which resulted in a PVD. The resulting floater was like a dense coil of black thread fixed in one place at about 2 O’clock in the view from my right eye. Following an examination at the local hospital I was told there was no treatment and I would have to live with it. Since I never take no for an answer I started to do some research on the web and discovered Dr Johnson and others offered a possible solution using a laser. I then made what turned out to be a serious mistake and consulted an ophthalmic surgeon in Altringham, Cheshire in the United Kingdom, where I live. Following an initial examination he proceeded to treat me over the following year. Two initial treatments a day apart and three further treatments, three to four months apart, in order to allow things to settle down, he said. The first three treatments produced no discernable results and the final two resulted in a blizzard of black debris. In effect he had made things worse. He then claimed he couldn’t do anything more for me and said the floaters were too close to the retina and then he suggested I had a Vitrectomy. I declined this, bearing in mind what this entails and the risks involved. I then contacted Dr Johnson, WHICH I SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE. I visited Dr Johnson in April 2013 and following a thorough examination and a full explanation of what was involved, including the limitations of the procedure, I had a week of daily treatments. Obviously my floaters weren’t too close to the retina! The results were excellent and more than half of my floaters were eliminated. I subsequently returned to see him again in the July and during more than a week of daily treatments he eliminated the remaining floaters. I now have a couple of very fine strands which are barely discernable and which it is not possible to focus the laser on. An outstanding result, to add to the numerous successes I see posted here by other patients. Thank you again James Johnson for your professional and conscientious approach to your highly skilled work. You are undoubtedly the best in this field, being always mindful of the limitations of the treatment and offering realistic guidance, particularly in my case, on what it’s possible to achieve.
    I am now visiting Dr Johnson this weekend, February 2014, for a possible week of treatments on my left eye. Some very discernable floaters appeared about two months ago, following an afternoon nap. No trauma that I was aware of. This time I’m consulting the best man to deal with the issue and not falling back on the convenience of location or seeing someone who has a general ophthalmic practice and dabbles in this field. Orange county is not that difficult to visit from the United Kingdom. I recommend flying to John Wayne Airport from London via either Atlanta or Minneapolis with Delta. Consult skyscanner for the best options. His practice is within a short walk of the airport and there are plenty of very good hotels nearby. Nor is it expensive – £480.00 return this February.
    Julian S, Wokingham, U.K.

  41. “Your brain will get used to it.”…..”Oh it’s not serious, floaters are benign.”…..There’s nothing to do for it except a surgery that carries a 50% chance of your going blind.”…..”Why don’t you name the floater, perhaps name it Molly, it will help you make peace with it.”………
    These are the recommendations and comments of 3 local ophthalmologists I saw for the large floater that was blocking a good deal of the central vision of my Right eye. Not only were these remarks insensitive and patronizing, they were also inaccurate……
    ….Probably if you are reading this you have been searching for help, just as I was….help for something that was disrupting the quality of your life…..I read a lot, but the dark floater was blocking much of the enjoyment of reading for me….I work on the computer, the floater was compromising accuracy of work I was doing…..I drive often to the places I need to go, and to bring my teen son to activities and events, the floater was compromising the central vision and was concerning…..and last but not least, I love to have conversations with friends and neighbors and colleagues, and to be sharing a conversation while seeing this huge blob on the other person’s face is very frustrating and distracting! I felt myself getting irritable and depressed……But then I would remember the ophthalmologists telling me this is benign and there was nothing to do about it. I was trying to “get used to it,” but after so many months, that wasn’t happening…………….So I decided to research, did searches, watched the films, and spoke with Dr Johnson at Vitreous Floater Solutions. AS I am an RN, I asked a LOT of questions…..Dr Johnson was down-to-earth, even told me that he needed to do a thorough eye exam before he would decide if I was a candidate and that was for my safety. I appreciated his honesty and thorough explanations. I drove 2,000 miles to Irvine and I am SO VERY GLAD that I did……
    I was rather anxious, and Dr Johnson calmed my fears with his compassionate attitude and the immediate sense of confidence that comes with his professional manner and in knowing that THIS is his SPECIALTY; he is so experienced.
    He performed the YAG laser procedure on my Right eye, and the Floaters are GONE! I feel so happy; when I’m speaking with family and friends, there’s no more huge obstruction over their faces…No MORE FLOATER!
    If you are reading these testimonials just as I was a few months ago, and you are trying to decide what to do….take this advice from a busy parent of a teenage son who is also an experienced RN…….Dr. Johnson is a great doctor and chances are, he will be able to help you like he did for me…….I am so happy I did the research and did not just accept what the local eye doctors had told me.
    Your vision is precious; do what you can to get the help you need to be able to see the best you can.
    Best Wishes! Sue Bordelon RN

  42. Bernice Muldowney

    Testimonial 9th August 2013

    About three and a half years ago I experienced a flashing line of light down the left side of my left eye with a few insignificant specks to the left of my vision. It was a bit scary as I had never experienced anything like this before.
    I am from Northern Ireland and over here we have The National Health Service (NHS.) The NHS is a good system in that the entire nation is eligible for treatment and no one is left out. They cover absolutely everything to do with health care including serious operations and maternity. They are the best in the world. Unfortunately because patients do not pay at source (pay by taxes) there is a tendency for professionals, doctors and nurses to talk over patients and treat over them so that the patient can be left in the dark somewhat about their conditions. Also the professionals treat vast numbers of people so there is usually only a small time-slot available. Everyone is registered with a General Practitioner doctor which is self explanatory. If a person has a health problem they first make an appointment with the GP and he or she decides whether to refer them to a specialist at the local hospital who then sends details back to the GP. As you can imagine things can go wrong along this chain e.g. the GP does not refer them in the first place or they are not given enough or any information about their conditions. Also there is a waiting list for hospital consultants from a few weeks to many months. For eye appointments a person goes to a private Optician where the health of the eye is checked and the cost is subsidised by the government, and for serious eye conditions a patient attends the hospital to see an eye consultant.
    I made an appointment with an optician and he examined my eye without dilation, my decision, and said my eye was ok but on account of my age the retina was pulling in the back of the eye. I was aware it was possible to get a retinal detachment but this, in actual fact, is not what had happened to my eye.
    At that time I decided to go to my General Practitioner for a referral to the hospital where I would see an eye specialist. After a number of weeks I got an appointment and my eyes were deemed alright. That was the last I heard of it.
    Fast forward to April 2013 when I experienced lines of light flashing across horizontally and vertically in the right eye, and suddenly there was a black thing like a fly moving constantly across my vision. I rang the optician who said I should contact the GP, but I wasn’t inclined so the optician gave me an appointment. My son Patrick accompanied me to the appointment and I was given an examination with dilation of the eye. The optician said I had a ‘floater’ at eleven o’clock and my eye was fine. I saw this at one o’clock towards the centre of the vision. She said something about it fading and my brain ‘ignoring it’ but I still felt upset. So she got out a colour chart and went through the colours with me (I was five years of age again) and said I had great colour vision.
    Over the next few days I tried to ignore it but to no avail, and I found the flashing light worrying regarding the retina so on a bank holiday my son Patrick accompanied me to A & E at the local hospital. There I saw an eye specialist and after an examination with dilation she informed me that I had bypassed the GP and to attend the Eye department a the hospital in the morning for a further examination. Next morning I had a further dilation and eye examination and the doctor said ‘that’s fine’ and I said ‘well what is it?’ She said something about something turning back on itself and that I had a ‘floater’ and my brain would ignore it and it would fade and that was that. I carried on as normal waiting for it to fade or be ignored, but I felt it was me who was being ignored by the doctors. And I realised I have not had a DIAGNOSIS yet so I phoned the eye department at the hospital and after about six hours a doctor phoned me back and told me I had posterior vitreous detachment in my right eye. And nothing was done about this and the doctor rang off. So that is what I had in my left eye three and a half years ago but never knew until now, but in actual fact, I had no floater in the left eye.
    I went on the internet and the internet search informed me that no treatment is required for a PVD and it will settle. My son Edward in London did a search also and confirmed the same. I felt somewhat relieved but not for long.
    This thing is distressing to live with and I begin to look at it more closely. In the sunlight I see a large transparent jellyfish-like spaghetti junction which covers a large area and which I normally do not see and tethered to this are two black strings either side of a black blob which seems to be made up of numerous strings which I do see all the time. The whole thing is moving constantly across the vision and the black thing which is positioned in a semi-circle in three sections is moving at greater speed but still tethered and bouncing off the side of my eyeball and then comes back to one o’clock near the centre of my eye to start moving all over again. Firstly I do not know why this is called a floater – there is nothing floating about it. A floater is something which benignly drifts gently across the eye. This is thick, dense and black to the vision and is tethered in the eye to a gel like strandy substance which constantly moves and maybe because of the extra density of the black bits they swing at a greater speed bouncing off the inside of the eyeball. Do the specialists understand this?
    As for my brain ‘ignoring’ it, certainly most eye specialists have no trouble ‘ignoring’ it but my brain never did. What I interpret as my brain ignoring it is that this ‘floater’ is out of focus for part of the time but the movement of it is not – the movement is back and forth and up and down – and mine was mostly in focus.
    By now my expectations were for this to fade but it was not fading. My sister who lives in Vancouver Canada told me to get an eye patch which I did. Well believe it or not I could still see this thing moving back and forth through the eye patch. If I closed my eye I could still see it moving also. I was beginning to think I would be better with one eye.
    I started wearing prescription sunglasses all day which helped a little bit, and after a while with no change I rang the hospital again. I was put through to a male doctor in the eye department. I said “what is this black thing in my eye and when will it go away.” He said “it will never go away but your brain will ignore it.” And rang off. Well they are extremely busy in the NHS it is not like private medicine.
    I went back to the net and quite by accident I found Vitreous Floater Solutions and started reading all the information there which was very thorough and extensive. The testimonials really made everything clearer and I could relate to what other people had gone through with this type of condition. I was alarmed that some people had suffered for years and I knew then I would need treatment outside the NHS. I felt very anxious because what the professionals had been telling me was contrary to the testimonials and a person does just not expect this in modern medicine. Also with very few doctors worldwide performing laser treatment for these ‘floaters’ I wondered if it would be effective enough. But at this stage I was near willing to try anything to improve my eye. It is not like I was making a mountain out of a molehill (though from the reactions of the doctors it felt like it) because I have had lifelong asthma and most people know how debilitating that is. California was a bit far away so I made an appointment with one of the few people who use laser treatment this side of the Atlantic. At the appointment he said that my eye pressure was high and this seemed to make him reluctant to treat me, but he did briefly treat the eye, but there were still some dense thick fragments left which were still bothersome. He did write a letter to my G P stating that I had a Weiss ring floater and he had treated the floater with a laser but my eye pressure was high and should be checked out again along with the periphery vision. This was the first time I had learned that I actually had a Weiss ring in my eye and I had had this condition for over six weeks by that time.
    After a number of weeks I felt that I really needed these fragments treated they were quite bad, and as my daughter was having her first baby in early September I would like treatment before then.
    Because Dr. Johnson at Vitreous Floater Solutions treats floaters exclusively I felt he would be better placed for treating the fragments. So I made the long journey with my son Edward who took a week’s holiday also from work. We stayed at Luguna beach and visited friends nearby who moved from N I to work in Orange County.
    The pressure in my eye had gone down somewhat and Dr. Johnson spoke one to one with me and not over my head and he explained everything very clearly and took time to do so. The treatment causes no more discomfort than an eye examination and it was a great feeling when the laser connects with the ‘floater’ and you see black bubbles cascading down to the bottom of the eye. I had one treatment by Dr. Johnson and my eye was very clear. I had an optional appointment set up for some days later to check for any leftover bits, and meanwhile my son and myself travelled around sightseeing. There was one black dot and one small line but I felt this was enough treatment for now as I was also suffering exhaustion jet lag and lack of sleep from all the travelling.
    My son Patrick asked me the other day why did I think I had a Weiss ring in one eye and not the other though I had PVDs in both eyes I wondered though it may be of no significance if it was anything to do with a minor car accident I had years ago when the right side of my forehead banged against the windscreen if it loosened the collagen round the optic nerve and then when I had the PVD much later this moved into the vitreous???
    I was depressed with this condition and now I can get back to the gardening, as we live in the countryside we have a big garden. I am knitting baby clothes for my daughter’s baby due soon, and really looking forward to seeing my first grandchild, and generally glad to have my sight back to normal.
    I am so relieved I was able to avail of this treatment from Dr. Johnson and grateful for his dedication to his patients. Thank you.

  43. Eric

    About two and a half years ago, my left eye experienced a trauma that led to a PVD. The consequence of that PVD was the development of two very annoying floaters (a Weiss ring and a large blob of mass near the bottom of my eye behind the lens that flipped up and blocked an appreciable amount of my vision whenever I moved my eye). I immediately scheduled an appointment with a local ophthalmologist and was told nothing could be done except to live with them! Unwilling to succumb to the situation, I did an extensive web search and learned that treatments (laser vitreolysis and vitrectomy) did exist for floater sufferers. Right away, I made an appointment to see a laser doctor in Washington D.C. Although he successfully removed the Weiss ring, he was unable or unwilling to treat the large floater that was still very much tormenting me. After suffering for an additional couple of months, I decided to make the long trip to see Dr. Johnson. I was glad I made the trip because not only did he agree to treat me, he was successful in drastically reducing the size of the floater! What was left were some strands and debris. I was so pleased with the results that I asked him to treat my right eye as well. My right eye had some faint but noticeable cobweb and smeared-type of floaters probably due to syneresis. I did return two more times, the latest of which was earlier this week for additional treatments to get rid of the strands and debris. I saw noticeable improvements after each treatment and the results (to me) were just unbelievable!

    What I have learned from my experiences with floater treatment are that (1) not all laser doctors are the same, and (2) both the doctor and patient need to be very patient. Treating large floaters aggressively and trying to hunt down strands and debris take time and patient, and I am glad Dr. Johnson is willing to take the time to treat me. I have literally seen dozens of doctors and specialists (I am in my mid-50s), I have yet to meet one who is as dedicated, caring, patient, focused, and perseverant as Dr. Johnson. Unlike other doctors who run around seeing multiple patients at a given moment, or try to spend as little time as possible with a patient, Dr. Johnson bucks this trend by willing to devote hours of his time per treatment session with me, and making me feel like I was his only patient! I am so glad I found Dr. Johnson, who has helped restored my quality of life before that terrible accident!

  44. MCP

    I got into the practice of medicine 24 years ago with the hope of making a difference in people’s lives. I believe that my colleagues entered into the practice of medicine with the same intentions. With an overwhelming number of uninsured patients and extreme cuts in reimbursement made by Medicare and all insurance companies, providers are forced to see more patients in less time and for less money. I believe that can reduce the quality of care delivered, and also forces providers to spend less time with their patients who may need them the most.

    Four months ago I developed a large floater in my left eye, I did my due diligence and went to my ophthalmologist who did a dilated eye exam and told me that there is nothing that can be done for a floater and to just “get used to it”. She was rushed (see above) and did not engage in any kind of meaningful conversation as to my options for this very bothersome condition.

    I tried to “get used to it” but every time I moved my eyes a large dark cotton webbed looking clump would float into my visual field making it difficult to drive, read, cycle or do just about anything. This floater affected my life in so many negative ways that I even considered the very invasive vitrectomy procedure which scared the hell out of me.

    Like all of you reading this post I found Dr Johnson on the web and did an extensive amount of research on the YAG laser and this cutting edge floater removal procedure. After weighing the risks and benefits of this procedure I made an appointment with Dr Johnson. His office is very close (walking distance) to the airport and there are numerous hotels also within walking distance across the street from the airport.

    Dr Johnson spent a lot of time with me explaining the procedure as well as realistic expectations for my treatment. I was incredibly impressed with Dr Johnson’s “chair-side manner”. He is very passionate about what he does and wants to make sure that his patients understand all aspects of his practice. I did not have the typical Weiss ring floater, but more of a grainy cloud type floater which is not as easy to treat as a Weiss ring floater. Dr Johnson believed that he would be able to make an improvement in my condition but could not guarantee complete resolution of my floater. I know that there are no guarantees with ANY medical procedure.

    Dr Johnson spent a lot of time working on my floater and after my appointment I could no longer find the floater in my visual field. However my eye was dilated and I had been staring into a bright light for some time. Dr Johnson said he would recheck my eye the following day at the follow up appointment to assess the results.

    While walking back to my hotel, eyes dilated and wearing dark glasses I was aware of the absence of my dark cloudy floater in my left eye. I continually moved my eyes and turned my head to see if it would re-appear but nothing, no floater. The next morning still no floater and Dr Johnson and I decided that no further treatment was necessary at this time.

    I know that I had a difficult floater to treat and my results may or may not be typical. I think people need to have realistic expectations of this procedure and know that some floaters are not in a good position to fire a laser at. Everyone is different, and every floater as well. The only way to know if this laser procedure can help is to have an examination with Dr Johnson. I know that the procedure is expensive and travel is necessary for this venture, however the price I paid for this treatment is negligible as the results were priceless. Thank you Dr. Johnson you made a difference in my life!

  45. OWH

    I have had a large floater in my right eye for the past year. I spoke with several ophthalmologists regarding it and was told absolutely nothing could be done, and I would just have to live with it. I was so frustrated. I had trouble reading through documents, and it often interfered with my vision while driving. I finally did my own research and located Dr. Johnson. The information and videos on his website were quite helpful. Only problem was that his office is in Southern California, and I live in Northern California. I had many questions, but Dr. Johnson took the time to address them by phone. Last week I went to his office and he successfully performed his laser procedure (I also went in the next morning for a short visit to ensure everything was fine). Just before the procedure, he again spent quite a bit of his time thoroughly explaining it. He was adamant that if the floater was not a good candidate for the procedure that he would not do it. I was very impressed with his professionalism, knowledge and patience. I feel very fortunate to have found him. The experience has been quite gratifying; I walked out of Dr. Johnson’s office and felt like myself again. I can actually see again without the old floater obstructing my field of vision. Thank you, Dr. Johnson!

  46. Nick K.

    I am a 62 year man whose work is doing detailed visual analysis of the world Currency Markets. Essentially, I stare at charts for several hours at a time and monitor minute price movements. One morning, I woke up with a “floater” which I thought nothing of until few hours later when I notice this one was not clearing up and disappearing like others had in the past. In fact, this was the worst one I’d ever experience as the shape of it was a long thick thread-shaped floater that was now obscuring the center left side of the vision in my right eye. The experience was alarming and I quickly got into my optometrist to determine what had happened. After dilating my eye, he announced that I had a Vitreous Humor Detachment and a part of the humor had “dropped” between lens and retina and thus, the obstruction to clear sight. Then, he said, “It’s yours to keep”. I immediately asked him what he meant by that as I was in a state of disbelief. He explained that these detachments can occurred spontaneously as we grow older and nothing can be done to correct my vision and this would be my new “normal” vision. I left the doctor’s office in a state of mild shock and depression. And, those feelings lingered for days. To put it mildly, I was not happy.

    Not giving up, I scoured the internet and found one doctor in Germany who did an elaborate surgical procedure. That was way too risky. I continued to search periodically as the year went on. Then, guess what? Yes, I woke up with another bad floater. Only this time, it was in the left eye. Now, I was more than desperate to find a solution to correcting the quality of much needed clear vision. Fortunately, and for the life of me, I don’t know how I missed finding Dr. Johnson on the internet. But when I did, and after reading about his procedure, I contacted him and made arrangements to see him for a prognosis. It would be about a month before I was able to get in to see him as I was traveling on business. I live in Austin, TX but would be going to San Diego for a month and it could not have been better timing to have him take a look.

    When I arrived, and after explaining my situation, Dr. Johnson said he’d have a look inside the eyes first, then he could make a better assessment as he explained everyone is different. The good news was: both eyes were candidates for the laser procedure. So, we went ahead with the right eye first and the experience of the procedure itself was painless. Dr. Johnson speaks gently as he works and I found the whole experience quite calming. As he was using the laser, I could see the the long thread of the floater turn into small bubbles and then disappear. It was quite fascinating and took about 15 minutes and we were done. It wasn’t until a few hours later after my eye dilation returned to normal did I take full notice of the fact that the big floater was gone. My sight was back. It was a joyful experience!

    I went back a week later to repeat the procedure on the left eye and got the same results. Floater gone! I honestly cannot say that you’ll have the same experience. I felt that my floaters were bad as they definitely were having a serious negative impact on the smallest things in my daily activities.

    I cannot express how much appreciation I have for Dr. Johnson. He is a wonderful caring professional who has chosen to dedicate his practice and specialize in assisting people in the elimination or alleviation of these floater and dramatically improving diminished visual acuity from their effect. I have told all my family and friends of the procedure and its result so that others out there who have a similar situation can get help. Personally, I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Johnson and I would recommend him to anyone suffering from “floaters”.

  47. RANDALL POCIUS

    WOOHOO! I just had my ‘touch-up’ on some floaters in both of my eyes (especially a rather large one in my right eye) and I am extremely pleased. I can go about my daily life without this huge shadow constantly going across my vision. My right eye is very clear now. I still have some minor floaters in my left eye, but these are not as bothersome and I can live with them (Dr. Johnson said these minor ones were too close to the retina and he did not want to chance damaging the retina–and I agree!). Anyway, thank you Dr. Johnson!

  48. Randy P.

    My left eye experienced a Weiss ring type floater in October of 2012 and I went to my optometrist who told me, “This is your new normal”. I could not accept that and of course did my research and found Dr. Johnson who devotes his entire practice to the treatment of eye floaters. I saw him in April of 2013 and was impressed with the results. I have a troublesome floater in my right eye and I will have to go back to him to get it treated . Dr. Johnson is a very nice individual and is a highly competent doctor of whom I would recommend seeing for these nasty floaters. I can hardly wait to hear what my optometrist says when she no longer sees the Weiss ring floater–Dr. Johnson gave me back my “normal”.

  49. I'm Delighted!

    Executive Summary:

    98% of my ideal results were achieved immediately after the series of procedures 9/21-9/23; 3% regression occurred overnight of the clarity achieved in the left eye, where some disrupted bits of that huge obscuring blob re-coalesced (it seems). The remarkable improvement in clarity in the right eye has remained stable.

    I’m delighted: 95% success for this first visit!

    I’ll be back to clear up the 5% blur that came back in the center of the left eye in a few months, assuming I won’t just get used to it.

    Discussion:

    My initial criteria for the procedures was met: in no respect is the the vision of either eye diminished at all, pressures remain about 15 (I’m told), plus, pain from the eyestrain of peering around and through the floaters is gone.

    My secondary criteria were substantially met: the huge blurred mass that obscured a third of the central vision in my left eye is almost completely gone, and the little that remains is translucent; the few but opaque and highly mobile floaters I’d learned to live with in my right eye are almost undetectable now; the overlap in the visual field from floaters in both eyes is now non-existent — no more random blind spots appearing and flitting away! I no longer have to stop and look again, I can see at first glance.

    I can read comfortably again, with a book in my lap, not held up high or off to the side to dodge the floaters in my right eye which used to dance across the page with every saccade.

    I can check my left mirror for traffic with a simple glance while driving, again. After the left vitreous detachment, that whole mirror was invisible at that angle unless I turned my head to look with my right eye.

    Night driving is much more comfortable and feels safer without the glare and starring from bright lights bouncing off the floaters in both eyes.

    The right eye floaters that used to look like fast-moving objects in daytime traffic, especially in bad weather, are completely gone.

    In my work as a programmer, scanning pages of source code for keywords or phrases is possible again, as a binocular activity. Since the vitreous detachment, I had had to look off center to the screen, or close or cover my left eye to do certain of my tasks, which was exhausting and lowered my productivity.

    The sheer effort of coping with the constant distraction of floating “objects” and visual drop-outs in my field of view was immensely draining. The tremendous lightening of effort in visual tasks after the procedures surprised me. It’s remarkably easier (less work) to see now.

    Conclusion:

    I’m very happy with the safety, comfort, and efficacy of the procedure, and extremely pleased with my results so far. I’ll be making room in my schedule so I can return for one more treatment, on that last 5%, within the year.

  50. Kathy D.

    I am a 54 year old female who experienced the onset of floaters (the Weiss ring type) in both eyes a little more than a year ago. I work full time as a nurse anesthetist. I visited a local ophthalmologist here in TX, and he told me I had floaters in both eyes. When I asked him what could be done, he replied either a vitrectomy or learn to live with it. I thought I would try to live with the floater, but when you have something like a piece of string constantly floating into your vision it becomes very distracting (at least it was to me). Also the glare in both eyes with fluorescent lights was almost unbearable. In my exhaustive search on the internet, I learned there is indeed something else that could be done, and there are only 3 ophthalmologists in the US that use a laser to obliterate the floaters. This sounded like a much better option to me as I personally like the most conservative approach possible. I then continued my in depth investigation as to who might be able to treat my floaters in this manner. (My husband says I research things to death on the internet…I think it is part of my obsessive-compulsive personality). I spoke with 2 of the 3 ophthalmologists on the telephone, and decided to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson. He was very informative, and devotes his practice to this procedure exclusively. I chose him to treat my floaters, because of his knowledge and extensive experience. I had my examination and the first treatment on my right eye on 12/10/12. It took about 30 minutes, and the most uncomfortable part of the procedure was the bright light that Dr. Johnson uses to see the floater. I could tell a big difference in my vision almost immediately after the first procedure. I went in the following day, and he cleaned up a few remnants in my right eye and proceeded to treat my left eye. The third visit he looked at my right eye once more, and treated a few more pieces in my left. My vision is so much better after the procedure. No glare with fluorescent lights and the central vision floaters are gone. There are a few miniscule floaters remaining in each eye. Dr. Johnson and I discussed further options and we both decided it was time to stop. He told me in his experience, he could continue to try to eradicate the remaining pieces, but sometimes it can create even more floaters. I like his conservative approach, and thought it would be prudent to quit. He told me that if I perceived the remaining remnants were bothersome in the future, I could return at any time. I am extremely pleased with my results. I appreciate the time Dr. Johnson took to explain the procedure, the risks and benefits, and the expectations I should have. He is a consummate professional, and I highly recommend him without reservation.


    REPLY: Thank you, Kathy, for taking the time to tell your story. There are a lot of people with similar variations of your story: “Told to live with it”, forced to research treatment options on your own, a little OCD. I hope this story will help someone in the same position. – Dr. J

  51. Eileen Bohan

    I am a 50-year-old female; my job involves doing 40-50 hours per week intensive work on the computer (reading/scanning/analyzing/referencing/data entry, back-and-forth between two computer monitors), and I experienced a posterior vitreous detachment (flashes of light in the outer corner of my left eye during the daytime) in February followed the next day by a ring-shaped floater in my left eye that bounced to-and-fro very distractingly, along with a cloud behind it that swooshed in the direction opposite to the direction the ring-shaped floater moved. As soon as possible I went to see a retinal specialist who determined that there was no retinal detachment, and about the floater, he told me I should just get used to it. The floater never went away and neither did the opposing cloud; they stayed exactly the same for the next ten months, bothering me all the time, although my annoyance with it did lessen a bit over time, although I did worry a lot about my vision in general during this time, so I did research on the internet about floaters, and found the vitreous floater solutions website; I read everything available and watched the videos. I made an appointment with Dr. Johnson for examination and made travel arrangements (there are many convenient hotels and airport very close to Dr. Johnson’s office). Dr. Johnson was prompt in returning my call to set up an appointment, and he answered all my questions about the procedure, the instrument/technology, in detail. Anesthesia was only numbing eyedrops in the one eye; actual time using the laser on my eye was I think about 20 minutes, but that’s just an estimate because I didn’t time it. However, Dr. Johnson spent much more time preparing me for the procedure before-hand (about an hour), including dilating eye-drops and explanations about the procedure; what to expect; etcetera. I went back the next day for follow-up, and did not require another treatment, because the first treatment had eradicated the floater; in fact the vision in the left eye was clear and colors vivid. What a relief it was to get rid of that bouncing floater and the opposing cloud. Irvine is also a very nice place to visit. I am so grateful to Dr. Johnson for helping me.

    1. Eileen Bohan

      I waited from February 2012 to December 2012; 10 months. During that ten months, the floater never changed or went away. Now it is June 2013, six months post the treatment last December and I’m still working 50-plus hours per week intensive non-stop work on the computer, and I’m no longer bothered by floaters and I’m not having any eye-strain either. It does seem that the Weiss-ring floater added to the eye-strain, because when I had the floater, I had significant eye-strain along with it. Now no bothersome floater; and no eye-strain. I cannot express how thankful I am for Dr. Johnson’s expertise.

  52. Jeff Manthos

    I am a 59 year old male with a vitreous detachment from several years ago. Like many here, I had a classic Weiss ring floater in my left eye as a result of the detachment. It interfered with just about everything; driving, reading, and my work. It was even a distraction during normal conversations. After locating Dr. Johnson and looking over his website I decided to give him a try at resolving the Weiss ring. After a detailed overview of his practice, ethics and realistic expectations of treatments, the painless procedure was very successful in eliminating the source of a major frustration in my life, the Weiss ring. Dr. Johnson was clear in stating that he couldn’t guarantee absolute elimination of every floating annoyance, but was tenacious in pursuing as much detritus in my vitreous as he safely could. My vision has been restored to a level where I am no longer fixated on the constant annoyance of the Weiss ring. Like many here, I was told by others that there was nothing that could be done about the floaters, but fortunately my local eye doctor knew of Dr. Johnson and suggested I check into the YAG laser procedure. It was a success.

    Jeff M.
    The Great Northwest

  53. William F

    I am a 56 year old aerospace engineer who needs good vision…especially reading drawings, and high resolution computer screens. I came to Dr. Johnson to laser a large, opaque floater in my left eye that was dead-center in my field of vision. This floater gradually got worse over the last few months. It was quite distracting not to be able to read with both eyes. Dr. Johnson took the time to explain the results I should expect, and that not all floaters are treatable. I appreciate that he placed the safety of the retina first, and focuses on the floaters he can zap.
    It’s been 6 days since my floaters were obliterated with the YAG laser. I have to admit the results are actually pretty good after two treatments. The YAG laser removed 85 to 90 percent of the floaters in my left eye and my vision has significantly improved. Dr. Johnson stated that some floater material may reform and follow-up treatments could bring more improvement. The process is painless and straight forward. Some mild, short lived discomfort may occur from the bright slit lamp microscope.
    Before the laser treatment, the vision in my left eye was frustratingly poor. Now, all that remain are some transparent (string or yarn) floaters, a semi-transparent smudge here and there that don’t create too much of a visual distraction. If you have small, transparent floaters, then you know what I’m talking about. Dr. Johnson did a good job. I have noticed the floaters more in bright light, less in subdued light. I intend to monitor the lasing result to make the decision when another follow up treatment is in order.
    Committing to a leap of faith is not easy. But when your floaters are driving you crazy, your institutional ophthalmologist has told you, “There is nothing they can do, you’ll get used to it, or the floaters will move away”, that’s the signal to visit Dr. Johnson. Don’t accept those hopeless replies. Read the information in the web pages, and watch the videos. Pick up the phone and discuss your options, risks, and expectations with the doctor. Let us hope the need for proper laser vitreolysis is adopted soon by more certified specialists who know what they are doing, and understand how annoying some floaters can be.

  54. Robert B.

    I returned to Dr. Johnson’s website out of interest to see if the good doctor was still dedicating his practice to YAG laser treatment of vitreous floaters. I am glad to see that he is, just in case I need treatment on my right eye in the future. You see my left eye was treated by Dr. Johnson for a large floater tethered in my central vision in November 2008. I had a touch up treatment in early March 2009. These two treatments returned my life to me, clearing 95% of the debilitating floater away.
    I had the same depressing experience with the optahmologists I visited for relief of my floater, (live with it, you will get used to it), and the same positive experience with Dr. Johnson (95% sucess in clearing my floater after two treatments) as most all of the testimonials on this page.
    Perhaps the one thing I can add to these comments is the perspective of time, having had my first treatment 3 years and 9 months ago, as I write this. My treated eye has remained normal with no complications and no return of floaters. I cannot imagine following the advice of the opthamology community and “living” with that large opaque floater in the middle of my vision for almost 4 years now. It is not “living” when you have floaters that drive you to depression and I would have never “gotten used to it”. My opthamologist was non-plused when I presented him the evidence of a successful laser procedure.
    I am heartened to see that Dr. Johnson is still dedicating his practice to clearing vitreous floaters, but I am discouraged to see that the medical profession has not come far at all in their understanding of the need for treatment and the success of the YAG laser in the removal of vitreous floaters.

  55. Jim

    July 6, 2012

    I had another amazing treatment session with Dr. J last week. He has improved my vision in every treatment session. This time he was able to destroy a large black, fuzzy floater in my right eye that has been ruining my vision for the last 3 years. He also removed a lot of smaller junk that greatly improved the clarity. The 6 hour drive home was much more relaxing the drive down since I didn’t have to keep trying to look around that nasty “dumbbell shaped” floater. I’m also starting to like reading again. Now I can watch a movie all the way thru without being reminded, “oh yeah that’s my floater”.

    I had a trauma induced PVD in my left eye 8 years ago, followed by a normal PVD in the right eye. At that time I saw two other doctors(3 visits) for my floaters. They removed very little of the debris, and I was still left with a lot of junk. I had decided I would have to live with them until I found Dr. J. He is unlike any Dr. I have ever been to. He is a unique specialized ophthalmologist and I have been to 10 in my lifetime. He is extremely patient and precise when hunting the floaters. His first priority is safety and he saw some stuff that was too close to the retina and macula so he would not take a shot.

    Based on all my laser experiences, I believe that Dr. J. is the best doctor doing laser vitreolysis. Not all floaters are laserable, but no doctor will try as hard as he does and spend the time necessary to hunt them down. If you have the patience and persistence, there is an excellent chance that Dr. J. can help you. Thank you Dr. J. and God Bless!!

    Jim

  56. Les Bildy

    I’ve been under Dr. Johnson’s care for a bit over a year now. I began struggling with severe floaters in both eyes after posterior vitreous detachments (PVD) about four years ago. When I first met with Dr. Johnson, I found him to be a compassionate and empathetic professional. As could be expected, the safety and efficacy of the procedure were my top concerns. He patiently answered my questions and confirmed that due to the position of my floaters the treatment would be safe for me to undergo. Before we began, Dr. Johnson clearly explained the process and that follow up treatments would most likely be needed due to the extent of my condition.

    It’s hard to express the sense of relief I felt in being told my condition was treatable. There simply are no words to convey what it’s like having one’s depth perception restored either; this is something I’ve experienced firsthand. As a result of Dr. Johnson’s care I’ve seen a large improvement in my vision; an improvement that for years I did not think was possible. I found the procedure to be simple and painless. If you’re struggling with floaters, I strongly recommend making an appointment with Dr. Johnson to find out if this procedure could work for you. I only wish that I had sought Dr. Johnson’s help earlier.

    Les Bildy
    Sarasota, Florida

  57. Gail Ciabatoni

    I am in my ninth year of what I call “life after posterior vitreous detachment” (both eyes). Each year has brought clearer vision and less pain. Initially, right after the detachment I had two bird’s nest in each eye. At one point it was confirmed by a NY specialist that I did have a Weiss ring in my right eye – that was like having a cotton ball in my eye which I was trying to look through! I thought that my life, as I knew it, was over! It was such a struggle to see and read especially through all the “stuff” that was obscuring my vision. And the daily headaches from the struggle were very severe. And I was very sensitive to bright lighting.

    I was fortunate that a pilot told me about a floater ad he saw in “Trade A Plane” (how ironic that I had once had taken an air-to-air photograph of an antique WACO that I submitted to this trade magazine which was selected for the cover)! From this info and a hint from the NY specialist, I learned of the doctor who initially treated my floaters (twice) with great improvement. (I am eternally grateful to him. He is a formible leader in this country in eye care.)

    However, I was still struggling and still had severe to moderate headaches on most days. (It adds a whole new dimension to the word tired or exhausted!) Then Dr. Johnson appeared in cyberspace – my sister found him and sent to me – more hope renewed!

    I have had three treatments by Dr. Johnson (initial, followed by two additional clean-ups). I can’t thank him enough that he was willing to be as persistent as I was. I have renewed hope that I will be able to continue to work. Bottom line is, from all of my treatments, that I have gone from about 85% of my vision being obscured to having just about full clarity at this current time. My eyes feel so much more like normal eyeballs again! There is no more of that pulling & tugging sensation that for a long time felt as if someone was pulling my right eye out of my head with a fish hook!

    Dr. Johnson takes time to listen to you and discuss your medical condition and how it affects your life/job situation. He really understands what his patients are going through (the frustrations and anxieties) and he is there to help. He has sincere empathy for his patients.

    If your diagnosis is treatable I highly recommend yag laser. Be patient (it may take a series of treatments), eat well, stay away from caffeine and alcohol and get plenty of rest. Your eyes will heal. Have faith in yourself and do not give up. This is a thing that I have learned. Dr. Johnson is there to help you if he can and to listen to you. Hopefully you will have the support of many of your loved ones and friends, as I had/have, as you go through your journey of dealing with vitreous detachment.

    Thank you Dr. Johnson for being on the planet and for choosing this medical specialty. You have touched the lives in a positive way of many people, including those beyond your immediate patients! 🙂 GC

  58. Larry Harding

    I just returned from my visit to see Dr. Johnson. My treatment was a huge success and my vision is back to normal.

    I’m a 57-year old technology consultant who had a PVD event in my left eye this winter. That resulted in a very bad set of floaters. I earn my living at the computer but the floaters were so disturbing that I was only getting a few hours of work done in a day. My left eye was constantly fatigued. Tasks that I used to handle with ease became too large to even attempt. It felt like I had aged from 57 to 77 overnight. Without treatment, the good part of my life would have been over. I would have needed to retire and go on disability. Even walking down the street had become an unpleasant visual experience.

    My ophthalmologist is a fine doctor, but he didn’t grasp how severely the floaters were impacting my livelihood and my state of mind. He could see the floaters, but his real concern was with my retina. He was happy to report that I did not have a tear of the retina and suggested that the floaters would get better over time. I guess that unless the doctor is a floater specialist who is used to treating them, they can’t really tell how much of an impairment they are. They can see the floaters in the eye, but they can’t seem to distinguish between minor inconveniences and life-changing disabilities. When Dr. Johnson examined me, he said, “When people say they have floaters and they ignore them, they don’t have your floaters. I can see why you’re having trouble.” What a relief it is to talk to a doctor who gets it.

    I discussed the possibility of laser treatment with my doctor, but he cited the fact that only a few doctors are doing it and the treatment is not mainstream. He also felt the cost was high and that might indicate that the practice is a little shady.

    I can understand being skeptical about something when the medical community at large has not adopted it, but as I researched it, I could not find any reasons to explain why it hasn’t been adopted. It wasn’t like the procedure was rejected because it was proven to cause problems, or it was proven to be ineffective. It seems like the profession is ignoring it more than rejecting it. The detractors don’t offer any scientific critique of the procedure, they’re just dismissive of floaters in general.

    Here’s a quote from an article:

    “Richard Bensinger a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said most ophthalmologists believe the procedure is unnecessary. He acknowledged the laser treatment is often successful and carries little risk, but most doctors believe any risk is unacceptable for treating a benign condition like floaters. If patients insist on treatment, Bensinger said the laser treatment can be a better choice than the more common alternative, a vitrectomy, which involves removing most or all of the eyeball’s internal fluid. The vast majority of patients can learn to live with floaters, Bensinger said. Those patients who demand treatment, he said, “are mostly obsessive-compulsive types” who allow the floaters to drive them to distraction.”

    Wow. He admits the treatment is successful and carries little risk, but he suggests that floaters are insignificant and that anyone who complains about them has a psychological problem instead of a visual problem. This guy clearly doesn’t have my floaters . We’ll see what he thinks when it happens to him. I’ll bet he won’t be so dismissive when he realizes that he has to either seek treatment or close down his practice.

    I wish the medical profession at large was more advanced in it’s understanding of floaters, but it is what it is. Your doctor hasn’t been trained to deal with floaters. He’s not going to help you with them. That’s just the way it is. You ought to be able to get treatment in your own doctor’s office, have it covered by insurance, and have him guide you through it. Instead you have to fight through your doctor’s negativity, do your own research, arrange your own travel, and pay out of pocket. All I can say is that I’m glad I did. My experience is that if you do it, it’s worth it.

    All of my large floaters were gone after the first session with Dr. Johnson. I have a few small strands left but they do not interrupt my concentration. I can work at my computer without any sense of impairment and on the street I don’t notice them at all. For all intents and purposes I am back to normal. My mood has also improved tremendously. My friends have commented on how much more upbeat I am since I had this done.

    With respect to the details of treatment, seeing Dr. Johnson is like being treated by a friend in his home office. His set up is very simple and focused. There won’t be anyone else in the office there while you are there. Don’t expect it to be like your regular doctor’s office with a big waiting room full of people and a big staff of assistants. It’s going to be just you and him (and his equipment). The office building has its own receptionist and waiting area that you’ll use, which is just a few steps away from his office door. He dedicates himself to one patient at a time. He will take as much time as he needs to handle your needs and you won’t be rushed through it.

    After examining my eye, he said that I was a candidate for treatment. He then used a white board to draw a number of different diagrams of the eye and explain the risks of the procedure. It seemed clear to me that my situation was not in one of the risky categories, like having the floaters too close to the retinal wall, so I asked to proceed with the treatment and signed the forms. He seated me at the laser and asked me to place my chin and head into its metal frame. He then placed a Velcro strap around my head to prevent any sudden movements from impacting the placement of the laser shot. He looked through my pupil with the aid of a slit lamp microscope, and asked me to focus the eye that was not being treated on a small, gooseneck LED light that he moves around. I think that causes the eye he is treating to simultaneously move to where he wants it.

    The slit lamp can get quite bright occasionally. That is not pleasant but it is not painful. I wouldn’t want to stare into it directly for an hour at it’s brightest, but that experience only lasts for a few seconds and it only occurred 2-3 times during the course of treatment. Most of the time I was aware only of the LED light. I could hear the laser make a sound when he fired it but I didn’t really notice a flash of light. In general the experience was very similar to the exam my own doctor gave me when he was looking for a tear in the retina, it just lasts longer. I wasn’t keeping track of the time but I would guess that it was at least 30 minutes.

    I learned to lean into the metal frame with the top of my forehead and not with my brow. The first day I pressed my brow against it and later felt some mild discomfort or pressure when I got back to the hotel. The second day I used the top of my forehead and I felt nothing afterwards.

    The morning after the first session I could tell there had been a huge improvement in my vision, so I wasn’t sure there was anything left for him to do in the second session. There was. I stopped counting the laser shots after we got to 300 and it made a difference. I gained more clarity in that eye. After a few shots he could have said, “I’m happy with that. You can live with the rest of these. ” He didn’t. He kept zapping away and trying to get things as close to perfect as he could and I’m glad he did.

    One thing I might suggest is that you prepare to spend 3-4 days there. I made arrangements for only 2 days (Monday-Tuesday) and I raised expectations at work that I would be back on Wednesday. After the second session I think Dr. Johnson realized that there was a little more material that would reform over night and could benefit from a third session. I do still have one small piece of clear material that floats by occasionally that I will probably go back to have touched up. I might have been able to do that on the third day, but this is approach worked for me. I have friends and family in LA and I wouldn’t mind making another trip out there. This also gives me some time to let things settle and see what my real problems are. If travel is difficult for you however it could be a good idea to prepare to be there for more than 2 days.

    I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Irvine and that worked out very well. I didn’t have to rent a car. They have a shuttle bus that will take you anywhere within a 2 mile radius, which includes Dr. Johnson’s office. They picked me up at the airport and drove me to and from my appointments. The staff was very friendly and seemed happy to do it. One day I was in the mood to walk and that is also possible, but it was a 20-30 minute walk and it was hot, so I would take the shuttle. That whole neighborhood is basically a business park so there’s little life around there. If you want to get out to shop or have fun, you will want a car.

    Good luck to all my fellow floater sufferers. This treatment is worth pursuing.

  59. Hidetoshi

    Good evening from almost summer Japan.

    Thank you so much for your kind and warm and amazing treatment for me.
    After I returned, I’m very pleased to realize that I can see clearly again, furthermore I felt I could see clearer than before I had sufferd and especially from the point of mental view I’m feeling far better than before.
    As I told you and Nobuko-san after the last treatment, I sincerely thank God and you as my life-saver, and I also said to myself several times in the train “what a beautiful” “how beautiful” while commuting today!! “LAUGHING”

    I went to my another local doctor yesterday for regular check, then she seemed to be surprised to see my current situation and to hear the treatment you provided me. She did not mentioned so much about this though, she said that Japanese doctor including her have to learn advanced skill, technology and study more. Next time I will bring her the amazing DVD you presented me to show her. I’m sure she would be in a way shocked to see it.
    I strongly hope your Lazer treatment to prevail and become more and more popular among eye doctors and patients who are suffered hateful eye floaters. I will share my experience and DVD with Takuro-san again to contribute to get rid of floaters from suffers.

    I and my wife are considering to visit you again to say thank you again and ask you check me and remove some remainings after we save fund hopefully this fall.

    We have to say thank you so much for your lifesaving treatment again.
    We look forward to seeing you again.

    Sincerely yours,

    Hidetoshi



    Hidetoshi asked for a video of his treatment. He uploaded it to the Japanese language YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDessTNQnXk
    The video to the left of the screen is the beginning of the treatment, and the image to the right is the third treatment. There is no narration. – Dr. Johnson

  60. Réjean Lalande

    Here is my story with my floating body and my relationship with Dr Johnson.
    In June 2010, at 56 years of age, I noticed while swimming in the lake where I live (Québec, Canada), something strange in my right eye that would not go away just by rubbing it with my hand. Later that week, I went to the end-of-the-year school party ( I was then a high school science teacher) wearing for a rare occasion my contact lenses. The end of the afternoon was warm and very sunny. While I was talking to my colleagues in open air restaurant, I readily noticed a very well balloon shaped circle whose contour was dotted with black spikes. That floating body as I quickly learned to know what it was by browsing through the internet world, was well defined. At one point as the days and weeks went by, I started to give ‘’it’’ a name (Mona Lisa) such as it would not bother me all the time as I was talking to it (in my mind obviously!). Like so many people, I went and consulted with two physicians at 2 occasions and separated by a full year apart. One (the optometrist) said after all the regular optic tests that my floating body was in the front of my eye while the other one (an ophthalmologist) told me that it was at the back of my eye close to the retina (because he saw the shadow near the fovea !). I was amazed and disturbed by receiving 2 conflictual assessments of the position of my annoying floater. Not knowing what to do to get rid of it-because there was no way to remove it except vitrectomy-I started my research on the web to find a solution. It took over a year before a stumbled on Dr Johnson’s website.
    Since by a great chance, I was going to go through Los Angeles at the end of January, on my way for a winter vacation in Australia, I took the opportunity to go and visit him for another eyes examination. I had both eyes checked for floating bodies, since besides the annoying right eye one, I also had ‘’veil-like’’ ones in the left one, but because of their more loose nature, I was not able to draw them on a piece of paper like the one I had in the right eye. I was ready to consult him but not actually have any laser treatment. I wasn’t sure about the professionalism of the guy I was seeing performing laser shootings in his numerous videos he was putting forward on his web site. Although he seemed confident and self-assuring in his videos and web site, I still had my doubts. So, friday afternoon, january 20th, I arrived at his Irvine office, straight from LAX airport and coming from Montréal. The 1½ hour I spent with him allowed me to let go of my defiance towards him. He is very knowledgeable in his field, easy to talk to, takes all the time you need to answer your questions and overall put you at ease like any doctor should do. After all the tests, he went to the whiteboard, drawing and analyzing the results. That was clear at last ! My bothering floating body was very readily laserable, was an atypical Weiss Ring and he told me he wished he saw more patients like me, because the ‘’object’’ was not a mesh of material he knew he would have to work hard to get rid of. But he did not pushed me over to get the laser operation right away. I thanked him for his insightfull analysis, being now reassured that whenever I would be ready, he would be able to work on it. My vitreous bodies had detached from my retinas 2 years ago and that explained the middle of the right eye dotted Weiss ring.
    So I went for my winter vacations satisfied with my encounter with Dr J. Then I thought more about it while I was on the aussie beaches, under the sun and protected with sunglasses. By the way, sunglasses were very helpful so ‘’hide’’ Mona Lisa and veil like bodies during these last 2 years. But when you are disturbed enough by floaters, moving left and right into your eyes all the times, you have to cope with them in finding solutions. I was starting to enjoy night times, because in the subdued light, my floating bodies were disappearing! By early march, my reflection had matured to the point that I considered seeing again Dr Johnson, in april when I was coming back home. So I emailed him again to take 2 consecutive days appointments. Thursday, april 19th, I got to his office and was ready to trust him to relieve me from my sight problem. It took him no more than 20 minutes of laser treatment (very agreeable by the way) to pulverize Mona Lisa. ’’She’’ was no more! But I did not know right away. Being a swimming fanatic, I took to the pool of the motel where I was lodging later that very same day. I put my goggles and watched straight down the bottom under the clarity of the side pool spot lights. At that moment, I knew that my 2000$ spent had not been a crazy expense. I saw Dr Johnson the day after to confirm that another string of laser shooting would not be necessary. I had been an easy case, it seems so.
    One full month has now elapsed since my last visit. I am back home. The spring has arrived, the lake is warming up ( but not quickly enough…). Even during the sunniest days, the left eye veil-like floaters do not bother me as much as the one Dr J. vaporized. I still wear sunglasses, but really it is now for the right purpose for which they are manufactured ! I can affirm that close to 90% of my bothering floater has been removed from my sighting and for this I am immensely grateful to Dr Johnson’s good work. There are not enough Dr Johnson on this planet ! He is a very articulate and human person and doctor. Now, with the passing of time, I can see that my prejudices were erroneous. I strongly recommend you a visit to his office if you are troubled at diverse degrees (enough to irritate your life permanently) by those myodesopsia (as their real names are). One advice (it applied to me !) however. Be sure to have the support of your loved one (if any) before having your eye(s) lasered, because not only do you have to convince yourself that this is the good choice to do in your life to improve its quality, but you also need to convince your ‘’other half’’ that the money spent will be well utilised. A consultation with Dr Johnson will not be comparable to a stock market investment ! He will tell you the straight dope about the treatability of your floaters. There are no guaranties he can work on them, but at least you will exit his office with an honest diagnostic.
    From a very relieved patient, thank you again Dr Johnson and best of luck with your triathlons to come !

    Réjean Lalande
    N.B. (in French) N’hésitez pas à consulter le Dr Johnson. Je fus ravis de ma décision. Même si la distance et l’effort financier sont momentanément des obstacles à surmonter pour vous faire traiter, vous ne pourrez trouver plus compétent pour vous faire examiner et traiter s’il y a lieu( à mon humble avis).

  61. Richard Seidman, M.D.

    I am a cardiologist who specializes in heart catheterization, angiograms and coronary stenting. Three years ago, I noticed the abrupt onset of an intermittent large area of haziness in my right eye. I was seen by a general ophthalmologist who referred me to a retina specialist. He told me that it was a large floater and I should live with it. He told me he could do a vitrectomy if it was very troubling. Being an invasive procedure and having a 50 % chance of getting a cataract one year later was not acceptable to me. IT TOOK ME 2 MORE YEARS TO FIND DR JOHNSON. I researched the Internet and found two ophthalmologists who would treat floaters with laser. Both of them were located on the East Coast and neither dedicated their practice to the treatment of floaters. I finally goggled “Floaters and California” I found DR Johnson. I asked the retina specialist about laser therapy for floaters. The retinologist told me that the technique was not recommended. As a physician, I hesitated to have anything done that was not endorsed therapy by the medical community, but I was really bothered by my intermittent cloud curtain. Finally, I went for an evaluation. Dr Johnson was thorough and patient. I was treated the same day and was absolutely amazed. My vision was dramatically improved. I could see clearly for the first time in three years. I just regret that I did not go see him 2 years earlier. I wish I had been directly referred to him by the retina specialist.
    Based upon my research and personal experience, I would unequivocally recommend Dr Johnson if your floaters are interfering with your daily vision. He is a world-class expert with experience.

    Richard Seidman MD FACC

  62. Richard B

    May 1, 2012

    Hello Dr. Johnson

    I wanted to report my immense satisfaction with the two-day treatment completed today. I would estimate you corrected 75% on my blockage the first day – a blockage which greatly affected my ability to read books without glasses or increasing the font size on the computer. Today’s treatment has removed 90% of what remained after day one. I think you could call this the 95-97% solution overall.
    As I mentioned, before treatment when I looked a a bare incandescent light in an otherwise dark environment my right eye was clear but the left eye was closer to looking through a window coated with vaseline. Now, both eyes see the same clear picture.
    Thank you for your laser skills and your dedication to helping as many of the people bothered by floaters as possible. You have improved the quality of my life significantly as I spend a lot of time reading and it is once again a pleasure to do that without that opaque blockage in the middle of my field of vision.

  63. Kristina

    April 22, 2012

    After two treatments with Dr. Johnson this past Thursday and Friday, my bothersome floaters have been eliminated!

    I am a medical student, and about six months ago, I noticed a hair like floater while taking an exam. I thought it was actually a hair, although it was bizarre the way it moved with every line I read on the exam. After lots of rubbing and eye drops, I realized this “hair” was something else. I had never experienced floaters prior, so it took me a bit of researching to determine is was a vitreous floater. A few weeks later, my “hair like” floater looked more like a clump of strings! I could see them very clearly while wearing my goggles under water. I love to dive in the ocean and take my two-year-old son swimming. However, I found myself enjoying these activities less and less. When I should have been studying, I was researching causes for floaters and treatment options. This desperate search brought me to tears every time. I ordered every single supplement, homeopathic remedy and eye exercise book out there! Every day I wondered if I would ever look at a sunset, or a beautiful blue sky without my knitting strings crowding the view! Several times I tried to wipe the dirt off my son’s face that wasn’t even there. For school, I started listening to book recordings so that I wouldn’t have to read as much. I found reading caused me anxiety because all I could focus on were those clumpy strings that swooped back and forth across my visual field.

    I spoke to my friends and family about my experience, and they simply said that they also have floaters and that I would learn to ignore them. I couldn’t help but feel that my situation was a little different and that perhaps we were not talking about the same type of floaters.

    I came across Dr. Johnson’s website one night while surfing the Internet. I immediately sent him an email. He responded very quickly, and let me know that he is not usually able to successfully treat floaters of younger individuals (I am 28). Also, because I have had Lasik in both eyes, the irregularities of my cornea make the treatment procedure more complicated. However, Dr. Johnson welcomed me to come for an appointment if I cared to do so, while making sure that my expectations were realistic.

    I made an appointment for my spring break, and flew out within a few hours of my final exam. Travelling with a two year old is not always easy, but Dr. Johnson is very warm and welcoming. He even made a funny balloon portrait of me for my son to play with during my appointment. After a thorough eye exam, Dr. Johnson was able to locate the problematic floaters I had described. He drew a diagram to illustrate what he had seen, and where the floaters were located with respect to my lens and retina. My floaters happened to be centrally located (with respect to the lens and retina), making them very safe to treat with the YAG laser. Within a few minutes of painless treatment (throughout which Dr. Johnson and I conversed about hobbies, etc.) it was all done. Dr. Johnson informed me that because my eyes were dilated, I would not know if the treatment had been successful until later that evening, or the following morning. That evening, I took my son swimming in the hotel pool, and I couldn’t believe it! My stringy mass of floaters was gone! I noticed a couple minimal floater clumps in my peripheral field, which Dr. Johnson was able to address the following day.

    I am 100% satisfied with my experience with Dr. Johnson. Not only was he able to restore my visual clarity, and thus, preserve my sanity, but he also provided me with a greater understanding of the anatomy and physiology associated with floaters. Dr. Johnson is exceptionally honest, and I cannot say that I have met a physician with more integrity and empathy. I certainly trust Dr. Johnson to provide me with all the information I need to make an important decision regarding one of the most precious aspects of my life: my vision. I am confident that Dr. Johnson is exceptionally experienced in this procedure, and has designed certain guidelines under which he practices, to make this procedure as safe as it can possibly be. I am truly grateful to Dr. Johnson for his dedication to the treatment of vitreous floaters. He is a pioneer, and without him, the quality of life for many would be greatly reduced.

    Kristina
    Miami, FL

  64. Maryann Gaither

    Several years ago I experienced flashing lights in first one eye and then shortly thereafter the second eye. My optometrist checked my retina in both eyes and said they were fine, but I was left with floaters and web like veils in both eyes. I was basically told there was nothing that could be done and that as time when on I would learn to live with them. I searched for a treatment via the internet and found a doctor on the east coast that said he could treat the floaters with a laser procedure, but my eye doctor discouraged it. This year after my yearly eye exam, my doctor gave me Dr. Johnson’s card. I immediately made an appointment for the very next week. During that first meeting, Dr. Johnson took the time to explain Vitreous Floaters to me and why some may not be treatable. I was very impressed with his knowledge, experience and felt he really cared about his patients. He proceeded to examine my eyes and said that he could treat my floaters. He then treated my right eye. It was totally painless and took about 20 minutes. I left that first visit with no floaters in one eye. One week later, I had my left eye treated. I then had another treatment to both eyes to go after a few very small floaters and web like strings. I’m so happy with the results. There’s a vague web like shadow left, but I really have to concentrate to see it. Thank you so very much, Dr. Johnson.

    Maryann G.
    Orange, CA

  65. Lana Koplien

    In December of 2011 I experienced a sensation of flashing lights in my right eye. My first thought was a detached retina. An exam by my optometrist and opthalmologist confirmed that my retina was fine but that I had a vitreous detachment and the resultant floaters would just have to be tolerated. I tried for two months, but then the other eye had the same problem. I was left with ghostly shadows jumping at me from both sides! Exhausting and depressing, I felt hopeless. I did my online research and found Dr. Johnson. I was impressed with his background, experience, and honest admission of the difficulty of some floaters, so I went knowing that I did not have the classic Weiss ring. The vitreous material that detached was like a bridal veil moving across my eye. I had guarded expectations and Dr. Johnson did too. I knew it would be a process rather than a treatment. I likened it to eating a bowl of Cheerios. After eating most of the cereal, the remaining o’s collect together at the side or bottom of the bowl forming a new mass. So did my floater. Dr. Johnson went after the delinquent renegade like a sharp shooter on a mission. I have had three treatments on the right eye and am very pleased. Although there may be a vague shadow left , I am writing this with no interference. Dr. Johnson felt my other eye was easier than the first, and I had my first treatment on it today. I am very grateful to have found him, and appreciative of the great care and skill he has. I may need another treatment in the other eye, but it is so worth the time and effort . Anyone who has been told that there is no solution, please contact Vitreous Floater Solutions. I am so glad I did. Thank you Dr. Johnson.

    Lana K.
    Huntington Beach, Ca.

  66. Leland Shapiro, M.D.

    This unsolicited contribution to Dr. Johnson’s blog on floater treatment is submitted in strong support of laser treatment of vitreous floaters. I am a university-based physician and researcher from Colorado. Like any physician, I was aware of floaters, but I had little insight into this problem until I contracted a floater in my right eye that arose spontaneously. My floater was very problematic due of 3 characteristics: 1. It was relatively large and had the appearance of a spider web with an attached long curled fibrillar tail. This floater produced visual obstruction that was translucent but not transparent. The best description I can give is that it appeared as a ball and chain. 2. This floater was located mostly in the center of my visual field and could not be ignored; it was present all of the time and never disappeared. 3. This floater was extremely mobile. It moved rapidly (both vertically and horizontally) whenever I moved my eyes. This darting movement was extremely unsettling. When I initially contracted this condition, I read as much published material as I could locate in order to learn about my options for treatment and to learn about what the future held for me (what was the “natural history” of this condition). The first thing I discovered was that I had to see an ophthalmologist right away, since sometimes the appearance of floaters is associated with retinal detachment. This occurs because one mechanism by which (some) floaters develop is through detachment or a pulling away of the vitreous body from the retina. In this case the vitreous body retracts into the central part of the eyeball. This vitreous retraction can, in turn, sometimes pull the retina with it and cause a detachment! This occurs because microscopic fibers run through the vitreous body, and these attach to the retina. Therefore, if the vitreous pulls away from the retina (a process known as “posterior vitrial detachment” or abbreviated PVD), the retina can be pulled along with it and detach from the back of the eyeball; this is an ophthalmological emergency and can result in blindness. Although available web sites describe this process in greater detail than I describe here, one can think of the vitreous body as a gelatin-like solid with microscopic rebar-like rods (fibers) running through it. These rods insert into the retina and can pull the retina with it if the vitreous body retracts into the central part of the eyeball. These fibers comprise the floaters that can appear and seem to occur in 2 general configurations. The first configuration I call fibrillar (string or worm-like), and the second I call plaques or tangles (can have the appearance of a spider web or tangle of threads). This categorization of floater appearance is my own invention, since I am aware of no officially accepted description of what floaters look like. Due to the risk of retinal detachment associated with the appearance of my floater, I saw an ophthalmologist emergently, who confirmed that my retina was in good health and that I did not have any vitreal detachment. In retrospect, I probably got my floater through a process known as syneresis or localized vitreal collapse that formed a liquid pocket. Unfortunately several fibrous strands (the vitreal rebar) detached into this pocket and formed the ball-and-chain structure that comprised my floater. BAD NEWS After establishing that my retina was in good health, I wanted to know what I could do about this very bothersome floater. It seemed inconceivable that I would have to live with this condition for the rest of my life. The story here became very depressing. I contacted at least 3 University-affiliated ophthalmology colleagues who all said the same thing. I can summarize as follows: a. Floaters are benign in the sense that they do not threaten vision. b. My brain would “get used to the floater”. c. The only option for treatment is surgical vitrectomy. This is an invasive operation where 3 holes in the eyeball are created and tubes inserted into the vitreous body. Using special tools and techniques, the vitreous is scooped out of the retina and the eyeball contents are cleaned out and replaced by saline. This operation is performed under general anesthesia and poses the possibility of severe adverse effects like retinal detachment, infection, and cataract formation. This is a major operation that must be approached with caution. The decision to undergo this procedure is not to be taken lightly. I believe that downside to this operation would deter nearly all persons with floaters. The risks/expense do not seem to be worthwhile to treat a non-sight threatening condition (floaters). Furthermore, I believe most ophthalmologists would not readily agree to do this procedure unless unusual circumstances exist. At this point, I became quite upset with my predicament for several reasons: i. I was certain there was no way that my “brain would get used to it”. ii. My ophthalmology colleagues seemed to underestimate the level of debility that my floater was causing by a large degree. iii. I was convinced that this floater, which I viewed as invasive, would cause substantial disability. It was distracting me to the point of dysfunction. OK….NOW WHAT??? My situation looked grim. However, I searched the PubMed database for published articles about floater treatments. I was surprised at the apparent lack of interest in this area, as the number of publications was very small. In fact, I could locate only 2 articles that were of any help. Both described the use of laser treatment for floaters. While these papers documented promising results with no notable adverse effects, it appeared that ophthalmologists had not adopted this approach to floater treatment, and there were no useful follow-up publications after the year 2002. So, I then went onto Google to see if anyone was using laser treatment for floaters. A thorough review found 3 ophthalmologists in the U.S. who performed laser treatment for floaters. I extracted the following information: 1. ONLY 3 ophthalmologists in the US were doing this procedure. I contacted the offices of all 3 practitioners and spoke directly with Dr. Karickhoff and with Dr. Johnson, and I spoke with a provider in the office of Dr. Geller. All 3 discussions were positive, and provided me with hope that my floater was amenable to laser treatment. 2. The combined number of treated patients by all 3 ophthalmologists numbered in the thousands. 3. Adverse effects were exceedingly rare. In fact, only a few complications had been observed, and these were not severe. In particular, retinal detachment, cataract formation, and infection are either miniscule risks or non-existent. 4. The efficacy of laser treatment seemed to be excellent. From what I could gather, the combined success rate was about 80-90%, gauged by at least substantial subjective resolution of the intrusiveness of the floater(s). A prevalent theoretical concern appeared to be that laser treatment may fracture the floaters into small fragments which may, in turn present their own problems. This apparently is an incorrect assessment of what laser treatment accomplishes. Laser is a true ablation technique that “vaporizes” floater material into a gaseous state, and the eye harmlessly absorbs the gas. TAKING THE PLUNGE Given the above considerations, I decided to try laser treatment for my problematic floater. I decided to see Dr. James Johnson, who practices in Irvine, CA. Among the reasons I chose Dr. Johnson was proximity to family who lived near his office. Therefore, travel arrangements for me would be easier. I found Dr. Johnson to be well informed about the concerns of patients with floaters. He possesses an acute understanding of the magnitude of disability that can be caused by this so-called “benign” condition. He schedules a substantial amount of time to interact with patients and answer questions, and he has a “can-do” approach to this condition (but still did not promote unrealistic expectations of treatment). My treatment with Dr. Johnson was extremely successful. As it turned out, I had a very challenging floater. It was located in a corner of the interior of the eye and dangled from a tether (which likely corresponded to the chain component of the ball-and-chain shape of the floater). This tether created a “yo-yo” effect that caused the floater to fall and rise in the eye very quickly with eye movement. The “ball” part of the ball-and-chain shaped floater therefore moved rapidly directly in the center of my vision. A challenge posed by this floater was difficulty in aiming the laser on a fast-moving floater target. Therefore, Dr. Johnson followed the floater to its resting place. Unfortunately, this resting place was located at the far outside edge of the inner eyeball, where it was difficult to aim the laser. Using a clever bit of improvisation, Dr. Johnson reflected the laser beam off of a mirror that was incorporated into a special contact lens that was applied to the surface of my right eye. This maneuver reflected the laser through an opening near the front of the eye at an angle that was compatible with effective laser treatment. Although an unprecedented technique (as far as we know), this worked! Dissolution of the floater required approximately 150 laser “shots”. RESULTS At the time of this writing, it is 1 day after the laser treatment. Here is my report: a. Serious adverse effects: none. b. Minor adverse effects: very minor irritation of the cornea/front of the eye due to the application of the contact lens. This is almost unworthy of mention, but I note this in the interest of full disclosure. c. Efficacy: REMARKABLE! The results have come closer to a cure (the “c” word that is rarely mentioned in medicine) than I had ever hoped. The floater is almost completely lysed/destroyed/gone, and there is no longer any interference with my concentration during usual activities. This recovery in function is nothing less than astounding. d. There are a few residual strands that remain from the large floater, but I estimate that 90% of the floater has vanished. The result has been a total absence of distraction during usual activities. I no longer notice the large ball-and-chain that plagued me, and I only notice the residual strands occasionally or when I actively attempt to observe them. My ability to function has been restored, and I do not believe this problem will bother me to any notable degree any more. e. In the near future, I plan to go for a follow-up visit to “clean up” the residual strands with laser treatment. I am optimistic that this can be accomplished. I have little fear of adverse effects. DOWNSIDE i. This is a relatively expensive procedure. The 3 practitioners charge approximately $1,500 for treatment. At least 2 practitioners (Drs Johnson and Geller) suggest 1 or 2 follow up visits, each at substantially reduced fees compared to the initial visit. ii. It is unlikely that insurance carriers will reimburse patients who undergo this treatment. For anyone contemplating this treatment, I recommend that patients plan on paying all expenses out of pocket. In any event, I URGE anyone planning on pursuing this treatment to ensure that their insurance carrier will pay for treatment of complications, should this arise. Most insurers will treat “out of network” emergencies (for example, mine will). Although the risk of complications from this procedure is exceedingly small, it is better to be safe than sorry. iii. Since there are only 3 practitioners of this treatment, many patients will have to travel to one of the coasts and plan to stay there for several days. This adds cost and inconvenience. iv. There is no peer-reviewed publication record that documents/reports the results of laser treatment of floaters in the U.S. This has several consequences: -This invites skepticism, especially from the academic community (University ophthalmology departments) that laser treatment for floaters is unproven and may not be effective. The key phrase in academic centers is that treatments must be “evidence based”, and this usually translates to a published track record of documented efficacy. -It is difficult for referring physicians and self-referring patients to determine the availability and value of this treatment. At this time, assessment of this treatment option requires motivation and due diligence. My training as a physician and access to colleagues was invaluable in my ability to assess the pros and cons of this therapeutic approach. -The medical community always regards novel treatment approaches with skepticism. Therefore, many referring physicians are unlikely to have a positive view of laser floater treatment in the absence of supporting publications. CONCLUSIONS 1. Laser treatment for visual floaters is a highly effective treatment with minimal risk for adverse effects. The expectation of true cure is not unreasonable. Substantial improvement is highly likely. 2. There are currently only 3 practitioners of this technique in the U.S. with any notable clinical experience treating floaters with laser ablation. My personal experience was with Dr. Johnson, and I recommend him highly and without reservation. I have no reason to believe the other 2 practitioners in the U.S. are not also good. 3. The medical community underestimates the degree of dysfunction that floaters can cause. The consequences of floaters on quality of life can be enormous. 4. The experience with floater treatment using laser ablation in the U.S. must be published in the peer-reviewed medical literature. 5. More ophthalmologists should be trained in this procedure to enhance availability to patients who do not reside on the U.S. coasts. 6. Insurance companies should reimburse for this treatment. Since laser treatment of floaters can substantially improve quality of life, it is comparable to limb prostheses, wheelchairs, walkers, glasses, dentures, hospice care, painkillers, antidepressants, etc that improve the quality (but necessarily the quantity) of life. FINAL WORD As a practicing physician, patients often ask me for medical advice about specific treatments. As a sort of “truth test”, patients ask if I would recommend the treatment under discussion for my own family. In this case the answer is yes, since I advised my mother to also see Dr. Johnson for treatment of her own floaters. Sincerely, Leland Shapiro, M.D., F.A.C.P. Associate Professor of Medicine Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver, CO DISCLAIMER: Dr. Shapiro has no financial interest in Dr. Johnson’s practice, and the above comments and opinions are not intended to represent those of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center or of the University of Colorado.

    1. Gunner Physician

      Dr. Shapiro,

      I am writing under the assumption that perhaps you’ll check this page again and read my comment.

      Thank you, first of all, for your honest and rational approach to assessing Dr. Johnson’s treatment of your floaters.

      But you lost me when you criticized Floater Only Vitrectomy. You mentioned the risks associated with the surgery. But then in next sentence you said that your floaters were really debilitating and unrecognized by medical community, so despite that you suggest that one should not undergo FOV. I do not understand this line of thought.

      FOV in otherwise healthy eyes have only 1-2% risk of retinal detachment. Risk of endophthalmitis ranges from 1/1000 to 1/10000 in some surgeons’ hands (Dr. Wong claims that rate under his hands). More than 95% of patients are satisfied with their beautiful floater free vision (you can look up the few studies we do have on FOV on pubmed yourself).

      Cataracts risk depends on age, in young patients, it is very low, in older patients, it is almost guaranteed. But so what? Cataract surgery is the most common eye surgery done today. Many floater patients are MORE than happy to trade floaters for IOL.

      I am glad that laser treatment, which is admittedly less invasive than FOV, was successful in your case but it has not been for me. My issue was when you unjustly criticized FOV. There are risks of FOV, but many young floater patients are being forced to take those risks because laser is not working for them. If you do care, I welcome you to create a less invasive floater treatment for young eyes.

      Regards.

      P.S. Dr. Johnson, thank you for letting me voice my concerns.

  67. A Treated Patient

    This testimonial has been recovered and re-posted from our previous discussion forum which is no longer in use.
    I’m 60 years old. I’ve been employed as a Clinical Lab Scientist for 34 years, working in hospital labs. At the moment I’m a Lab Supervisor in a large SoCal Trauma Center. My work requires use of a microscope almost daily, often for hours at a time. It also requires constant computer use. Floaters have made all that increasingly difficult over the last several years. You are all aware of how a computer screen seems to make your floaters much more obvious and problematic. I can tell you from years of experience, using a microscope is much, much worse. Floaters first showed up in my right eye probably 18 years ago. They weren’t at all bad at first, rarely much of an annoyance even during microscopy. As they got worse over the years, I compensated with my left eye so it still wasn’t much of an issue. Several years ago I began to see a substantial number of floaters in my left eye. They looked the same as those in my right. While looking through the microscope, they resembled a somewhat loose tangle of transparent monofilament fishing line. Until a couple of years ago I really didn’t have the classic dark shadows, and there are not many now. Mine were far enough toward the front of the eye they disrupted focus more than made shadows. Microscopy, particularly when trying to distinguish fine detail, had become very difficult and required me to proceed much slower. Some of the lower contrast procedures were nearly impossible for me to do. Usually the floater masses caused large areas of blurriness, most often in the center of my vision. There is no amount of compensation that can correct for the blurriness floaters cause. I needed to move my head and eyes around to try to move the floaters out of the way. Even that wasn’t working very well any more. Driving at night was difficult with flaring around small light sources. Reading was difficult, particularly with the small fonts used in journals. I’m also a commercially licensed pilot and flight instructor. The floaters were bad enough I was afraid I might not be able to pass another FAA Flight Physical because of them. I love to fly. Losing the ability to do so would have been devastating. I have been researching laser floater treatment for several years, always not quite willing to risk my eyesight on a procedure few in the medical profession accept. I’ve had three general ophthalmologists and two retinal surgeons tell me this was a bad idea, or at best a waste of time and money. Finally, the last retinal surgeon agreed the risk was low, at least in comparison with a vitrectomy, and if laser treatment failed I could move on to a vitrectomy afterward. Believe me, the floaters have become bad enough I was about ready for the vitrectomy. I was literally setting up to fly to Falls Church when I discovered Dr. Johnson’s Irvine practice website. Since the office was much closer, and Dr Johnson limited his practice to laser vitreolysis, I thought the odds were better if I tried him. After one visit with Dr. Johnson Thursday, 5/7, probably 90% of the floaters in my right eye are gone. Lots of laser shots since there were lots of floater strands. There are still some floaters needing cleanup, and we haven’t started on my left eye, but I’m very, very happy so far. I kept my expectations fairly low going in, and to be honest would have ultimately been happy with half the result I have now. Vision in my right eye is MUCH clearer. Things are brighter, have more contrast, and the flaring around lights is almost gone. I expected the flaring to decrease, but the brightness and contrast increases are a nice surprise. I’ll get one more treatment for my right eye then tackle my left. This is making a dramatic change in my vision. Few treatments in medicine are a sure thing, and there is some risk in climbing out of bed in the morning, let alone allowing someone to fire a laser at your eye from close range. But I do believe overall this is a low risk procedure, and definitely worth it if your floaters are a significant problem. I know it was worth the risk to me! 😀 😀

  68. Kathy P. (pharmacist)

    Today is May 16, 2010; and 12 days ago, Doctor James Johnson made the floater in my right eye go away. By itself, this fact would be cause for celebration. But what makes it better is that “they” said it could not be done. And what makes it even better is the fact that I was spared the risks of the only alternative treatment, the pars plana vitrectomy. Risks that I sadly know something about.

    If you are reading this, you likely understand what he floater is, but for those who do not, a floater is an opacity, usually clumped strands of collagen, inside the normally clear vitreous compartment of the eye. For some, floaters are few, small and cast only a minimal shadow on the retina. These people are lucky. In other cases, floaters may be numerous or especially large masses, perhaps drifting close to the retina, actually obstructed vision. These can be difficult to live with. Only the owner of the floater can truly judge how much of a problem it is to his or her daily life.

    My story really began in January, 2007 when at the age of 48, I had elective eye surgeries: refractive lens exchange in each eye. Manipulation of my eyes in the surgery cause me to have rather sudden vitreous detachments in each eye. The left detachment occurred first, with a month or so of the lens exchange; the right occurred several months later. In a posterior vitreous detachment, collapsing of vitreous structure results in a “pulling away” of the vitreous’ attachment to the posterior retina. These PVDs are not retinal detachment. PVDs are fairly common, occurring slowly over time and most people as we age. When a PVD occurs abruptly, they can sometimes tear away a piece of inert connective tissue that surrounds the head of the optic nerve where it enters into the back of the eye. This piece of tissue can hang tethered to the collagen fibers that form the vitreous structure, dangling like a piece of seaweed in front of the retina darting side to side as the eye moves back and forth. This type of floater is sometimes called a Weiss ring because it may appear as a ring-like shape. It was my fortune in life to have two of these, one in each eye.

    I tried his best I could to “learn to live with them” as they say. Truly, I did. I waited for more than a year. “They” told me I would forget about them. “They” even said my brain would delete them for me. I discovered that “they” do not know what they are talking about! I suppose if my floaters had been small or positioned away from the retina or perhaps located more peripherally, things might have been different. But they were large and well-centered in my field of vision. They obstructed and blurred whatever object I drifted my gaze toward. I do not know how I managed to cope with them as long as I did.

    In April, 2008, more than a year after my first teachers detachment occurred, I had the only procedure that the established ophthalmology world had to offer to take care of severe floaters, the pars plan a vitrectomy, surgical removal of the floater and replacement of all the contents of the vitreous compartment with a salt solution. No other treatments were even discussed with me. Yet, I was informed that a vitrectomy carries risks. I was told of many, many possible risks, some serious and sight-threatening. I made the decision to have a vitrectomy, reluctantly assuming these risks because this was the only option I was given. As I noted earlier, I soon became personally acquainted with some of these risks.

    My vitrectomy was successful in removing the floater in my left eye area and but very soon, I watched as my perfect 2020 vision began to deteriorate. My vision became spotty. I noticed that lines looked wavy and words on a page began to look distorted as if they were melting off the paper. Just one of many possible complications of surgery to the vitreous is the development of cystoid macular edema, fluid-filled pockets to can form in the retina and cause blurring and distortion of the vision. Despite immediate treatment with anti–inflammatory eye drops, the macular edema proved resistant to treatment. I have to begin injections directly into my I have an expensive drug called Avastin. I had 15 injections over 12 months. I had steroid treatments that induced glaucoma in my left eye. I have had perhaps two dozen post-up appointments and spent thousands in the treatment of the macular edema. And today, two years later, the problem continues and no one can tell me if I will ever be free of problems in my left eye. I became free of my floater, but at a very high price. The vitrectomy was the only solution offered to me by traditional medical practice.

    12 days ago, in a quick, completely pain-free, non–surgical, virtually risk-free procedure… A floater, equally as debilitating to my vision, was removed from my right eye. I felt completely confident that there would be none other serious consequences of a vitrectomy. And there were not. The floater that once was there is now absolutely gone. To be honest I can notice a few tiny specks or barely visible strands. But I know I can live with this. My vision is tremendously improved over the vision I had before and I am extremely happy. This is a completely true and unsolicited story. I am so grateful that someone is out there doing non–surgical laser-assisted ablation of floaters; and frankly, I am offended and appalled that the medical profession is not out there working to study and teach and make this procedure more available to patients as an alternative to the vitrectomy.

    I am especially appreciative to Doctor Johnson for doing what he does and doing it well. He is hopefully forging a path. He is honest, empathetic, thorough, and very willing to answer any question and to work obsessively and aggressively to limit all remnants of the floater. He really wants his patients to be happy. I urge anyone considering laser ablation to give him a call. Especially if you are considering vitrectomy!

    K.P.
    (email address withheld)


    Additional note from Doctor Johnson: first I wish to thank Kathy for her very thorough explanation of her trials and tribulations. Kathy is a pharmacist who processes visual information all day long with the need for great accuracy. Her history is actually much more complicated then she described above. Prior to developing the posterior vitreous detachments and the offending floaters, she had undergone LASIK in both eyes when she was in her late 30s. In her 40s she began developing presbyopia as most of us do with difficulty setting up close. On the advice and guidance of her ophthalmologists, she underwent an elective lens replacement procedure with placement of a Crystalens intraocular lens. Common to the intraocular lens placement procedure, she developed some clouding of the capsule that holds the lens in place. That clouded lens was treated locally with the YAG laser to create a clear optical pathway opening which was irregularly and variably between 3.5 and 4.5 mm in diameter. She really had the “perfect storm” of difficulty as far as the laser procedure to treat eye floaters is concerned. She had had LASIK which tends to make the cornea irregular, she had an implant lens of 5.5 mm diameter which makes for a smaller opening to work through, and furthermore the capsulotomy gave an effective working aperture of as small as three and half to 4 mm diameter. Fortunately, the offending floater was well-defined and tended to sit in the front half of the eye globe. She had had previous evaluation by another floater treatment specialist and was told that it could not be treated. I can only say that Kathy and I are both pleased that she was diligent and made the effort to find me at my office in California when, I think, most people would have given up. Here is a video of her treatment:

    1. Gunner Physician

      Dear Kathy,

      I am sorry to hear about your trials, especially the chronic cystoid macular edema OD secondary to FOV.

      I do not know if you still check this page, but if you do, would you be kind enough to share some info? Although this is a laser treatment forum for Dr. Johnson, I hope he will let me ask his patient some questions.

      How old were you when FOV was done on your eye? Was PVD induced? Were you not given NSAIDSs post-vitrectomy to reduce the risk of edema? Evidence shows that NSAIDs decrease formation of acute edema.

      Regards

  69. Michael A.

    Dear Dr. Johnson,

    I wanted to thank you for giving my life back to me after your floater procedure. I had a large floater (Weiss Ring) in my right eye that made my life miserable. Using a computer, rapid eye movement caused this floater to always move in front of my vision, causing my life to be intolerable.
    I was at the point where I was considering going on work disability, getting on anti-depressants, or even early retirement since working on the computer was very difficult.
    My own doctor, a retinal surgeon said nothing could be done and to merely live with it! According to him, the cure could be worse than living with the floater and all the associated risks with a surgery called a Vitrectomy. Quoting this surgeon: ”Ignore it and it will go away”. I thought doctors were to help you!
    After 6 months, it was still there, and it did not go away!
    Searching the Internet, I found similar information, and then I found Dr. James H. Johnson from Vitreous Floater Solutions in Irvine, California. (Tel : 949-253-5770).
    He perfected a breakthrough outpatient, non-surgical, painless laser treatment that zapped my floaters away and now I can work on the computer. Even my regular eye doctor, a famed Los Angeles retinal surgeon for 40 years, could not believe the results!
    I highly recommend Dr. Johnson for their life saving results and now I truly can say I have my life back and performing nothing short of a miracle!
    Thank you Dr. Johnson.

    Sincerely,
    Michael A.
    Torrance, California.

  70. Sam

    I have very recently taken that leap of faith and have just returned from my trip to Dr. Johnson at the Orange Coast Laser Vision Center, located in Irvine, CA and would like to share my experience.

    First I will provide the background info on me. I am 31 and have had floaters since I was 12. However, these floaters I only noticed when looking at a blue sky and did not affect my overall quality of life until THE INCIDENT. Last year I took a wicked shot to the head while playing hockey and instantly new globs of floaters appeared. No there was no problems with my retina (they checked) it was just some new floaters but on a scale that I never had to deal with before. Ever since then I have had difficulty driving/reading/playing various sports because of the annoyance of these globs. I know you are going to ask what I see, so….. I see a giant letter “L”, corkscrews and various other lines and squiggles, in both eyes. After suffering and doing my research I took that huge leap of faith to go see Dr. Johnson and see if he could help….and not blind me!

    Coming from Canada, the logistics were a little difficult to pin down when exactly I could get there. After numerous phone calls with Dr. Johnson, he told me just to make the plans to get down no matter what day, and he will see me. Too good to be true??? Well…..on the Thursday night I phoned him and told him I was coming in on the weekend. He said that’s great and he assured me that he would be available all weekend to see me. I flew in the afternoon on the Saturday and checked into the hotel close by and went over to see him. My appointment was for 3:00 and arrived at 2:30 to an open door at the clinic where he was awaiting my arrival.

    First impressions…..the clinic does in fact exist and is not some hole in the wall operation. It was CLEAN and looked like a safe place to have laser surgery preformed. According to his website there are many precautions to ensure a clean and safe environment and this is very true to those claims.

    We sat for awhile and I explained my situation and he answered my questions very openly and he seemed to know “his stuff”. He did not come across as a salesman pitching the laser technique as a cure for all, but he did come off as a caring individual who would do his best to help my situation. It takes a great deal of trust to let someone you don’t know perform an elective surgery to your eye ( a “healthy”eye) and he earned that trust through his sharing of knowledge, his training and personality. He is the type of guy you would go out and have a beer with and that says a lot about someone in my opinion.

    With confidence we proceeded to one of the many different “exam rooms” where he checked my eyes to see if they we indeed healthy enough to proceed. Checking my vision, which was 20/20, followed by many dilating drops he checked the eyes and saw no retina issues or any other concerns so we proceeded to further discuss the laser procedure and how he was going to proceed. Explaining how the laser worked and how he had complete control at all time so as not to shoot wildly into my eye and blind me I grew in confidence in his abilities. He continued to explain and answer all my questions and I could see why he had such high credentials (they are listed on his website and I did check them out prior to going down). I drew him “maps” of the location of my floater friends and after further dilation drops we proceeded into another room where the laser was located.

    More drops were added (antiseptic ones this time) and we sat behind the laser and preformed a dry run of how the laser worked. It also gave him an idea of what floaters he could see and treat. He assured me the laser was not armed and it would not fire! He put on a special lens on my eyes and he looked and looked to see what we could do. After the examination he was confident that he could provide me some relief. From there I decided to get one eye done to see if he could get some of the globs floating around (plus to me getting both done was a little bit of a concern in the back of my mind just incase something bad did happen). Firing away (250 shots) he was able to clean out some of my junk….but I wouldn’t see the results until the next day.

    The procedure itself was painless except for the fact that my eye was feeling really abrasive after….no doubt as the special lens he had on me was constantly moving on the eye. Even with the lubrication provided it still was feeling a little raw after….I have sensitive eyes to begin with so that may be only in my case. My eye was certainly blurry after and I saw dark dots floating at the bottom of my eye for 2-3 hour after. These were the air bubbles created from the laser. So 4 hours after I initially walked through the door I was on my way out for dinner.

    I woke up the next morning, thankful I was not blind and curious about what happened. I walked to the window and looked out. Unfortunately the blobs were still there, but they seemed to shift albeit more out of my central vision which was good, not great but good. HOWEVER, I was looking around and I thought I could see more clearly. I thought this was maybe psychological but I would soon be proved wrong.

    I went back to the clinic at 2:00 (on a Sunday folks) where Dr. Johnson was waiting to hear how we did. I told him about the globs but thought I could see really clear and that objects seemed to be crisper. He checked the eye again to make sure no damage was done (there was none) and then tested my eyesight. Now I tested 20/15. Even though the problematic floaters were still there, he obviously got ones that I did not consider debilitating or even ones I could not see as I could see things clearer now.

    So we did another treatment session to see if he could get the problematic floaters. Being very patient and firing away, we wrapped up session #2 at about 6:00.

    Monday morning we met up again to see what had happened the day before. He still could not get those ones we wanted but he again showed me why he thought he could not get those ones. He saw some globs that may have been those I was describing too near the retina and that he was not prepared to go that close (neither was I !!!)

    However, I do think this was a success, not on the grand scale I thought it could be, but it did work on some level. There is no denying that I can see clearer which was proven. In my case the globs are too close to get too and the risk of attacking those are too big. So I understand why for me, he could not access those. But I can see for others how this is a legitimate option for those suffering. Everyone’s floaters are different and are located differently….so each case is per individual which is why it works great for some, good for others and not good for some as well.

    Am I getting the other eye done? YES. I am making arrangements to go back in a few months to attack the other eye. Plus, at that time we will try the treated eye again at the same time…..perhaps by that time things can shift about…..maybe/maybe not, but there is always that chance.

    Overall, I would encourage anyone to see Dr. Johnson. He understands how floaters can ruin a person’s quality of life and is prepared to put in a lot of time and effort to help those people. Look at my case….7 hours of one-on-one time over a weekend with a doctor are you kidding me???

    Any questions about my trip just fire away (no pun intended).

    Sam

  71. John L.

    After trying my best to “live” with floaters for almost two years, I became more and more depressed. Several eye specialists told me I had to learn to live with it, but I found that answer unacceptable. While doing some research on the internet, I came across Dr. Johnson’s website. One of the main reasons I chose Dr. Johnson was because he took the time to speak to me on the phone personally, answered my questions in detail and he showed a great deal of compassion. All throughout my treatments he remained dedicated to eliminating my floaters and was extremely professional. I would recommend for anyone who suffers from floaters to visit their local optometrist first to ensure the floaters are large enough to see then contact Dr. Johnson. If floaters are affecting the quality of your life as they did mine, I would recommend considering Dr. Johnson for your treatment.

    John L.
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  72. K.M.

    I had a large floater in the center of my right eye. I had had it for over a year and a half. It was not going to simply resolve itself with the traditional method of doing nothing. I am a teacher it made it hard to read answers to my class from the textbook, driving was an eye rubbing adventure and I was trying to get used to the gray zone that every tennis ball I tried to hit had to go through. The floater forced me to go in to get my reading glasses prescription upgraded early and I could not even complete part of the exam because of my right eye. I literally could not see the chart across the room.
    I found Dr. Johnson on the internet and simply a drive to Orange County made better sense to me than a flight to Virginia as so few other doctors do this procedure. The procedure was completely painless. The shock wave of the laser is something you have to adjust to, but it is merely weird not uncomfortable. I was clear and pain free after a single night’s sleep.
    I can now see clearly. I probably didn’t need to get my glasses prescription done early. I was in a restaurant a week after the procedure and I forgot my glasses and could still read the menu. Driving day or night is no longer an issue. My wife has commented that I am no longer shaking my head, rubbing or covering my eye. Every floater in my eye is not gone, I only had one eye done so they may be in my left eye; but they are out of my central field of vision so they are inconsequential.
    Dr. Johnson will be different than most of your doctor experiences. You will not be a number in his office. He takes improving your vision personally! On day two of my procedure he went in search of vitreous dust in my eye. I was not going to be allowed to leave the office until my eye was clear! He spent almost two hours working directly on the laser over the two days. It seems like that is a long time, but not compared to the years of clear vision I have in front of me.
    I would do this again in a second and recommend it to anyone that has a permanent vision-restricting floater. There IS an answer besides “live with
    it.”

    K.M.
    Ridgecrest, CA.

  73. A Treated Patient

    (Archived post from our previous discussion forum)
    I only have good things to about Dr. Johnson and his treatment. I came to him two weeks ago from Israel after undergoing treatment by another doctor on the East Coast about a year ago. Dr. Johnson is patient, fastidious, professional, and absolutely dedicated to the task. The fact that he works solely on floater treatment and doesn’t have a big office with other distractions is suited to this type of treatment. He is extremely knowledgeable in the field of ophthalmology and particularly in this specific treatment (laser vitreolysis). In my opinion he is the overall most competent doctor in the field of laser vitreolysis in the US and perhaps the world. I should remark that other than floaters I have no eye problems whatsoever. I suffer from vitreous syneresis and as such have floaters in various parts of the vitreous that are often hard to get at. The procedure can often take several sessions (as was the case with me) and may even require several visits. This is because a limited amount of shots can be applied in any given sitting. My understanding is that certain types of floaters (such as Weiss rings) can be treated in just one or two sessions while syneresis strands will require much more time. It is important to realize that this type of treatment demands dedication, time, and patience on the part of the doctor and the patient. I can attest personally to that fact and to the fact that Dr. Johnson is willing to spend the time and effort with his patients to maximize the results. I would recommend to anyone who suffers from floaters to contact Dr. Johnson and make an appt. to see if they can be treated by laser. I would be more than happy to answer any follow-up questions by potential patients through this forum.

  74. A Treated Patient

    (Archived from original discussion forum:)
    Despite the warnings of three opthalmologists (including my cousin), I decided to visit Dr Johnson for a consultation. Before the visit, I had weiss rings in both eyes. The first ring occurred about three years ago in my right eye. My right eye is a -11.5 due to scleral buckle squishing my eye and increasing the focal length (the scleral buckle was necessary after I had a detached retina about 20 years ago). I call my right eye my “bad” eye because the vision is so much worse than my left eye. When the vitreous separated from my retina (in the right eye) I also had cobwebs of floaters filling my eye. My opthalmologist said that the cobwebs would go away within a few months. He was partially right in that eventually I was left with the weiss ring and a couple of strands. I went back to the opthalmologist and asked him why the floaters were still there. He said that I would have to just live with them. Since the floaters were in my “bad” eye, I did try to get used to them. Everything was going ok until 6 weeks ago when the vitreous separated from the retina in my left eye (my one and only “good” eye. I didn’t have the cobwebs this time, but I did have the characteristic weiss ring. It is difficult to explain how debilitating it felt to have two rings floating around. It wasn’t twice as bad as one ring. It was ten times as bad as having one ring. All of a sudden, my weiss ring in my bad eye was ever present and I could not ignore it anymore. I was having focusing problems which caused me terrible headaches. I talked to two different opthalmologists regarding treatment options. One recommended a vitrectomy and the other said don’t do anything. I wasn’t ready for a FOV as a first option, but I would do it if it was my only option. It was a little disconcerting to meet Dr Johnson for the first time because he has a small office and no nurse or receptionist. However, I did understand that he was building his practice and trying to keep expenses low. I grilled him with questions for 90 minutes and he patiently answered each one. I decided to go forward with the eye exam, but I told him that I would not consent to the laser procedure until he could give me an estimate of how much of the floaters he could remove. Dr Johnson also checked to see if his laser could even focus on my floaters since I have a longer eyeball in my right eye. During the eye exam, he spotted a problem in my “good” left eye. Dr. Johnson spotted a small tear in my retina that my regular opthalmologist had not seen in an exam 6 months ago. Maybe the tear happened after the exam, maybe not. Regardless, Dr. Johnson would not treat my left eye until I was examined by a retinal specialist. I’ll talk more about this later. Since he was only willing to work on my “bad” eye, I thought that I would give it a shot. The first session took about 50 minutes of lasering. It wasn’t painful at all. I would say that he got about 80% of the ring and the remaining 20% was in 1 large piece, 1 medium piece and a bunch of small pieces. Session 2 took about 45 minutes and he managed to get rid of the large piece and some of the smaller pieces. Dr. Johnson did say that there a couple of pieces that were too close to the retina and he would not laser them. I would say that after this session, 85% to 90% of the floaters were gone. Today, I was not planning to do another session as I was flying home in the afternoon and I did not want to travel with a dilated blurry eye. However, when walking to his office from the hotel, I did notice that several of the small pieces had clumped together in the central part of my vision. Session 3 took about 35 to 40 minutes and he was zapping away at all the little pieces. As of this evening, I would say that 90% to 95% of the floaters are gone in my right eye. The bottom line is that this procedure removed 90% to 95% of my floaters which mainly consisted of a very thick weiss ring. I am very happy so far, but I understood going in that it wasn’t going to be 100% like a FOV would/could be. I have a few little things floating around, but I notice them mostly when I look for them. I have not talked to or visited the other two or three opthalmologists that are performing the laser procedure, but I would say that the difference with Dr. Johnson is the amount of time that he spends going after the floaters. Besides the actual treatment time, Dr. Johnson probably spent an additional 4 hours answering questions, doing the eye exam and explaining the process to me. I will monitor my treated eye to see if there are any changes in the number or configuration of the floaters, but I am happy so far. If everything stays ok, I will go back next month for the weiss ring in my good eye. I have a engineering background and I am normally very analytical. I was concerned that only a few doctors were performing this procedure and the reported results were mixed. In addition, there were not very many studies (2) about the successes or failures of the procedure. Add in the fact that every opthalmologist told me not to do it and I should not have even considered going forward. But I was desperate, the downside risks were low, I could afford it, FOV was a backup and finally, I was experimenting with my “bad”eye. I decided to take the leap of faith and have the laser done. Even after the success of my experience, I told Dr. Johnson that many more people would be convinced if there was a current medical study where the procedure was defined and the actual floater removal was measured. Testimonials are great, but everybody selling something has testimonials. Who knows if these people are real or not. Ok, the problem with my “good” eye. There were some posts about doctors who would take on any patient as opposed to Dr. Karikhoff, who was very selective. I think Dr. Johnson is eager to take on challenging patients, but he draws his line (in my opinion) at patients who could be harmed by the procedure or where his reputation could by harmed by the results of his procedures. In my situation, where there was a possible tear in my retina, Dr. Johnson did not want to do further harm to my retina, nor did he want the laser procedure to be associated with a retinal tear or possibly a later detached retina (if the tear was not corrected). Dr. Johnson gave me the names of 4 opthalmologists who could look at the possible retinal tear. I had planned to call them the next day since it was already 7pm when he finished the first session. However, the next day, I was awakened by a call at 8:30am from the Santa Ana Kaiser (Northern CA Kaiser is my normal health care provider) Opthalmology Dept. trying to schedule me for a 9:00am appointment. I found out later that Dr. Johnson had called them at 8:00am to try and get me in for an “emergency” appointment. I never would have expected this level of service from Dr. Johnson. It turns out that I had a couple of tears in the retina of my left “good” eye that could have led to a detached retina if not corrected. My compliments also to So Cal Kaiser who laser spot welded my retina back in place on the same morning I was examined. The So Cal Kaiser Opthalmology is much better than the Nor Cal Kaiser that I normally visit. The retinal tears were much more serious than the floaters that I originally came to see Dr. Johnson for and I thank Dr. Johnson for spotting the problem and for being proactive in calling So Cal Kaiser for me. On a funny note, I told the Kaiser opthalmologist that I was in Irvine to have my floaters removed via laser treatment and he told me that he would not have recommended it. After he examined me and saw that much of the weiss ring had been destroyed in my right eye, his comment was “Interesting” in sort of a skeptical tone.

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