I have dedicated an entire subtopic page in the web site discussing the age related issues and they may be predictive in your potential candidacy for treatment with the YAG laser for your bothersome vitreous eye floaters. READ IT HERE.
Like the middle child, this mid-age range group can be the most complex and difficult, at least hen it comes to predictive the efficacy and efficiency in treatment with the YAG laser. For the younger group (generally younger than 30) the floaters are small, microscopic fibers often less than 1 millimeter from the retina. For a visual reference, that is about the thickness of 10 sheets of printed paper. There are occasional exceptions where I have treated a few patients in their young 20′, but they are just that, exceptional.
The older age group (older than 45-50) is the typical patient. They may have had a posterior vitreous detach, or not, but their floaters are typically in the mid-portion of the globe of the eye – in the mid-vitreous where it is most safe and effective to treat.
It is this mid-range age group, the 30-40 age range that is hardest to predict. They do not necessarily have floaters close to the retina, but they might. They have usually NOT had a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). They often have a stringy, cob-web-like, syneresis of their vitreous. These cobwebby floaters are more translucent and are not easily seen on examination with the typical ophthalmoscopes used during a typical eye examination as performed by your very well qualified local optometrist, ophthalmologist, or optician (UK). There are few ophthalmologist (if any, really) that are as motivated to find the floaters as I am during my examination and evaluation for the possible treatment with the YAG laser for floaters. I have to admit that many times I have underestimated the extent of these floaters as they often don’t reveal themselves more fully until I am actually treating the patient.
These floaters in this age group may very well be far enough away from the retina to treat, but the density and behaviour of the floaters in response to the laser energy is also… well… ‘rubbery’. Unlike the denser and more brittle and plastic-like Weiss ring floaters, they seem to bounce around in response to laser. They often require more and persistent treatment.
Treating these floaters is challenging for these and other reasons, but it is not necessarily more risky for the patient. In fact these treatments in this age group probably do have a very low risk of elevated eye pressure, and with experience and good judgment, the risks are extremely low. The greater risk is simply that after treatment it may just not be ‘good enough better’. Sometimes it does take a treatment to determine the results of the treatment, as with almost all patients, it does take an in-person evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for treatment with the YAG laser.