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A Common Obstruction of Vision

Eye Floaters London

Eye floaters are a common source of enquiry at our London practice. Floaters are caused by changes in the vitreous gel, a jelly-like substance that fills most of the eyeball. Eye floaters tend to form gradually throughout one's lifetime, but can sometimes appear suddenly.
 
If eye floaters suddenly appear, it is very important that an ophthalmic surgeon examines your eyes as soon as possible. This is because eye floaters can be associated with the formation of a hole in the retina (the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye). If the hole is not sealed, retinal detachment can occur. Retinal detachment is very serious and can lead to blindness.
 
If you have an eye floater associated with a tear in the retina, Mr Bailey can seal the tear using laser eye surgery or, occasionally cryo (freezing) therapy, if the eye is examined quickly. Laser treatment and cryotherapy only take a few minutes, and patients can go home immediately afterwards. It is vital to contact us quickly because an operation in hospital will be needed if the hole is left too long.
 
If an annoying eye floater still remains, it can often be partly vapourised partly broken up into tiny, virtually invisible particles using another laser. This treatment, called YAG laser vitreolysis, again only takes a few minutes, is completely painless and is very safe.
 
Not all floaters are suitable for laser treatment. Ideally, the floaters should be fairly central within the eye, fairly stationary, and few in number. However, the only other treatment possible is surgical vitrectomy, a full-scale operation with a 3% risk of sight-threatening complications and about a 30% risk of cataract, so it is often worth exploring the possibility of laser treatment first!
 
For more information about eye floaters, contact our London practice.

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