Technology & Screenings


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What Are Eye Floaters?

Floaters are small shapes that some patients experience floating in or moving across their field of vision. They can take on different forms that can include spots, rings, or long narrow strands. These shapes float across your vision as you move your eye around. If you try to look at the floater(s) it may seem like they are darting away. Many people can ignore them but for some, they can become very frustrating. Some persons may not even notice they have them until they become more prominent or numerous, whilst others may not notice these until there are numerous or more prominent.

What Causes Eye Floaters?

The vitreous (a clear and gel-like transparent structure that fills the space in the middle of the eye) liquefies as we get older and the collagen fibres that form it, tend to clump together and float in the resulting fluid. These clusters of fibres can cast shadows on your retina which you see as floaters.

The onset of Floaters can be either acute or non-acute (i.e., they develop over time as part of the liquification of the vitreous as we get older). A sudden acute onset of Floaters may be a sign of Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

In most cases, floaters do not require treatment. However, in some cases and especially in cases of sudden onset, they may be a szign of Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD).

PVD becomes more common with age, however they can also appear in earlier age with short sightedness, cataract surgery or trauma.

Any patient who experiences a sudden onset of floaters (or they become more numerous or intrusive), flashes of light or a shadow in their visual field, should be examined as soon as possible by a Vitreoretinal Specialist.

Patients with an acute onset of floaters need to undergo a Full Retinal Examination through dilated pupils that includes Biomicroscopy and Indirect Ophthalmoscopy with Scleral indentation to rule out Retinal tears or Retinal detachment A thorough examination can prevent loss of vision or blindness by acting fast with Retinal laser or surgery for a Retinal detachment depending, on the location of the tear or detachments, the size and the extent of fluid accumulating underneath the Retina.

However, patients with non-acute Floaters, or longer-term Vitreous Opacities, after an initial consultation, will be offered to undergo an extensive array of testing.

Assessing vision only using a visual chart test and asking patient to read letters cannot really show how Vitreous Opacities and Floaters can affect vision and its quality.

Therefore, Prof. Stanga and his Team have designed a unique battery of established and new testing methods, specially put together for the assessment of how Vitreous Opacities and Floaters affect vision and its quality.

All patients undergo extensive and precise Imaging Tests of the vitreous as well as Visual Function Tests in order to objectively assess the effects of Vitreous Opacities and Floaters in the patient’s vision.

This objective assessment is also very important for pre- and post-surgery evaluation and comparison.

This testing is non-invasive and takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

Possible Treatment Options

When you notice floaters in your vision, you have a few options depending on the severity:

1) Do nothing: many people find that some floaters can be easily ignored and go away gradually over time.
2) See a Vitreoretinal Surgeon and undergo: Vitreolysis YAG laser or Vitrectomy Surgery