What are Vitreal Floaters?
Vitreal Floaters are composed of protein and other substances that rest in the Vitreous of the eye. The Vitreous is a gel that lays between the lens and the retina. It is made up mostly of water but also collagen and hyaluronic acid. As people get older. They tend to get more of these floaters that move with the eye. One common cause of Vitreal Floaters is the Vitreous pulling away from the retina at the back of the eye. This is called a Posterior Vitreal Detachment and where the Vitreous used to be attached to the Optic Nerve a large often oval floater commonly is seen.
Most people with Vitreal Floaters get used to them with time and forget about them. This is called Neuroadaptation but some floaters can’t be ignored and become very disruptive to important visual function. Neuroadaptation doesn’t always work. In severe cases, people may seek help.
How are Vitreal Floaters treated?
For many years the only effective treatment of Floaters was to remove the Vitreal Gel in a Vitrectomy Surgery. Unfortunately, this extensive surgery can lead to other problems such as Cataract Formation or Infection. So Vitrectomy has been reserved for a very small minority of people with bothersome Floaters.
Recently, there have been improvements with Yag Lasers which can now safely improve Floaters in many patients. Engineers have developed YAG Lasers with improved focusing and better concentration of energy that can now help many people suffering from interference of vision.
How can I determine if Laser Vitreolysis can help me?
In a comprehensive eye examination, it can be determined if your Floaters are likely to be helped by Laser Treatment. Dense discrete Floaters such as seen in a Posterior Vitreal Detachment usually respond well to Laser Treatment. Diffuse dense opacities as seen in Asteroides Hyalosis or diffuse amorphous areas of syneresis respond poorly to Laser Treatment.
Your Floater or Floaters should have been present for over 2 months and not be associated with active eye diseases. They should be no longer changing. You should no longer be seeing flashes of light which can be associated with the Vitreous Gel pulling away from your retina. Your Surgeon can advise you what your chances of success with Laser Treatment are.
Dr. Sondheimer is very knowledgeable and approachable. I appreciated that he took the time to answer my questions and concerns. He was never rushed or distracted. My surgery went well and I would recommend Dr. Sondheimer to anyone.
What are the chances that Vitreolysis will improve my vision?
If you are a good candidate for Vitreolysis, there is an 85 to 90% chance that you will get substantial improvement in your symptoms. Sometimes, 2 or 3 treatment sessions are required to get a satisfactory result.
How does Vitreolysis work?
The Yag Laser can vaporize Floaters or push them away from the line of sight into the areas of peripheral vision that are less noticeable. A contact lens is placed on the eye and is used to focus the laser energy on the floater during treatment. Direct light alternates with obliquely focused light to better visualize and remove the floaters.
What are the risks associated with Laser Vitreolysis?
The lens or the retina of the eye could be injured during treatment. Your surgeon needs to make sure that the Laser is focused away from those delicate structures.
who is the ideal candidate for Laser Vitreolysis?
Treatable Floaters need to be far enough away from the lens and retina to be safely treated. They need to be distinct. Your surgeon needs to correlate your visual disturbance with your treatable Floater.
How does the modern Vitreolysis Laser differ from older methods?
New Optical Systems have been developed to better align the Aiming Beam of the Laser with the Energy Beam of the Laser. The energy of the Laser Beam is more concentrated than with older Lasers. New contact lenses have been developed which enable better visualization and treatment of Floaters with the Yag Laser.
what can i expect after Laser Vitreolysis?
Improvement should be noted within days after Vitreolysis.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in laser vitreolysis and would like more information, contact our office today! Call 847-677-2794 to schedule a consultation with Chicago eye specialists Dr. Stuart Sondheimer.