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 consists 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 become very disruptive to important visual function. Neuroadaptation doesn’t always work. In severe cases, people may seek help.
Vitreal Floaters treaTMENT
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. All things considered, we reserve vitrectomy 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. As a matter of fact, engineers have developed YAG Lasers with improved focusing and better concentration of energy that can now help many people suffering from interference of vision.
Am I a candidate for Laser Vitreolysis?
It is important to realize that treatable floaters need to be far enough away from the lens and retina for us to safely treat them. They need to be distinct. Dr. Sondheimer needs to correlate your visual disturbance with your treatable Floater.
In a comprehensive eye examination, Dr. Sondheimer can determine if Laser Treatments are likely to help your Floaters. 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 be present for over 2 months and not have any association 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. Dr. Sondheimer 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?
As a result, 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, Dr. Sondheimer requires 2 or 3 treatment sessions 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.Dr. Sondheimer places a contact lens on the eye and is uses it to focus the laser energy on the floater during treatment. Direct light alternates with obliquely focused light to better visualize and remove the floaters.
Laser Vitreolysis risks
During treatment, the lens or the retina of the eye could become injured. As a matter of fact, Dr. Sondheimer needs to make sure that he focuses the Laser away from those delicate structures.
modern Vitreolysis Laser vs older lasers
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.
Laser Vitreolysis results
Generally speaking, the patient will note Improvement within days after Vitreolysis.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in laser vitreolysis and would like more information, contact one of our North Suburban Chicago offices today! Call 847-677-2794 to schedule a consultation with Chicago eye specialist, Dr. Stuart Sondheimer.