Some people call them spots or dots, some call them squigglies, and some even call them snakes. Floaters are a very common eye problem that affect just about everyone at some point. These tiny specks are usually caused by clumps of gelled vitreous fluid, which is the watery fluid that makes up the center of the eyeball. Although most of the time, floaters are harmless and may possibly fade with time, a few methods have been devised to get rid of them, including special diets and eye drops. In more serious cases, however, some ophthalmologists will recommend surgery to improve or save a person's vision.
Some people recommend a special diet to get rid of and prevent floaters, though many ophthalmology experts are skeptical of this method. Special diets to get rid of floaters often encourage the consumption of a number of organic foods, especially vegetables. Fruit, however, should be eaten in moderation. Certain types of proteins are strongly recommended, especially protein from fish and nuts, along with whole grains and brown rice.
As with most diets, this diet has a list of things that should be avoided. These include processed white sugars, honey, salt, and anything from the nightshade family, like peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. These diets call for food to be cooked by steaming, baking, or broiling, and it should never be fried in oil or butter. Many individuals who follow this diet also take a daily multi-vitamin or herbal supplement specifically made for optimal eye health.
Special eye drops can also help eliminate floaters. These eye drops typically contain a compound known as methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which is a sulfur that occurs naturally in the human body. Manufacturers claim that these drops soften the membrane of the eye, which allows certain nutrients and moisture to penetrate the eyeball. These claims, though, have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Many ophthalmologists believe the only way to get rid of floaters is with surgery, and this is typically only used in very severe cases in which the patient's vision problems make daily tasks difficult. A vitrectomy is often used to correct a severe condition, along with other more serious eye problems, including a detached retina and bleeding inside the eyeball. During this procedure, the vitreous fluid inside the eyeball is removed and replaced with a stable solution.
Laser eye surgery, although considered to be a little less effective, is another, less-invasive type of eye surgery that can be done to remove floaters. During this surgery, a laser is used to obliterate the clumps inside the eyeball. Larger clumps typically take a number of sessions to completely remove.
Just about everyone experiences floaters at some point, and the majority of the time, they are harmless, albeit annoying. The sudden appearance of severe floaters or floaters along with flashes of light, however, can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a torn or detaching retina. A person should seek medical care as quickly as possible if these symptoms are present. If caught early enough, a surgeon will most likely be able to repair the damaged portion of the eyeball with little or no vision impairment.