About Floaters

If you suffer from vitreous strands and opacities (commonly referred to as “eye floaters”), then you are already familiar with the frustrating visual disturbance caused by these cobweb and cloud-like shadows.

The vitreous humor is the clear, jelly-like substance in the main chamber of the eye, located between the lens and the retina.

At a young age, the vitreous is perfectly transparent. Over time as the eye ages, this vitreous humor can degenerate, loosing its form and liquefying. Without the stable vitreous humor, the collagen fibers collapse and bind together to form clumps and knots. It is these fibers, which cast shadows on the retina and appear as spots, strings, or cobwebs that are commonly referred to as “floaters”.

In many cases as the eye ages further, the vitreous humor can peel away from the retina entirely. This is known as Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). PVD is often associated with a sudden increase in the number of floaters.

Normal Vision

Floater Vision

Floater Types

Floaters are small pieces of debris that float in the eye’s vitreous humor. This debris casts shadows on to the retina (the light-sensitive tissue layer at the back of the eye). If you have floaters, it is these shadows that you see floating across your field of vision.

Cobweb / Fibrous Strand Floater

Most common in young people, this thin, dense floater can appear as multiple dots and/or string-like cobwebs and are a result of clumping of the collagen fibers of the vitreous. Depending on its size, and where it is located, it may be treatable with laser floater removal.

Diffuse, Cloud-Like Floater

This cloud-like floater is caused by the natural aging process. Whilst this type of floater can sometimes be treated with laser floater removal, it often requires more overall treatment in order to obtain satisfactory results.

Weiss Ring Floater

A Weiss Ring floater is a large, ring-shaped floater that forms as a result of PVD when the vitreous cortex pulls off the posterior wall, taking with it some of the fibrous vitreous cortex that surrounds the head of the optic nerve. This floater is usually located safely away from the crystalline lens and the retina and is fibrous. Because of this, it can be treated safely and effectively with laser floater removal.

Animation: Laser Floater Removal

Laser floater removal is a simple, outpatient-based procedure, which involves the use of a nano-pulsed ophthalmic YAG laser to vaporize vitreous strands and opacities. Highly effective, it has a low complication rate and offers a high degree of patient satisfaction. It can also delay or obviate the need for surgery. Watch this animation to see how quickly – and easily – laser floater removalcan be used to vaporize floaters.

Simulation: Vision with Floaters

The presence of floaters can create cobweb and cloud-like shadows. Whilst a floater remains dormant in your eye, it is suspended in the vitreous humour and will therefore drift in line with your eye movement – and hence it often appears to be “moving”. Watch the simulation to see how floaters can affect vision.

Patient Resources

Laser Floater Removal Educational Brochure

Download this brochure (in English) to learn more about floaters and the treatment options available to you, including YAG laser floater removal. Brochure also available in German and Italian.

Laser Floater Removal Educational Videos

It’s Clear Skies Ahead
Video Interview with
Con Moshegov, MD (Australia)

Also known as laser floater removal, vitreolysis is a pain-free procedure that can eliminate the visual disturbance caused by floaters. It is performed in your ophthalmologist’s office and typically takes 20-60 minutes per treatment session. Watch this video interview with laser floater removal expert Dr. Con Moshegov, to learn more.

Don’t Let Eye Floaters
Cloud Your Vision
Video Interview with
Paul Singh, MD (USA)

If you suffer from vitreous strands and opacities (commonly referred to as “eye floaters”), then you are already familiar with the frustrating visual disturbance caused by these cobweb and cloud-like shadows. Laser floater removal is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that can eliminate the visual disturbance caused by floaters. Watch the video interview with Dr. Paul Singh, MD, to learn more.