Pictured: The downtown St. Petersburg waterfront as seen by someone experiencing floaters in their field of vision. Photo Credit www.stpeterising.com
Everybody who suffers from eye floaters has something in common besides actually having floaters: they want relief from the visual distraction that follows them everywhere they go. Ordinarily most of these floaters go away by themselves. However, in some cases, they can become very disturbing to your vision. In the past you either had to learn to live with floaters or you could undergo a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure with some possible complications. Most ophthalmologists would only recommend a vitrectomy for severe cases, leaving those who simply found floaters bothersome with no option but to, well, get used to them.
Thanks to recent advancements in ophthalmology, there is a third option for patients with eye floaters. A new, safer procedure has proven to be highly effective, yielding impressive results for improvement of floaters that restrict or interfere with a patient’s vision. This non-invasive procedure, called a vitreolysis, involves the use of a specially designed YAG laser to break up and vaporize the floaters.
Floaters, or what Dr. Stephen Weinstock calls Anterior Vitreous Clouding Syndrome (AVCS), are part of the gel-like substance in the back of your eye, called the vitreous. As we age, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous start to shrink into little shreds that clump together and form veils of collagen. The shadow from these veils that are cast on your retina can interfere with your vision to different degrees. They can be so mild that they simply go unnoticed, but more frequently sometimes they obstruct vision and are real a nuisance. Smaller ones often make you think that there is a something flying around, like a bug, that you are unable to swat away. And the little bug is always there.
The non-invasive, in-office procedure to eliminate floaters takes anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes depending on its severity. Patients go home right afterwards returning to normal activities that day. There can be 100% resolution of floaters, but sometimes a second or third procedure is necessary to accomplish this.
The Eye Institute of West Florida is proud to offer our patients this new option to improve loss of vision caused by condensations of floaters. If you have any of the above symptoms or difficulties please call for an appointment. The procedure can be performed by one of our retina or cataract specialists using the advanced YAG laser located in our Largo office.
The Eye Institute of West Florida is a multi-specialty ophthalmology practice with offices located throughout the Tampa Bay area. “Our physicians are accomplished ophthalmologists with subspecialty training in all major areas of ophthalmology,” Dr. Weinstock says. The Eye Institute has a specialist for every ocular condition, including cataracts; refractive treatments, such as LASIK or a Clear Lens Exchange; glaucoma; retinal diseases, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy; and oculoplastic procedures, such as blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery. Each specialist is an ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor) who has completed additional fellowship training for surgery related to a specific ocular disease or condition, making them an expert in that area of ophthalmology.
“Unlike general ophthalmologists, our ophthalmologist specialize in the specific area of the eye so that patients don’t have to be referred elsewhere for specialized services,” Dr. Weinstock explains. Rather than seeing a general ophthalmologist and being referred to a specialist at a different practice, The Eye Institute of West Florida offers all services in one place. “When a new patient comes in, the examining physician will quickly determine why it is he or she can’t see the way they like. If it’s just a simple matter of prescribing glasses [or contacts], we can do that. But if there is a disease process, we have a specialist who can address and appropriately manage or treat the problem,” Dr. Weinstock continues.
The Eye Institute offers the most advanced treatment options and technology available for all types of eye diseases. “This newest technology for visually significant floaters has finally given us a safer very effective option to relieve patients visual complaints without undergoing complex surgical procedure,” Dr. Robert Weinstock said. “We have so many patients who come to our practice complaining that their floaters effect their everyday life and are a visual nuisance,” Dr. Weinstock adds, “but we would have to disappoint them by telling them we didn’t recommend treatment due to the only option being a complex surgical procedure. With the YAG laser treatment, or what we call a vitreolysis, we finally have a safer, very effective option for patients.”
If you are looking for relief from bothersome, annoying, distracting floaters, schedule your appointment with one of the specialists at The Eye Institute of West Florida to see if you are a candidate for this new treatment option and celebrate as you watch your floaters float away.
Call us at (727) 456 8804 to learn more about the YAG laser treatment for floaters or to schedule your free consultation today!