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Las Vegas Ophthalmologist Discusses Floaters
If you have floaters and thought there was no treatment, you are not alone. An estimated 30,000 people living in or near Las Vegas have floaters, which are spots that float around in your vision. Floaters are especially noticeable in bright environments, such as when you are looking at the sky or computer screen. While usually harmless, floaters can prevent you from seeing well. Fortunately, our Las Vegas ophthalmologist treats floaters.
Floaters are usually small clusters of material moving around in the vitreous jelly inside the middle of your eye. They can look like spots, cobwebs, threads, squiggly lines or specks floating around in your field of vision. Floaters tend to drift when your eyes stop moving and dart away if you try to look at one directly.
Floaters develop when the vitreous jelly shrinks. A gel-like substance, vitreous jelly fills about 80 percent of the space inside your eye. Its job is to help the eye maintain its shape. The vitreous slowly shrinks as we age and, as it shrinks, the vitreous jelly becomes stringy. Strands of the vitreous jelly cast tiny shadows on the light-sensitive retinal tissue lining the inside of your eye. These shadows are the floaters you see.
These floaters range in severity from barely noticeable to bothersome as they blur or completely block your vision. Most people with floaters can ignore them but especially large numbers or very prominent floaters can be hard to ignore. With time, most floaters eventually settle on the lower part of your eye, below your line of sight.
Floaters are usually harmless, although the sudden appearance of new floaters may be associated with serious vision problems. Severe floaters can significantly affect the quality of your vision and, in some cases, the quality of your life. Floaters that appear suddenly or affect your vision warrant the attention of an eye specialist.
Our Las Vegas Ophthalmologist Offers Treatment for Floaters
Fortunately, there is now a treatment for floaters. Advances in medical technology have led to a safe technique that can significantly reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of floaters. This technique uses a special laser, known as a YAG laser, to vaporize these floaters.
Our eye specialists perform the procedure in an office setting. We start by dilating the pupil of your eye as you sit comfortably in a chair. Our eye care professional then uses the power of laser light to break apart the floaters. Our eye specialist uses special lenses to filter the laser light, so you do not have to worry about moving your eyes or blinking during the procedure.
YAG laser treatments are fast and painless. Each treatment takes only about 15 minutes and requires no special preparation or recovery. Most people do not even need eye drops after the procedure. Everyone who has the procedure must return to our eye care professional for a brief pressure check after treatment.
While most people respond well to the treatment, the procedure is not for everyone. Our eye specialist can perform a dilated eye exam to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment with a YAG laser.
Safety is always the highest priority. Scientists have reviewed over 10,000 cases of floaters treated with YAG and found that patients do very well. Complications associated with the procedure are rare and, if complications do develop, they resolve quickly.
For more information on floaters and their treatment, make an appointment with Brimhall Eye Center. Dr. Brimhall is currently the first and only surgeon in Las Vegas offering YAG laser treatment for floaters. Make your appointment today by calling (702) 263-2020.