Eye floaters are harmless deposits that occur in the vitreous jelly in the eye, but they can signal some other problems in the eye, such as retinal detachment. They usually follow eye movements and settle down when the eye stops moving. They occur more often in older people, diabetics and those who have had cataract surgery. Depending on your physical condition, there are some treatments that may be effective in reducing the occurrence of floaters.
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Practice focusing exercises to help increase circulation in the eye. Increased movement helps to eliminate waste products that build up causing floaters. Focusing on objects around and beyond the line of vision can help train the eye to ignore or overlook the floaters.
Add antioxidants to your daily diet. Damage done by free radicals can't be repaired, but you can help to neutralise them by adding foods rich in antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene can be found naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also ensure enough antioxidants in the diet by adding a daily multivitamin containing vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. Drink eight glasses of water a day to help flush waste from the body.
Avoid beverages like alcohol and those containing caffeine like coffee, tea and cola to help prevent more floaters from forming.
Eliminate as much bright light as possible, including sunlight exposure. Light tends to accentuate the presence of floaters. Always wear good sunglasses whenever possible. Dim computer monitors to avoid glare. Lamps and overhead lights should have soft white light bulbs. Try not to concentrate on the floaters.
Consider surgical procedures very carefully, and discuss the options with your doctor. Because most floaters are harmless, surgery isn't indicated in most cases. The risks of complications are numerous, and surgery may not remove the floaters.
Tips and warnings
- Because floaters don't cause damage to the eye, doctors advise learning to live with them.
- Eventually floaters settle to the bottom of the eye and out of the line of vision.
- If bright flashes occur or you lose some or all of your peripheral vision, seek medical attention as soon as possible. These symptoms or sensations of a shade on one side of your vision may indicate a serious vision problem called retinal detachment.
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