Almost all of us will experience seeing spots or lines in our vision at some point of our life. This is commonly known as “floaters”. This is sometimes an early sign of retinal detachment and you should seek medical advice. Floaters happen because the vitreous gel in our eye shrinks and detaches from the retina. The vitreous gel is normally attached to our retina. When this gel detaches, this results in a “posterior vitreous detachment” or PVD. Rarely, this can cause a hole in the retina.
If there are holes in your retina, this needs to be treated urgently to prevent retinal detachment from occurring. We usually use a laser beam to seal the hole. If retinal detachment has occurred, this will require urgent vitrectomy surgery.
I have many patients who are bothered by these floaters. Floaters can be of various shapes and sizes. They can appear like black spots, wavy lines, spider webs, or tadpoles moving around. These floaters usually appear in our middle age but it can happen in younger people who are myopic. The good news is that these floaters will get better with time as the gel in our eye gradually becomes more liquified. This means the floaters will move out of view. The bad news is that it can take a long time for the floaters to disappear – up to many months.
There are no eye drops or medications you can take for floaters. Some doctors offer laser treatment to make the floaters disappear using a YAG laser. I am not very keen on this as the laser can potentially damage your retina and cause retinal holes. If there are many things in the eye that are blocking your vision and causing visual problems, then vitrectomy surgery may the best option to permanently remove them. Modern vitrectomy surgery is now done without sutures and is very safe.
Have a great week !
A cataract is clouding of the lens in your eye. This is usually due to old age but can also occur due to trauma, diabetes, or due to medications.
Cataract surgery is done when the lens in your eye has become cloudy making it difficult for you to see well enough to carry out your usual daily activities. If the cataract is not removed, your vision may stay the same, but it will probably gradually get worse. Waiting for a longer period of time may make the operation more difficult. If you are considering surgery, please let the doctor know if you are taking the following medications: Flomax (Tamsulosin), Doxazosin, Asprin, or any blood thinning drugs like Warfarin, Plavix or Ticlid (Dipyradimole). These medications may need to be stopped before surgery.
You can listen to Dr Fong talking about cataract surgery.
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