Eye Floaters

Information on treatment options, nutrition & lifestyle
recommendations for floaters

Symptoms   Nutrients   Causes   Self Help   Conventional Treatment   Vitamins & Supplements   Reviews

vitreous eye floatersEye floaters are those small, often irregular, dark shapes that appear on ones field of vision. They are made up of clumps of protein that may look like dots, blobs, strands, cobwebs, etc. Though annoying, they won't harm you and you may not even notice them.

Self Help & Tips

How to prevent eye floaters? It is possible to manage and even prevent vitreous eye floaters with a combination of dietary considerations and supplements. The Chinese medical model for treatment focuses often on the liver meridian to support overall eye health and in helping improve eye floaters. One such formula is called "Xiao Yao San" or 'Rambling Powder", which our ReVision Formula is based on (see Revision Formula and Revision Formula Reviews) and milk thistle extract may also help reduce floaters.

Warning: If you suddenly become aware of new floaters in your vision, see your eye doctor right away to rule out serious problems.

Symptoms

  • Little dots or dust floating in your field of vision

Nutrients

These are the nutrients that are most important in managing eye floaters. In general, by strengthening the health of the retina and vitreous, one reduces the risk of developing new floaters. These nutrients act together synergistically to help lessen the risk of floaters.

  • Hyaluronic acid - Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan) is a large molecule found in the vitreous gel which it is believed contributes to its gel-like quality and may also support related connective tissue. Elsewhere in the body it is found in the gel-like fluid that lubricates joints and it is a component of the tissue healing process. As we age, the amount of hyaluronan in the body decreases.
  • Glucosame sulfate - Glucosamine sulfate helps maintain connective tissue integrity. Some floaters are caused by disintegration of the lining of the vitreous sac. This nutrient may help slow down the natural aging effect on a weakening vitreous. Many people have noted an increase in floaters when they have joint disorders which may be related to chronic, systemic inflammation and its effect on eye health.
  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for overall eye health. Since floaters are often the result of vitreous tears/detachments and/or clumping of the vitreous due to aging, vitamin C plays a role in blood and lymph circulation, waste elimination and supporting connective tissue. It may play a role in supporting the body in breaking down eye floaters. Learn more about the role of vitamin C in the body.
  • L-methionine This amino acid can assist in removal of heavy metals and toxins that can contribute to eye disease. Methionine has a role in the body's synthesis of cysteine and taurine, two other important amino acids for vision health.
  • Inositol - The carbohydrate inositol plays a role in moderating levels of calcium in the cell membrane and within each cell, which in turn plays a role in protecting the vitreous.
  • Calcium - Calcium supports healthy connective tissue of the eye and throughout the body. Researchers have found that low levels of calcium (in proportion to phosphorus) is tied to increases in floaters.
  • Zinc, Copper & Chromium - Zinc has some antioxidant characteristics. It plays a major role in bringing Vitamin A from the liver to the retina and helps Vitamin A create a protective pigment called melanin. Zinc also helps support the health of tiny capillaries in the eye, which are essential in nourishing the retina and related connective tissue. Zinc and copper, in balance, help support a proper acid balance in the body, which in turn helps may help avoid development of new floaters. Chromium may help limit nearsightedness, a risk factor for eye floaters. Chromium also has a role in sugar balance in the body.

Causes

Age Related. Most vitreous eye floaters are age-related and are due to the vitreous gel, which maintains the shape of the back of our eyes, gradually liquefying resulting in the release of protein (connective tissue) into the vitreous gel. More than 50% of people over 70 see them. Some parts of the vitreous may also clump up forming floaters inside the eye.

Diabetes. Floaters are common in diabetics because that condition causes a number of weak capillaries in the eyes that can leak blood, which can clot and be deposited as floaters in the vitreous.

Prebirth. For some people, floaters may appear as a result of bits of cells that never fully dissolved from blood vessels created during prebirth development of the eyes.

Eye Trauma. Trauma to the eye may also cause spots and floaters. Many floaters remain in the eye for a long time before they gradually disappear.

Near-Sightedness. Those who are nearsighted are also at higher risk of developing eye floaters, along with people with food allergies and/or candidiasis (chronic yeast infections).

Kidney Congestion. From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, congestion in the kidney, liver and colon can contribute to development of floaters. The nutrients and herbs we recommend are chosen for their ability to reduce congestion, helping to keep the vitreous free of these little specks and spots. In addition, these supplements help to strengthen the connective tissue of the retina and the strength of the blood veins and arteries.

eye floaters

We believe that chronic stress may contribute to the generation of floaters (as well as any other health condition one may be prone to), so developing a daily routine of mediation, yoga, or relaxation is really important.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A sudden appearance of floaters might be an indication of a retinal or vitreous detachment. Nearsighted people and those who are diabetic are more prone to both floaters and retinal tears. 63% of the population over 70 experience vitreous detachments (10% before then).

If you suddenly see new floaters, see your eye doctor as soon as possible.

See "Drugs That Harm the Eyes" for a discussion of medications that could be potentially detrimental to your vision.

Conventional Treatment

Conventional medicine has no treatment for floaters. The ophthalmologist may recommend a vitrectomy, removing the vitreous fluid and replacing it with an artificial gel in very serious cases.

A few doctors perform laser surgery for this condition, but it depends upon where the floaters are located the fluid and the type of floater. Most patients who may be candidates for laser surgery have experienced PVD (post vitreous detachment), which can push floaters toward the center of the eyes and away from the lens and retina. However this practice is still considered outside the scope of conventional ophthalmology practice.