Medical Q&As

Floaters - can anything be done?

I have "floaters" in my right eye. They are increasing in number and are very annoying; particularly as one large one tends to settle in the centre of my vision. I have had my eyes examined by an optician and also by a registrar in a major hospital. Both can see no problem with my retina and take the attitude that nothing can be done and I will have to put up with them. They are beginning to seriously affect my sight, especially when reading. Can nothing be done?

Floaters are very common. They are particles of organic debris that are located in the posterior compartment of the eyeball, which is the area located between the lens and the retina. They can be very annoying and occasionally can be very persistent. Some people find that it helps to try and dislodge the floater by moving the eye up and down or from side to side. This may help to create a small current in the fluid in which the floater is suspended and may help to carry the floater away from the line of vision. You could always arrange an appointment with a consultant through your GP if you were unhappy with the advice that you have been given previously. However, it is unlikely that surgery would be attempted because removing a floater by surgical means is not without risk and is only ever contemplated in the most extreme situations.