What I Learned About Eye Floaters
I am a retired Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, so let me begin by giving you my “professional” opinion. Floaters were a common complaint I heard about, and this is what I used to tell patients. Some of it is actually good advice!
The eye has two compartments filled with different gel-like substances. At the front of the eye is aqueous, but the bulk of the eye is filled with vitreous, which is water and collagen, and it can break down as we age. When it breaks down it forms little bubbles and those bubbles cast a shadow on the retina, generating the appearance of dark spots floating around in the visual field. These spots are harmless and may fade, but will likely remain visible for the rest of your life. People tend to get used to them and they become less annoying. If it becomes so severe that it impairs the vision, there is a surgical technique to suck the vitreous out and replace it, but it is quite risky and expensive.
Read more: Natural Options for Treating Eye Floaters
Why You Should Not Ignore Your Eye Floaters
Floaters can be a very serious warning sign of a potentially blinding condition. If your floaters seem to form a web or a curtain, or if they are accompanied by flashes of light you need to get to an ophthalmologist IMMEDIATELY. The vitreous is adhered to the retina, and when the vitreous degrades it can pull the retina off. If you catch it early, the retina can be “tacked” back on with a laser quickly and almost painlessly. If it goes on too long, the retina requires major surgery and if it goes too far you loose the vision in that eye. There is no saving it once the retina peels off your macula (the central “sweet spot” of vision is processed there). If there is any pain, you ought to be checked out by a doctor. Floaters should never be painful.
Officially, and essentially, floaters themselves are harmless and there is no treatment, so get used to them. This is what I learned, and repeated many times. Then one day I got floaters and suddenly the advice I had given for decades was not adequate. I did go see an ophthalmologist. The risk of blindness is serious and I was not playing around. His assistant was a former co-worker who dutifully gave me the same advice I had been giving when I was a “professional” in the field. I was told my vitreous had not detached, but it probably would within the month based on my symptoms. Vitreous detachment is not as serious as retinal detachment, but can lead to a retinal detachment.
Read more: The Medicine Your Grandmother Used
My Home Cure for Eye Floaters
I am not a doctor, but I am more than willing to play one on myself, and so I applied my general knowledge of alternative healing to the problem. I figured I had two problems that needed to be addressed: 1) inadequate blood supply to my eye, and 2) collagen breakdown.
Improving the blood supply to my eye was a goal based on the simple premise that when there is decreased health in the tissues, it will boil down to the cells not getting enough oxygen. I went with citrus bioflavanoids, a supplement well known to strengthen blood vessels. To help build up collagen, I began taking glucosamine and chondroitan. Within 2 weeks, I cancelled my follow up appointment, the floaters had dissolved.
If you do not have access to these supplements, try a diet rich in the same nutrients. The white part of orange peels is an excellent source of bioflavanoids. But there are tastier sources like red bell peppers, garlic, and strawberries. Glucosamine and chondroitan are a bit trickier to get large doses of in your diet. I would make a good bone sauce, and a nice jambalaya where you eat the seafood – shells and all, and eat lots of them both.
My own healthcare brainwashing, I mean education, insists that I point out that what happened with my eyes is not possible. Floaters are not curable. They may get less annoying, they may get smaller and less dark, but once you have them they are with you for life. So there is my “professional” advice: Get used to them. Now, as your neighbor and friend, I recommend getting the supplements I did and take the full dose recommended for adults. I can’t promise you anything – I have a “clinical trial database” of one instance… but if doing nothing does not cut it for you, at least give my method a try. It did work for me. Let me know if it works for you. If enough of us find out it works, maybe we can convince the professionals to look into it.
Thanks to Claire Cox for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each