What Eye Floaters Are and What Can Be Done About Them

What I Learned About Eye Floaters

an-eye-chart-to-test-visionI 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.

Sam Coffman Top 25 Herbs Chart

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

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  • Mary says:

    I have had floaters since I was a child. I’ve been taking glucosamine and chondroitin and antioxidant supplements for years and they are still there. I’ve experienced vitreous detachment in later life with no noticeable increase in floaters, just seemingly the same old companions I’ve had all my life. Another data point.

    1. Donna Ramos says:

      I very much appreciate these insights into floaters and flashing.

      A few years ago I realized I had the first of several dark floaters in my eyes when during the winter I kept thinking I saw a fly in the house! More floaters came and they were accompanied by a flashing of light at the edge of one eye. I went to my Optometrist and he explained how common the floaters were with aging and also the potential of the flashing to be a detaching of my retina. However, upon examination, he did not find any detachment. He said just to monitor it and come back immediately if it got worse. Over the next few months, most of the floaters went away, as did the flashing. Flashing started at the edge of the other eye as well, but did not last long. I get regular check ups, and my doctor was glad to hear the symptoms had gone away. Sometimes I still see the first dark spot, but that’s it.

      While I didn’t do anything consciously, I do take vitamin and herbal supplements and try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. One supplement includes cayenne pepper for improved blood circulation, and as I read here in your article, may have been beneficial in particular.

  • Kasren says:

    I got rid of my eye floaters with liposomal vitamin c. I was taking it for something else and after two weeks I just one day noticed that they were gone, and I’ve had them for years! I make my own liposomal and was taking about 6-8 gms a day.

  • Jonathan says:

    Vitamin C is powerfully synergic with sulfur. Btw, the combination will allow your body to produce collagen, helping your skin and apparently, your floater situation. For circulation, L-Arginine (activated by saliva, I take it daily) and pycnogenol (a little expensive) from pine bark extract are just about as high on the list as it gets, for me. Seperately, I recall reading a review on WebMD describing how Serrapeptase eliminated floaters within one week for a particular user, *allegedly*. Pretty remarkable I think, and probably worth researching. Lastly, Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends essential oils for eye health and he describes applying them daily around the outside of the eye socket, but never get them in your eyes, that would be grief waiting to happen.

  • Toni says:

    I have had floaters since I was a child. I swam a lot in our chlorinated pool. Wonder if that had anything to do with it. Thanks for this good info!

  • Marie East says:

    I just wanted to emphasize the point that it is worth the trouble to check with your Dr. to make sure the floaters are harmless. I’ve had floaters since childhood, and never really paid any attention until I started losing my vision. Then I had a wait of about 10 years while I lost almost half of my vision field to find a Dr. that diagnosed my problem as clogged arteries in the eye. I am regaining my sight slowly – but it would have been better to have prevented it in the first place.

    1. brendainmx says:

      Just as a follow up, B12 and various essential oils, such as helichrysum and frankincense, has really helped. Vision, from RMO, has been a great help. It has taken several years of off and on treatments, but I am really seeing a difference. Thank God!

  • Sharon Hart says:

    Oh my, thank you so much for this article. A few years ago I had cataracts, glaucoma and floaters. When I told the doc who removed the cataracts and prescribed medication for the glaucoma that I had changed my diet… he laughed like I was silly… so I decided I just needed to leave him in his blissful ignorance. Soon the floaters were gone and it wasn’t long before I read the side effects on the prescription I was taking and decided I was going to search for a natural cure for the glaucoma. Months later I found something that I thought might work so I tried it for a while but since glaucoma doesn’t have any symptoms I waited to test it until 3 weeks before a scheduled pressure test and I stopped the medication. My eye pressures were the same as they had been on the meds. He scheduled the next test 6 months out and I decided I could wait and see how that went. I must say I had a few 2nd thoughts during that 6 months but just continued on… 2nd test pressures were even lower by a couple of points, so he told me I was good to go for a full year then asked if I needed another prescription I told him no and he had no questions. Pretty outrageous experiment for a lay person but one that really helped me to get in touch with my body and understand that given a chance my body will heal itself without side effects other than better overall health. Peace, love and good health to all.

    1. Risha says:

      Good stuff. So may I ask what that diet change consisted of?

  • s says:

    I also had eye floaters at one time. Sometimes just a few, sometimes a lot. No longer have any floaters. Really didn’t do anything special, I just try to eat healthier, get the sugar out of the diet. No products with HFCS, put the item back on the shelf. I do take vitamins and supplements for general health but not the same ones as above.

  • Joe says:

    Imagine my amazement when I tested (against the white background of this letter) for floaters just after reading this article. I only have a couple of very small ones when before I had what seemed like dozens. I started using Glucosamine and chondroitan about 6 or 7 years ago (for knees…works) and vitamins for men over 50 which includes heart and eye supplements. These additives to my daily routine must be the cause of my floaters disappearing and I didn’t even notice the change. I suggest everyone with floaters try this because “It couldn’t hurt,eh?”

  • Dena says:

    Just started with floaters and bright flashes of light, seen eye doctor. Said the fluid in eye is breaking apart. High risk for detachment. Comes with age. I’ve been on a multivitamin but had run out. Will restart and try some things that were suggested. Will report back after seeing the eye doctor in 6 weeks.

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Hi Dena – Good luck! I’m glad you went in to see the Dr. right away.

  • Antonieta says:

    thank you so much for this information, I have floaters in my eyes which usually don’t bother me but sometimes I do see a lot of different figures; your information is very helpful.

  • Marilyn says:

    I always thought floaters were normal. Had them throughout most of my life until I had cancer and went to a ND in the Seattle area. He put me on a vitamin regime for 6 months and I was clear. My late sister noticed an absence of floaters suddenly but it turned out she had cancer in her brain that was causing increased eye pressure. A good physician would have looked further into her symptoms but she did not have a good one. Anytime your body begins doing things abnormally for you, get a physical. But more importantly, I believe in proper nutrition for Every cell in the body. Eat more veggies, America!

  • Tim MacCaw says:

    Thank you Claire, and everyone else who has chipped in with their experiences re floaters and what has sometimes worked to get rid of them. Very interesting indeed and not information I have come across anywhere else despite a good google! Like Donna, although after a holiday in New Zealand a couple of years ago (very bright sun and I hadn’t until more recently taken the precaution of using dark glasses) I started getting noticeable floaters in both eyes and even some flashes in the corner of one eye, two different opticians checked me and said there was nothing wrong with them. It’s great that there may be a way to get rid of them which is something I’d never been told by the socalled experts, and I will report if the supplement route remedies my situation.

    By the way at the age of around 21 I had to start wearing glasses for the first time during my exams but was able to stop that a couple of years later after following the W.H. Bates method of resting and retraining my eyes and, I believe, the mind (book was then called ‘Perfect eyesight without glasses’); again that was something that none of the ‘experts’ volunteered to me and it was only something my healer mother had come across by chance, but which has meant no glasses for me for the last 45 years! Most people I have told about that simply don’t believe that what I have done is possible, even though the book is still available to read, and I can read ‘mice type’ with my left eye and see things on the horizon with the right eye and everywhere in between is in focus!

  • phil evans says:

    thank you very much for this information.
    i wondered what these little satellites floating across my vision were.
    with me they come and go.

  • Diane says:

    easy way to get collagen, mix grass fed collagen in your morning tea or coffee, it’s tasteless and easy. I use Great Lakes, the green can. The orange can is gelatin and will turn into a jello type substance, which ifyou make homemade jello or gummy candys with it, that’s another way to get collagen/gelatin. https://amzn.com/B005KG7EDU

  • Lee says:

    I used to have floaters but no longer. I take 300 mg Mg and 4900 mg potassium every day, for other reasons, but along with eliminating the other problems the floaters disappeared also. Alternatively, which I occassionally do is eat a half pound of salad greens instead of taking the salt, per Dr. Eric Berg — also works great.

  • JHunt says:

    I agree with Tim McCaw about the Bates method. I wore glasses for over 20 years till I found this book and several others by doctors that used his work. If you look hard enough there are those who do therapy for this. I do not lie it is a good deal of work, but it was worth it. I just had my drivers licence renewed and I passed the eye exam with flying colors. I could see the tiniest print clearly. I was thrilled. I now have better peripheral vision than I had when I had glasses, and I see depth much better. I read in the Bates book that margarine and other fake fats are one of the causes of macular degeneration. Our bodies do not know how to use fake fats. We would all be so much better off if we ate the real thing instead of the fake processed stuff. Go Grow Network for leading the way! I don’t have floaters but my beloved MIL does. I will pass this on to her.

  • Bill McFarland, N.M.D, CN says:

    I have a few eye doctor that work with me, all the rest refuse to tell patients they have Lyme Disease as the root cause in many cases. I have been working with Lyme and treating for over 25 years. We did not call it Lyme until a NIH doctor named it several years ago. The government is still forcing doctors to remain silent.

  • M. Allison says:

    Have had floaters off and on for years. Vitamins really do make a difference. Also was told I needed cataracts removed but after 2 weeks of using double dosages of Magnesium my Dr. said I did not need cataract surgery and ALSO found that I could drive at night with out any problems.

  • Richard says:

    I discovered a great remedy for eye problems… Dr Richard Schultz has a formulae
    that keeps the blood flowing and heals the eye problem fast !!! At 88 I still read
    without glasses !!!

  • Jacque G. says:

    I got rid of my floaters by changing my diet and cleansing my liver. I found, for me at least, Milk Thistle (tincture) was the key. I believe that the eyes are linked to the liver. Anytime I start getting the shimmering lights or grey floaters, I take Milk Thistle tincture. It works for me.

  • Sandy says:

    I was diagnosed with extreme astigmatism and nearsightedness when I was eight with thick glasses prescribed for years. I have seen those spots since then, but was not told about the potential for a disastrous outcome. In my 30’s a friend referred me to an optometrist who was an early pioneer of behavioral optometry. Harry has since passed, but his insights about how vision was affecting me and how my glasses were affecting my vision, eye functioning, health and relationship with the world around me relieved me of a s lot of stress. He told me that my retina had torn as a result of incorrect vision correction. He prescribed a routine of deep breathing, eye-hand coordination exercises and a series of glasses that were much less about 20-20 vision and much more about being able to interact with what I could see. I used to crave frequent nibbles of lemon rind, but gave up eating any citrus rind when I discovered how much chemical pesticide and herbicide is absorbed into the skin. I do eat a lot of home-grown garlic and strawberries, and make and take liposomal C. Since I don’t eat beef and and I gave up shellfish when our fresh and seawater sources of shellfish became so extremely toxic, I did a quick internet search and turned up this reference, which states that “The source of collagen that I use and recommend is called Type II Chicken Collagen. This collagen is derived from free-ranged chickens, where they are never given growth hormones, antibiotics or subjected to feed contaminated with pesticides or herbicides—the best assurance of a healthy source…. Type II Chicken Collagen possesses both sulfates, glucosamine and chondroitin in their natural state.” from this link: http://www.needs.com/product/NDNL-0308-01/l_Glucosamine_Chondroitin. Thanks for the wake-up call on floaters, Claire. I would sorely miss the sight of a beautiful garden and being able to distinguish between the weeds that need weeding and the plants that need pampering. I think about anyone would value reading this article. May it be seen far and wide!

  • Anna says:

    I had floaters for several years and suddenly disappeared after i took 1 tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil every night before sleep.

    1. bond008 says:

      Anna how long it took for you to get rid of floaters using coconut oil.

  • Panda says:

    My eye floaters look like worms swimming around my field of vision. They are very prominent and have a clear structure, they even have a sort of transparent “head” on them. They are very annoying. Any advice on how to get rid of them? Btw… No, eye drops and ibuprofen dose nothing for them. Also, as a note, when my eyes are examined the doctor never “sees anything” in them and i am usually reffered to a psychiatrist.

  • Panda says:

    Please reply to *this post* so i may be notified of a comment. Thank you.

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  • Mike says:

    About my floaters. I’m an allergy guy, just about everything that happens to correspond with the list of high lectin foods, and then some. While reading about that, and not that I believe the lectin hype, I saw that lectins bond to collagen and thought I’d try some glucosamine in case diasbled collagen was part of a shoulder issue. Two days in, I noticed my floaters were starting to go missing. Put 2 and 2 together. Searched internet for floaters and glucosamine. Here we are. Will continue half doses of glucosamine and monitor. It would be great to be outside on cloudy of foggy days and not have floaters as the main attraction, as they have been for years.

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