John D. Mitchell, MD | Emily Ash Morin, MD | Jacquelyn Weber, MD
130 Park Street SE, Suite 300 Vienna, Virginia 22180 / Phone:703-938-2266
8218 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite P-10 Bethesda, Maryland 20814 / Phone:301-656-2027
John D. Mitchell, MD
Emily Ash Morin, MD
Jacquelyn Weber, MD
130 Park Street SE, Suite 300
Vienna, Virginia 22180
8218 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite P-10
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Floaters are a condensation of the matter making up the vitreous body that usually occur as a normal process of aging. Occasionally, the development of floaters can be associated with or complicated by other pathologies, such as retinal tears, detachments, or bleeding. For this reason, any new floater, especially those associated with flashing of lights or a “curtain coming over your vision” should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
The symptoms associated with floaters often subside over time, however, a small percentage of patients remain bothered by their floaters over a substantial period of time. These floaters often affect their quality of life by interfering with activities of daily living (reading, computer use, etc). In days gone by, the options were to “learn to live with it” or to have a pars plana vitrectomy to remove the vitreous in it’s entirety. This is a larger procedure that carries some risk of retinal detachment, infection and cataract development.
Dr’s Mitchell and Morin can now offer you laser removal of your floaters in the office. This is often covered by your insurance company and the risks associated with laser floater removal are less than traditional vitrectomy. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and is done with the patient upright and without sedation. Recovery time is very brief, and patients can drive themselves home from the procedure. Patients use drops for 4 days post operatively but are otherwise without post operative restrictions. Dr. Mitchell or Dr Morin would be happy to discuss whether this option is appropriate for you.