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Raising Funds for Vitreous Eye Floaters Research PDF Print E-mail

The Eye on Vision Foundation is supporting research for a safe non-surgical treatment for vitreous floaters, without the risk of cataract formation, retinal detachment, vitreous frill, glaucoma or other visual risks and side effects.

What are vitreous eye floaters? Eye floaters are spots in your vision. They may look like black or gray specks, strings, lines, clouds or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes. While floaters may be non-bothersome for some patients, others have a more severe case, which greatly affect their quality of life. Many patients who suffer with floaters cannot read well, use the computer, spend time outdoors, or drive. Research has also shown that patients with floaters often times suffer from a loss of contrast sensitivity, possibly due to the light scattering that floaters cause.

While the medical community as a whole has taught doctors to treat floaters as benign and a normal part of aging, this condition should not be seen as normal. Billions of dollars are spent in the cosmetics industry to rid people of wrinkles (which is also a normal part or aging), so why wouldn?t research be done to rid people of gray lines and clouds in their vision? Why? Because floaters have yet to be truly recognized as a disease. The Eye on Vision Foundation strives to change this outlook in the medical community.

People are risking their eyesight to try and rid themselves of floaters. There is a surgery that was designed as a ?sight-saving? procedure to reach the retina, which also removes the vitreous. Some floaters, most of the time not all, are removed when the vitrectomy surgery is performed. Patients with severe floaters have flown to other states and countries seeking out this surgery to try and rid themselves of floaters. Even if the surgery goes good, which it doesn?t always, you are guaranteed an early cataract. People is their 20?s are having this surgery because their floaters are that bad. Knowing that they are risking retinal detachment (blinding) and guaranteeing themselves a cataract. Imagine something being so bad with your eyes that you would fly half way around the world and risk blindness just for the chance at some relief. It?s a terrible choice for patients to make, especially the young patients who would normally be decades away from cataracts. Plus, cataract surgery causes floaters, so it is a vicious cycle because in a year or two after the surgery to remove floaters, you will get a cataract, have surgery and get more floaters. It?s almost like a sick joke!

This is why, it is our strong belief that pharmacologic vitreolysis  (the use of drugs) is the safest future cure for vitreous floaters. There was minimal experimentation in 2013 by Dr. Sebag to develop novel enzymes for dissolving floaters, but this work has not continued due to lack of funding. 

In order to develop pharmacologic vitreolysis (drugs) for the purpose of dissolving floaters, adequate tools are needed to evaluate the effects of different drugs at different concentrations for varied durations of exposure. One tool that is needed to evaluate this is a light scattering apparatus. This tool will facilitate both objective and clinical measures of light scattering by floaters as well as the development of a pharmacologic vitreolysis (drug) cure.

I know I?m including a lot of scientific terminology, but it is important for people to be informed. My retina doctor says that I know more about the vitreous and retina than 99.9% of his patients. Trust me, I wish that I didn?t, but I suffer greatly from a severe case of vitreous floaters and have for a decade. They have recently worsened to the point where I spend maybe 5 minutes a day on the computer and I only drive locally and never at night. I?m 36 years old, and there are 80 year olds that see more clearly than I do. I?m 100% dedicated to finding a safe treatment for vitreous floaters. With your help, we can get this very important research started again. Remember, all people will develop floaters. There are many reasons why ? eye injury, the need for distance glasses (myopia), LASIK, prior YAG surgery, cataract surgery or as a natural part of the aging process. The question is to what degree? Will you luck out any get one or two that you barely ever notice or will you be less fortunate and develop 20, 30, or more in each eye that you see even in dim light and with sunglasses on? There is no way to know for sure, but once they are there, they are there to stay. Let?s work together to change that and find a treatment for vitreous eye floaters!