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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Floaters and Cataracts
April 2002

Q. I had pneumatic retinopexy surgery 7 years ago as well as numerous laser treatments for retinal detachments that was not due to diabetes but extreme nearsightedness. (-18.00 and -18.25). Approximately 6 months later I received PRK in SITU treatment and my vision is dramatically better. I now have developed cataracts which are not yet ready to be removed but my vision is severely compromised due to numerous "floaters". Do you know of any treatments to remove these floaters safely?

A. Floaters are thought to be cellular debris in the fluid chamber of the eye. Most commonly they come and go spontaneously, but in some cases the symptoms can persist. There is no known treatment.

Let your eye doctor know about these because the symptoms can be similar to retinal detachments, so an exam is needed. The following references are excellent on floaters and cataracts:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001001.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002085.htm

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