Vitamins For Floaters

What are Eye Floaters?
Eye floaters are tiny shapes that follow the line of sight, often looking like squiggles, cobwebs, specks, threads or random shadowy forms. Floaters manifest when debris within the eye's vitreous humor (the gel-like substance that fills the eye) drifts between the pupil and the retina, casting a shadow that creates the perception of odd shapes. 

The drifting debris is usually comprised of dead blood vessel pieces, fibers from the retina, or vitreous humor that has dried into stringy clumps. These pieces are often present within the eye, but are not noticed unless they drift across the field of vision as eye floaters.

Eye floaters can sometimes indicate a medical emergency. If eye floaters appear suddenly and in great numbers, and are accompanied by eyesight "flashing" and peripheral vision problems, they may be a result of a retinal detachment that requires immediate medical attention. Eye floaters may also be associated with concussions, eye trauma, diabetes, infections and cataract surgery. 

When serious issues are linked with eye floaters, a doctor's close supervision is warranted. Most of the time, however, eye floaters are merely annoyances that pose no real threat, but still may interfere with ideal vision health. 

Why Floaters Happen
Floaters are increasingly common with age. This association with advancing age has been attributed to the vitreous humor's changing consistency over time. Starting around age 50, the vitreous humor starts to lose its gel-like integrity, often becoming thinner and more watery. When the vitreous humor thins out, clumps and other debris can drift more freely throughout the eyeball. 

As the vitreous humor loses its integrity with age, a condition called Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) becomes more likely, as well. In PVD, the vitreous humor pulls away from the retina, which may lead to a rapid onset of many floaters in the field of vision. 

Floaters arising from benign conditions of the eye are often left untreated. With time, the floaters may settle on their own, dropping out of the field of vision and ceasing to appear. Although most floaters present no inherent health risk, some research suggests they may significantly impact overall quality of life. In one study, some patients with dense, vision-impeding floaters expressed the condition was equivalent to AMD and worse than diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma in terms of its impact on their quality of life. 

Eye Floaters Treatment
For some, floaters' negative impact on quality of life is strong enough to warrant invasive surgical procedures to attempt to correct the problem. In one such procedure known as surgical vitrectomy, the vitreous humor is entirely removed from the eye and replaced with a clear saline solution. Surgical vitrectomy is almost never performed, as its risks are typically regarded as outweighing its benefits. Another procedure called YAG laser vitreolysis is somewhat less invasive: It uses a laser to blast floaters and vaporize them, clearing the vitreous humor for unimpeded vision. 

Vitamins for floaters are significantly less invasive than surgical or laser options. These supplements are often designed to ease floater-like symptoms by promoting clear, hydrated tear film layers while optimizing retinal integrity. 

Omega-3 fatty acids, notably found in fish oil (as well as in vegetarian sources like flaxseed and borage oil), may be included to soothe inflamed tear glands and promote well-hydrated eyes. Vitamin C and vitamin B6 are sometimes included in vitamins for floaters because they help to optimize the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids.Turmeric, an Ayurvedic wellness herb, also modulates inflammation to promote tear film stability and greater eye comfort. Phospholipids are compounds found in the tear glands that help to stabilize and maintain healthy tear film. Phytosterols and mucin are often included in supplements for floaters because they protect and support retinal tissues, thereby minimizing debris in the vitreous humor.

Is There a Cure for Floaters?
While a cure for floaters has not definitively been identified, surgical interventions and nutritional supplements present welcome treatment options for sufferers. Others may choose to forego treatment altogether, and simply wait until their eyes adjust or the floaters settle out of sight. One easy trick from a Harvard Medical School report: Moving the eyes up and down, then left to right. This motion may help to migrate floaters out of the line of sight, potentially offering instant relief to this frustrating vision problem.