Do I need surgery if I have eye floaters?

Probably not. "Floaters" are the out-of-focus silhouettes of the remnants of the liquefying vitreous. The vitreous body is a transparent gel that fills the eyeball. While it has purpose when we are young, it is mostly superfluous after childhood and so starts to fall apart into its component parts. Floaters are more common as we age. They are also much more common in very nearsighted people.

In and of themselves, vitreous floaters are rarely a sign of anything serious. But with any sort of sudden onset, it would be a good idea to have them checked out with a dilated exam of the back of the eye to make sure there is no retinal involvement. Floaters rarely require surgery but this can be done to remove them if they are severe or become intolerable to a patient.

All surgery has risks, though, so it should only be considered in some cases.

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic