Eye floaters result from a myriad of factors, among them vitreous hemorrhage, posterior uveitis, and retinal detachment.
As is the case with any condition, treatment involves addressing the underlying cause. In this article, we will get into whether eye drops work in dealing with the causative factors.
Eye drops for Posterior Vitreous Detachment floaters
This condition occurs when the vitreous detaches from the retina. It does not result in the loss of eyesight, but it leads to the formation of floaters. Some people may also experience flashing lights in the cause of the detachment.
Eye drops, in this case, are necessary for the diagnostic approach. Ophthalmologists use them to dilate the pupils before directing light into the eye. This dilation allows the doctor to check for tears, holes, or other such changes in the retina.
Now, can eye drops work for treating the floaters? No, you cannot use eye drops to make the floaters go away as they result from the contraction of the vitreous. What you can do is learn how to cope with them.
In some cases, a doctor may prescribe artificial tears to help with dry eyes or other such conditions. Before using anything on your eyes, ensure that you get a prescription from your doctor. Also, report anything that is out of the norm.
Dilation eye drops
Your eye exam cannot be complete without the use of dilation eye drops. The doctor administers these in your eyes and waits about half an hour for the effects to show.
Once the pupils open, they remain so for about six hours, with some people experiencing longer durations. When used in children, these drops could have effects that last for up to a day.
Your doctor cannot tell how long the effects will last, as the effects are case to case. The important thing is to avoid any activities that get affected by blurry vision. Also, your eyes will be more sensitive to light during this time.
Effects of dilation drops
In the long term, the dilation will not harm your eyes. However, you should expect some effects in the short term that last about six hours. One such effect is added sensitivity to light as well as blurred vision.
It helps to avoid any strenuous activities as you recover. You can also have a hard time focusing on objects at close range.
For some people, the drops have a stinging effect once they are in the eyes. This sensation goes away after a while. Wait until the effects are over to resume your usual activities.
It helps to note that you may have to wait out the dilation before wearing your contact lenses.
With these side effects, you may be wondering if a doctor must administer dilation eye drops. The answer is yes. Without these drops, your doctor cannot check your eyes for any abnormalities.
The drops widen the pupil for an extended period. This way, the pupil does not get small in the presence of light. It remains dilated such that the doctor can view the back part of the eye. If you have any detachment taking place, the doctor can see it. The same goes for any changes in the optic nerve and blood vessels.
This dilation not only helps in the diagnosis of posterior vitreous detachment but other conditions as well. They include retinopathy, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Other than conditions centered on the eye, it also works in zeroing in on chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Dilation is not only essential in the diagnosis of conditions, but it also serves as a treatment. Examples include treating eye inflammation and lazy eye. When used as a treatment, they work in the same way as they do for diagnosis.
Dealing with side effects of dilation eye drops
Given the range and unpredictability of dilation drops’ side effects, it helps to be ready. You are likely to experience added sensitivity to light and blurred vision.
You should thus have someone drive you to the hospital and back if this is your first time. That way, you can avoid driving as you could cause an accident. If you have had dilation in the past, you probably know if you can handle driving without any help.
Two, you must protect your eyes as they now have increased light sensitivity. To do this, you should wear sunglasses to avoid the sun. In some cases, your doctor may offer you a pair of protective glasses.
Three, you should avoid straining your eyes. Avoid reading, watching TV, or any activity that could strain your eyes. If possible, take a nap and wait out the side effects. You will feel uncomfortable for some time, but it is the only way to get proper eye screening.
Eye drops for retinal detachment floaters
Retinal detachment takes place when the retina detaches from the inside of the eye. In some cases, posterior vitreous detachment can cause a tear, which, if not dealt with, can lead to retinal detachment.
If the retina completely detaches, it stops sending signals to the brain, thus interfering with vision. In this case, you can rely on surgery in the early stages to prevent the complete loss of eyesight.
This condition often owes to tears and holes in the retina, scarring, and leaking of fluids in retinal layers. Symptoms include the appearance of floaters, darkening of vision, and flashes of light. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
As is the case with posterior vitreous detachment, your ophthalmologist will use dilating eye drops to examine your eyes. They widen the pupil and make it easy for the doctor to check for any holes and tears.
If the diagnosis points to retinal detachment, your doctor can suggest surgery as a means to prevent loss of sight. Eye drops will not stop the detachment. However, they will come in handy post-surgery in restoring your vision.
Using retinal detachment eye drops post-surgery
You should follow strict instructions after your surgery to ensure that your eye heals as it should. They are standard as follows:
Your doctor will prescribe the eye drops suitable for you based on your needs. Often, they will have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and dilation properties. You should follow the instructions given by your doctor.
When using the drops, ensure that the bottle tip does not come into contact with the eye surface. If this happens, you can spread germs to the solution in the bottle. Also, you should not let other people use your eye drops, even if they have had surgery.
Eye drops may seem like small undertakings, but they are not. Using them without a prescription can worsen the underlying problem. You could even cause damage to your blood vessels.
Note the time of the expiry of the eye drops. In most cases, you should discard the opened bottles after a month of use. The timing will depend on what your doctor advises. When you run out of drops, be sure to check with your doctor for added prescriptions.
You should not attempt to get more without checking with your doctor. Eyes are very sensitive, and you would not want to trigger other conditions.
The application process is pretty simple. Start by washing your hands as you will touch your eyelids in the process. The last thing you want is to trigger an eye infection. Sit with your head tilted backwards or lie on your back.
Now, tug on the lower lid using your finger and bring the bottle close to the eye. Lean the bottle on your forehead or nose and administer a drop into the eye. Shut the eye and wipe away any excess fluid using a clean tissue. Repeat based on the number of drops you need for the affected eye.
Precautions for retinal detachment drops
After surgery, your eye will be quite sensitive to any movements or chemicals. It thus helps to avoid aggravating it. While it may prove difficult, you should not touch the eye. If you feel like rubbing it, do not do so. Where you have an itch, talk to your doctor about it.
Wearing a shield is an excellent way to protect the eye from coming into contact with any substances. You can wear it when taking a shower, shampooing your hair, or other such activities.
When bathing, avoid touching the eye with soap and water. If you must wash the area around the eye, use cold distilled water and some cotton wool. You can talk to your doctor about ways to keep the eye clean during the recovery period.
In some cases, you will need to remain in a given position to enable fast healing. Also, you should avoid intense physical activities in the weeks that follow.
While you may feel concerned about watching TV, no harm will come to you on doing it. However, you may not see the screen well, as your vision will be blurry for a while.
Even while taking the eye drops, your vision will remain affected after the surgery, for a given while. The period of distortion will depend on the operation in play.
Also, your eye is likely to be swollen and have a dull ache. Your doctor will recommend some medicines to help with this, such as Paracetamol.
If you experience any complications such as intense pain or loss of vision, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Eye drops for Posterior Uveitis floaters
People suffer from posterior uveitis when the back part of the uvea gets inflamed. It can also affect other parts of the eye, such as the retina.
This inflammation leads to amassing of cells around the retina, which you see as floaters. Causes of this condition vary, and there is a strong link between it and auto-immune disorders. People with weak immune systems and other infections are likely to experience this inflammation.
Other than floaters, people with this condition also experience blurred vision and light sensitivity. Additionally, they could see distorted images and battle with excess tearing and redness in their eyes.
Dealing with this condition from an early stage is essential. Otherwise, the inflammation could damage the eye and lead to loss of vision. When treating the condition, your doctor will focus on the causative factor. One such treatment mode is the use of steroids. These work fast and do not cost much. They are thus a popular way of treating inflammation.
Where the inflammation results from an infection, your doctor can prescribe eye drops. They can be antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals. They work in bringing down the inflammation.
In some cases, the doctor may choose to rely on oral meds. It owes to the uvea being at the back of the eye. Thus penetration could be a problem.
Some people get surgery done, and in this case, eye drops would apply, as shown under retinal detachment. Surgery is rare but can be the way out for patients with recurring cases.
Eye drops for Vitreous Hemorrhage floaters
When blood vessels in your eyes rupture, the fluid leaks into the vitreous. The blood casts shadows on the retina, and you see this as floaters. Sometimes, people also experience dark spots and blurred vision.
Most people do not require any treatment to deal with the floaters, and they go away on their own. Over time, the blood clears up, and they can see as they did in the past. In some cases, treatment of the cause is necessary.
Your doctor will use dilating eye drops for the medical exam as they diagnose the condition. The drops are also administered at times to reduce eye pressure during treatment. Surgery may be necessary in some cases. When this happens, eye drops will be essential during the recovery period.
Eye floaters can be uncomfortable, more so in the beginning. In some cases, you learn to live with them as the brain adjusts to their presence. In others, you need to treat the underlying cause as it could damage your eyes.
Be sure to check with your doctor to find out what treatment options apply in your case. Surgery is always an option. However, you should check if the pros outweigh the cons.