lasik and floaters

LASIK surgery is only used to fix a few problems, but those few problems happen to be extremely common. While LASIK is certainly amazing at what it’s used for, it can’t fix everything. There is a big misconception that LASIK can be used to correct a multitude of vision problems or diseases, and this, unfortunately, isn’t true. One question that we often see floating around the internet (no pun intended) is: can LASIK get rid of my floaters?

What Are Floaters?

First, let’s explain what floaters actually are and how they occur.

“Floaters” often appear as tiny specks on the surface of your eye, floating around in your visual field. No matter how many times your blink or rub your eyes, they just don’t seem to go away. This is because they aren’t on the surface of your eye, but are actually inside of your eye.

The middle of your eye, called your eye cavity, is filled with a “gel”-like substance called vitreous gel, or vitreous humor. In younger patients, the vitreous remains quite gel-like. As you age, however, the vitreous becomes more of a liquid. Floaters become more common as you age and the vitreous gel begins to liquefy. The floaters you see in our vision are usually just pieces of gel that didn’t liquefy. You floaters are literally floating around inside of your eye!

You can’t actually see the floaters in your eye moving around like debris. What you do see, however, is the shadow they cast on the retina. A few floaters are no big deal, but a large amount of floaters can actually obscure vision. Floaters themselves are harmless and are considered just a part of the aging process. Even so, patients often become quite frustrated with this condition and seek treatment.

Can LASIK Surgery Fix Floaters?

Because we know that floaters live inside of your eye and not on the surface, the answer is no. LASIK surgery only has the ability to change the shape of your cornea and cannot fix anything going on inside of your eye cavity.

LASIK surgery can only correct refractive errors. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Laser therapy can be used to treat floaters, but not in the same way that LASIK treats refractive errors. If you need help with your floaters, we recommend contacting your ophthalmologist for an opinion on whether or not they should be treated.

If you want to know more about what LASIK can (and cannot) do for you, contact our Nashville area office today! Our expert LASIK doctors are here to walk you through every step of the way, and if LASIK is not right for you, they can help you find the procedure that is. Contact Loden today by calling or scheduling an appointment online!