Laser Floater Removal

Eye floaters—small dots, lines, or shadows in your vision that move (or float) away when you try to focus on them—are very common. These tiny flecks are often more noticeable when looking at light, plain colored backgrounds and can appear as squiggles, rings, knobbly lines, or little cobwebs. In most cases, they’re not serious, and are caused by changes in the vitreous (the jelly-like substance within the eye). Cells clump together and are perceived as the shadows we call floaters. In some cases, they might appear as tiny flashes of light. Floaters that have been there for a long time and don’t change in size or appearance are generally nothing to worry about. There are instances where the sudden appearance or changes of floaters might be a symptom of something more serious, such as retinal detachment. In such an event, you should contact your ophthalmologist urgently for an assessment.

Before Eye Laser Floaters Treatment

See frequent showers of small dots and flashes of light.

After Eye Laser Floaters Treatment

No longer see frequent floaters or flashes and vision is back to normal.

How Do I Know If I Need an Eye Floaters Doctor Near Me?

Should eye floaters suddenly increase in number or severity, or over a short period, then you should immediately seek attention from an eye floater doctor nearby. This is because it can be a sign of an underlying serious condition, such as a torn retina. Other red flags would be floaters appearing after any eye trauma, post-medical treatment to the eye, or for those who are diabetic.

For many people, floaters don’t cause a problem. After time, we mostly become accustomed to them and don’t even notice they’re there. But for others, they can become more than just an irritation—some people even give up activities because floaters become so intrusive. Working on computer screens is an oft-mentioned reason for wanting floaters to be removed, even in younger people. 

Floaters are often age-related. As we get older the vitreous shrinks, pulling tiny amounts of collagen fibers from the retina with it. These cast shadows in the eye and we see them as floaters. While benign, if floaters detract from your quality of life you might consider having them removed. This is a treatment that’s performed by an ophthalmologist experienced in the treatment of floaters. They will examine your eyes and determine whether or not you’re suitable for treatment. If you are, there are two ways that floaters are treated:

  • A vitrectomy: This involves removing the natural vitreous from the eye and replacing it with an artificial salt solution. 

This is an invasive surgical procedure that’s performed under a general anesthetic. It’s highly successful but comes with some associated risks, such as cataract formation and retinal tears/detachment. Your laser floater specialist will determine whether such a procedure is appropriate.

In most situations, laser floater removal is likely to be the chosen option. This is also referred to as YAG vitreolysis.

  • YAG vitreolysis: This utilizes a non-invasive laser to target the clumps within the vitreous that are responsible for floaters. It’s performed during an out-patient procedure, takes up to 3 sessions at 4-6 week intervals, and has a typical success rate of over 90%. The procedure should only be carried out by an expert practitioner.


What Happens During Eye Floater Surgery or Laser Floater Removal?

YAG vitreolysis, or laser floater surgery, involves aiming pulses of laser light at the clumps within the vitreous. This breaks them down, converting them into a gas that dissipates, removing the floater entirely, or reducing it to such a tiny level that it’s no longer noticeable.

The procedure is carried out in the following manner:

  • The eye surgeon will use anesthetic drops to numb your eyes
  • A special type of contact lens is placed on the eye/s
  • The surgeon will then target the laser treatment into the eye through the contact lens using a microscope that allows for high accuracy
  • Treatment typically takes no longer than 20-30 minutes, although it requires 2, or even 3, sessions that are carried out a few weeks apart
  • Afterward, you’ll be given anti-inflammatory eyedrops

While the treatment is being carried out you’ll probably see the appearance of tiny specks and dots. This is the floaters being broken down into gas bubbles. These soon dissolve and are absorbed into the vitreous.

Post-treatment, you may experience some minor discomfort and redness, have blurred vision, and see tiny dark specks in the lower part of the vision. This is all quite normal and is short-lived.

How Does WBEC Provide Eye Floaters Treatment?

The West Boca Eye Center offers patients the very latest in eye floater removal treatment. Technological advances continue to bring increasingly improved solutions to this laser treatment, and no ophthalmologist is more proactive in this field than the lead clinician at WBEC, Brent Bellotte MD. 

Highly regarded throughout the world of ophthalmology, Bellotte is globally recognized as playing a pivotal role in bringing cutting-edge vision improvement solutions to the mainstream. His work as an academic and practicing eye surgeon means that patients of the WBEC can benefit from the very latest laser solutions. Having performed thousands of such laser procedures, Dr. Bellotte and his team are in the enviable position of being able to offer the very latest laser treatments that have been proven to bring the highest results.

For every single patient, the clinical team at WBEC carries out highly advanced diagnostic tests to determine the reason for the floaters, the type, and the suitability for laser floater removal surgery.

What are floaters and flashes?

Floaters appear as small dots or lines in your field of vision. They appear to be in front of the eye but are actually floating inside. Floaters are caused by small clumps of cells inside the fluid that fills the eye. Flashes, on the other hand, appear as flashing lights or light streaks. Flashes are often compared to seeing “stars” like when one bumps their head. Flashes are caused by rubbing or pulling on the retina.

What are the symptoms?

“Showers” of small dots. Sudden or persistent flashes of light.

How is it treated?

Treatment for floaters and flashes depends on underlying condition. Not all floaters and flashes are serious, but some may damage to your retina. Always have an eye examination to prevent this possibility.

What causes eye floaters?

Eye floaters can form in anyone and are often completely harmless. They’re often associated with advancing age, as the vitreous (the jelly-like substance within the eye) naturally shrinks. As it does it pulls away from the retina, taking with it tiny strands of collagen-rich tissue, rather like strands of a spider’s web. These clump together and float about within the vitreous.

This is a natural progression of aging and is the most common cause of floaters. Other reasons that floaters form include:

    • Posterior uveitis: This is inflammation at the back of the eye. Debris can be released into the eye as a result of infection, causing floaters to form
    • Eye trauma: Any injury to the eye has the potential to cause bleeding. Blood in the eye can form a floater


  • Diabetic retinopathy: Floaters can form as part of the progression of the disease


The sudden appearance, or change in number, of floaters, can be symptomatic of a serious problem, such as a torn or detached retina, an infection within the eye, tumors, or as the result of an autoimmune condition.

What do eye floaters look like?

Eye floaters come in many different forms. Some people see them as dots or specks: others describe them as cobwebs, squiggly lines, semi-transparent knobbly strings, or rings. They can also appear as minuscule flashes of light.

While most are small, in some cases floaters can appear in a larger form that might form a slight shadow over your vision. In time, most people get used to them and become virtually unaware that they’re there. However, some find them intrusive and seek specialist eye floaters removal from an expert.

Floaters are often more apparent when looking at a plain bright background, such as the sky or a white piece of paper. The bright background of a computer screen can also highlight floaters.

Can a floater in the eye be removed?

In most cases there’s no need to consider floater removal—you become accustomed to them and are, most of the time, unaware that they’re there. But there are instances when floaters can have an impact on a person’s quality of life, especially in the case of multiple or large size floaters.

There are treatments available to remove them. The most popular and least invasive is that of laser floater removal. This procedure is carried out using a special kind of laser that breaks the floater down and removes it permanently. Such a solution is carried out under local anesthetic, is fast, and usually requires 2 or 3 treatments for the best success. These are carried out 4-6 weeks apart.

Another, more invasive, solution is a vitrectomy. This involves the partial or complete removal of the vitreous (the gel-like substance within the eye) and replacing it with a saline solution. This is performed under general anesthetic and only tends to be carried out in certain situations, such as when laser floater removal isn’t appropriate or fails to have the desired effect.

How long does a floater stay in your eye?

Floaters generally reduce in size or sink to the lower portion of your vision over weeks or months. While they don’t really disappear completely, in most cases you become so accustomed to them that you fail to notice they’re there. They might become more apparent when you’re looking at a plain, bright background, such as the sky. They can also be more intrusive when looking at a computer screen.

How to get rid of eye floaters?

While most floaters don’t require any treatment, if they become too noticeable then your eye specialist may suggest they be removed. There are two ways of doing this, and the former is by far the most common and lowest risk procedure to do so.


  • Laser floater removal: This is a highly effective method whereby a special type of laser is used to break down the clumps within the vitreous that cause floaters. The procedure is non-invasive and is carried out under local anesthetic. It usually requires 2 or 3 treatments carried out 4-6 weeks apart. Advancing technology means sophisticated lasers with a high degree of accuracy are used to target the floaters, with over 90% of people being satisfied with the results.


  • Vitrectomy: This is a more invasive surgery that’s carried out in the operating room (so you’ll be put to sleep for the procedure). Part or all of the vitreous is removed from the eye and replaced with a salt solution.