Eye floaters, also called vitreous opacities, look like specs, dots, circles, or squiggles in your field of vision. Eye floaters appear as an outside element of the environment but come from inside your eye.
Eye floaters originate as clumps of gel or cells in the vitreous (jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye). These clumps cast shadows on your retina (light-sensing layer in the back of the eye) and show up as tiny black dots in your field of vision.
Floaters are typically not severe and disappear over time. They are common with age. However, they can also signify retinal detachment, a medical emergency.
Common causes of non-serious eye floaters include:
- Nearsightedness (trouble seeing far away)
- Cataract surgery
- History of eye inflammation
While an eye doctor should evaluate persistent eye floaters, we have outlined four ways to reduce occasional floaters from your field of vision naturally.
4 Ways to Reduce Eye Floaters Naturally
Here are four ways to manage or reduce eye floaters naturally:
1. Ignore them
Since floaters typically disappear independently, learning to ignore them is the least invasive way to reduce eye floaters from your visual field.
Eye exercises that help reduce the perception of eye floaters include:2
- Moving your eye around to shift eye fluid and reduce floaters
- Extending your focus to distant objects, which helps avoid looking directly at the eye floater
Over time, the brain can selectively adapt and ignore floaters.3 Talk with your doctor if floaters interfere with your vision and daily activities.
2. Diet changes
Eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and staying hydrated can improve overall eye health.
Supplements containing a micronutrient formulation consisting of antioxidants (commercially sold as VitroCap N) have been shown to reduce and treat eye floaters.5
These supplements contain:
- Vitamin C
- Grape seed extract
- Citrus aurantium
While stress doesn’t directly cause eye floaters, it can lead to eye fatigue and cause eye floaters to seem more abundant.6
A lack of sleep can also induce eye strain and lead to visual symptoms, including:
- Light sensitivity
- Reduced peripheral vision (side vision)
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Eye twitching
Resting your eyes and getting plenty of sleep can help reduce eye floaters and minimize symptoms of eye strain.
4. Protect your eyes
Prolonged use of a computer or digital device and exposure to harsh light can lead to eye strain and the appearance of eye floaters.8
Strategies for minimizing eye strain include:
- Take frequent breaks from your computer
- Limit screen time
- Turn down the brightness on your computer
- Eliminate sources of glare
- Wear sunglasses outside
- Dim indoor lights if they are too bright
Do Natural Remedies Actually Work?
Most natural remedies used to reduce the appearance of eye floaters are subjective and based on personal experience.
Many natural remedies are recommended to boost overall eye health and not eye floaters directly, including:
- Stress reduction
- Healthy diet and hydration
- Minimizing bright lights
- Eye exercises
- Getting plenty of sleep
No scientifically proven anecdote dissolves eye floaters naturally. However, studies have shown that antioxidant dietary supplements significantly decreased eye floaters and discomfort compared to a placebo group.5
The enzyme bromelain, found in pineapple, has also been linked to a decrease in eye floaters. One study reported that 70% of participants who consumed pineapple daily had a reduction in eye floaters.9
Best Professional Treatments for Eye Floaters
Typically, eye floaters are not severe. However, professional treatments are an option if they are persistent and interfere with your vision and daily activities.
A vitrectomy removes the eye’s vitreous through a small incision. It is replaced with a solution to maintain eye shape.
Vitrectomy surgery does not guarantee that floaters will not return. Risks from a vitrectomy include:
- Cataract formation
- Retinal tear or detachment
- Macular pucker (scar tissue)
Vitreolysis uses laser treatment to target eye floaters directly and break them into smaller fragments, clearing up your field of vision. People who are good candidates for vitreolysis include those who:
- Have floater symptoms that persist for longer than 4 months
- Have floaters that affect activities of daily living (reading, driving, watching TV)
- Feel their quality of life is affected
- Do not have severe eye conditions (cataracts, retinal tearing, clouding of the cornea or lens)
How to Prevent New Eye Floaters
Eye floaters are common as we age, and the vitreous becomes thinner. Most people will experience eye floaters at some point in their lives.
While they are typically harmless, they can affect daily activities and quality of life. Tips for preventing new eye floaters include:
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet rich in antioxidants
- Quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake
- Drink plenty of water
- Get quality sleep
- Limit screen time
- Wear sunglasses outdoors
- Dim bright lights
- Reduce stress and anxiety
Eye floaters are dark spots, circles, or squiggly lines that appear in your field of vision and are caused by a clumping of cells in the vitreous of the eye (gel substance that gives the eye its shape).
Eye floaters are common as we age and are typically harmless. However, persistent eye floaters can signify a detached retina, which is a medical emergency.
Natural remedies to help reduce eye floaters include eating a healthy diet, reducing screen time, wearing eye protection, and getting plenty of rest. Surgical treatments to remove eye floaters include a vitrectomy and laser vitreolysis.
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