How to Reduce Eye Floaters Naturally

12 sources cited
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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:

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.

These supplements contain:

  • L-lysine
  • Vitamin C
  • Grape seed extract 
  • Zinc
  • Citrus aurantium

3. Rest 

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.

Vitrectomy

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:

Laser vitreolysis 

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

Summary

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.

12 Cited Research Articles
  1. Boyd, K. “What are floaters and flashes?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2021.
  2. Prevent Blindness. “Eye diseases and conditions; floaters,” n.d.
  3. Latifah, L., et al. “Vitreous floaters.” Eye and Sight Journal, 2022.
  4. American Optometric Association. “Diet and nutrition,” n.d.
  5. Ankamah, E., et al. “Dietary intervention with a targeted micronutrient formulation reduces the visual discomfort associated with vitreous degeneration.” Translational Vision Science and Technology, 2021.
  6. Associated Retina Consultants. “Can stress cause eye floaters?” n.d.
  7. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “How lack of sleep affects your eyesight,” 2020.
  8. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. “Ask an expert: Should I be worried about the floaters in my eye?” 2017.
  9. Horng, C., et al. “Pharmacologic vitreolysis of vitreous floaters by 3-month pineapple supplement in Taiwan: A pilot study.” Journal of American Science, 2019.
  10. American Society of Retina Specialists. “Vitrectomy for floaters,” 2016.
  11. Science Daily. “Annoyed by floating specks in your vision? You may soon be able to zap them away,” 2017.
  12. Green, K. “How can you prevent eye floaters?” Optimax Eye Surgery, 2022.
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