How To Cope With Floaters

People say eye floaters are only a problem for those who obsess about them.

However, as they are present in your eyes almost every second of the day, it can be a hard challenge to overcome.

Considering that surgery is only an option for those with severe floaters, coping mechanisms are essential for those who have trouble living with floaters.

 

IMPORTANT:

Before you proceed reading this article, please DOWNLOAD THIS PDF right here

 

How To Cope: Tactics and Strategies

The first year of floaters is definitely the worst. Following the first year, floaters are still very bothersome and annoying, but mentally you will be in a better state.

Here is a list of tips that could help cope with floaters:

 

  1. Stay Active.Sitting still and doing nothing may cause your mind to overthink your floaters, resulting in anxiety and worry. When you start to feel this way, get up and do something. Go for a walk or a bike ride, catch up with a friend, put on your favorite DVD, TV show, exercise, etc. Basically do whatever you like to do the most. This is especially important during the first year of floaters since it’s the worst period (because it is still new to you).

 

Eye floaters themselves can’t hurt you, but worrying endlessly about them can affect your mental health and drag you down, resulting in depression and frustration. For highly stressed people, it can increase inflammatory markers and make you more sensitive to pain. Keeping busy can be a great help in overcoming your eye floater anxiety.

 

  1. Accept them and Stay Positive: As bad as it sounds, just accept that you have them. The more you fight with yourself, the more depressed and angry you will get. Try to remember that technology and medicine have advanced so much in the past and only continue to grow, so a safer solution will come. Just be patient. Don’t give up hope.

 

  1. Exercise: Try to exercise if you can. Do more cardio, it will help blood flow get to your eyes and brain, which will help improve your self esteem and allow you to focus less on your floaters.

 

  1. Sunglasses: Brown Polarized Sunglasses: This really will help disguise the floaters so they are not as obvious, especially on sunny days.  To best protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, always wear good quality sunglasses when you are outdoors and look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of all UV rays.

 

  1. Using dark mode on Computers/Electronic Devices that allow: Change your screen to dark mode–the benefits of this are not to be underestimated–or dim your screen at the very least to reduce glare. Having a darker screen will make the floaters much harder to notice. This would also help you remain focused on what you are doing and will reduce a lot of frustration. Then floaters won’t stop you from doing work, chatting with friends, watching videos or spending more time on your pc/laptop if needed.

Also dark mode helps with eye strain. Generally, eyes get tired and sore with white backgrounds, even if one lowers the brightness. Dark mode is easy on the eyes.

 

Dark Mode Tips:

  • Windows display settings has the option to invert all colors, so a white webpage/doc will become black with white text, learm how to setup dark mode by clicking here.

 

  1. Reducing brightness on devices: Reduce the brightness of the electronic device if you cannot use dark mode

 

  1. Managing Surroundings

 

 

Office/Indoors: Bright office lights and clinical white walls are particularly problematic for eye floater sufferers, and it can be distressing working on a computer. If you have a white wall in front of you, put up a poster, picture frame, or plants and try to get more color in your office. Interiors with darker tones and more paintings or visual distractions can alleviate symptoms.It is important to communicate to your employer if you are struggling. No one will know you are struggling unless you tell them.

 

Outside Environment: It can be harder to control external environments compared to your office or home. Summer holiday destinations like beaches, coastal towns, and big open spaces will be more stress-inducing for floater-sufferers as floaters are harder to ignore on sunny days. Bright spaces, white skies and minimalist decor can suddenly become major sources of visual anxiety. A pair of good sunglasses has the ability to help reduce the amount of light your eyes receive which helps to reduce the amount that your pupils constrict in response to bright light, and this makes floaters less visible.

 

  1. Keep stress levels down

Meditation: Meditation has been practiced by individuals all over the world for thousands of years and can really help reduce your stress levels and allow you to gain control over your emotions because it calms an overactive brain. There are many different types and styles to choose from on the internet.  “Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.”– Ajahn Brahm

 

Medication: Some people have reported that antI-anxiety medications have helped immensely. Seek help from your medical provider regarding this.

 

Talk to someone: Find someone to talk to about your eye floaters–a friend, partner etc. Sometimes just letting them know they’re bothering you helps to reduce your stress.

 

 

  1. Other Healthy Items

Healthy Diet: Try to eat a healthier diet. Cutting out sugars and fatty foods will not only make you feel better but can help make some of the smaller floaters less noticeable (anecdotal). Eat lots of fruits and veggies high in antioxidants, and avoid foods that are inflammatory.

 

Screen Time/Blue Light Filter: Use blue light filters on your phone and night eye chrome extension on computers. Also reduce screen time. If you’re playing video games or doing work on the computer, take a break every 15 minutes or so.

 

Get more sleep/rest your eyes. It is important to get enough sleep and rest your eyes because if you don’t, your eyes will become more sensitive to light. Getting good sleep will help your body to relax and recharge, reducing stress levels and simultaneously reducing the intensity of your reactions to stimuli such as eye floaters.

 

Finally, live your life as best you can, do not give your floaters center stage in your life, they do not deserve the limelight, focus on keeping your mind stronger than your emotions.

 

Unite for Clear Vision

 

 

 

 

 

EYE FLOATERS RESEARCH UPDATE | JULY 2020

Dear VDM Project supporters,

 

Welcome to this latest update of the project, we’re excited to share some new developments of the past couple of months.

 

As you may know, our first target is to develop better technology and techniques for imaging vitreous, which is essential to develop better diagnostic and treatment modalities.  The most promising work in this field so far has been using ultrasound technology.

 

Ultrasound Imaging

 

The use of ultrasound to provide assessment of vitreous has been in development for around 5 years.   It is extremely useful to quantify vitreous disease severity and the response to therapy. However, there is still work to be done with new advances in ultrasound technology that can provide much higher resolution and more accurate imaging.

 

The next step for the work at VMR Research is to incorporate the use of a new probe that has 5 sensors, as opposed to the single array that has been used to date. This should help achieve much better quality images.  A VMR Research collaborator presented this new 5-in-one ultrasound probe at the World Ophthalmology Congress. (26 – 29 June 2020)  We will send out more news on this presentation as soon as we can.

 

This ultrasound research and development will be done in partnership with Columbia University and Riverside Research in New York.  Future ultrasound studies will not only measure the size and number of floaters, but also analyze the importance of location within the vitreous body.

It is hoped that dynamic assessment of vitreous displacement during eye movement will more closely replicate the patient experience during reading and driving. This should provide new ways to assess severity of disease and the response to therapy.

As patients, we know that activities like reading and playing sport are made much more challenging by moving eye floaters, so this research will be a significant step in helping to better understand VDM and its impact upon quality-of-life.

 

For anyone interested in learning more about the use of ultrasound in quantifying vitreous floaters, and some of the work Professor Sebag has completed so far, this article is a good starting point:

https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2212941

 

Here are a few videos of vitreous ultrasonography: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/by5axb4c41lq0wg/AABWkpwelG_gqkkY9ljbsspAa?dl=0

 

Alternative imaging research: OCT – Optical Coherence Tomography

 

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology uses light instead of sound to create an image, and can show the microstructure and anatomy of the inside and back of the eye. In vitreous, OCT could enableprecise localization e of the opacities that cause floaters and Vision Degrading Myodesopsia (VDM)..

Currently, OCT only images the back part of the vitreous body, which is not very useful for the study of VDM in research and the evaluation of patients in practice. Research teams working in Poland (Nicolas Copernicus University) and Spain (University of Murcia) are collaborating with VMR Research to develop new OCT technology to image the entire vitreous body. This is a big step forward, and plans are to make this imaging 3-dimensional, providing a comprehensive assessment of the human vitreous body in vivo.

 

How is the VDM Project using donations?

Up to now, the donations sent to the VDM Project have been used to directly support Professor Sebag and his team at VMR Research.  They have just submitted an article to the American Journal of Ophthalmology which provides a detailed examination of myopia and its relation to vitreous structure and function.  This is an important subject for the VDM Project because myopia is the second leading cause of VDM.  Also by publishing this work new interest will be generated amongst the professional community, creating more opportunities for R & D collaboration in future.  The article is currently in the review stage and is expected to be published in around 4 – 6  months’ time, the normal time-frame for scientific publications.

 

Going forward, donations will partly be used to support the work on imaging  vitreous using  ultrasound technology, as described above, the OCT imaging project, as well as other projects studying VDM in different patient groups, such as those who have had cataract surgery. There are also plans for public health outreach to the global community of floater sufferers and public awareness campaigns to raise general awareness of this important problem.

 

How to support this work

 

We hope everyone will sign up to the newsletter and help spread the word about the VDM Project.  It is critical that we continue to grow our community to reach as many people as possible, and to increase our influence to change perceptions in the medical community.

>>>SUPPORT THE RESEARCH PROJECTS HERE<<<

Thanks again for supporting this unique project, we have confidence that it will succeed and we hope you share this confidence.

 

Let’s unite for clear vision.

 

Dymock Brett | VDM Project Leadership Team