Research for Eye Floaters Treatment
Welcome to our quest to find a safe non-surgical treatment for vitreous floaters!
How you can help make a difference today:
1. A Donation to support eye floaters research
2. Sharing our page with your networks:
The Eye on Vision Foundation is supporting ground-breaking research efforts into a non-surgical treatment for vitreous floaters.
Hello! I'm Jen Ambrose, and I would like to share with you my story. In July 2005 I woke up one morning with my eyes full of eye floaters. Debris was swishing around all over the inside of my eyes. I went to the eye doctor immediately and was told that there was nothing that they could do. I had developed floaters and there was no treatment or research being done in the field. I was told I would have to learn to live with them. For 9 long years I "learned" to live with them. This meant never going outside without sunglasses, wearing sunglasses in flourescent lighting and in rooms with windows, using extreme concentration while driving due to the constant "dirty fishbowl" vision. This year my floaters have worsened and now I have trouble reading small print, as I have to "look through" the dark gray floater that recently developed in my right eye's central vision. I can't drive at night with the glare of the headlights reflecting off the floaters in my eyes, and daytime driving is a nightmare too as I have to constantly look up, down, left and right to move the floaters out of my way for a second or two. Then they float right back. I see them all the time, and have at least 20 in each eye. Still no treatment available and no current research on treating floaters with drug therapies.
The Eye on Vision Foundation is supporting research for a safe non-surgical treatment for vitreous eye floaters, without the risk of cataract formation, retinal detachment, vitreous frill, glaucoma or other visual risks and side effects.
What are Floaters:
What are vitreous eye floaters? Eye floaters are spots in your vision. They may look like black or gray specks, strings, lines, clouds or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes. While floaters may be non-bothersome for some patients, others have a more severe case, which greatly affect their quality of life. Many patients who suffer with floaters cannot read well, use the computer, spend time outdoors, or drive. Research has also shown that patients with floaters often times suffer from a loss of contrast sensitivity, possibly due to the light scattering that floaters cause.
Why is there no drug research now:
While the medical community as a whole has taught doctors to treat floaters as benign and a normal part of aging, this condition should not be seen as normal. Billions of dollars are spent in the cosmetics industry to rid people of wrinkles (which is also a normal part or aging), so why wouldn’t research be done to rid people of gray lines and clouds in their vision? Why? Because floaters have yet to be truly recognized as a disease. The Eye on Vision Foundation strives to change this outlook in the medical community.
Current Options for Floaters:
There are currently 3 options for floater sufferers.
1) Do nothing - just live with them
2) Undergo a vitrectomy
A vitrectomy is an eye surgery that was designed as a “sight-saving” procedure to reach the retina, which also removes the vitreous. There are two types of vitrectomy - a full and a core. The full usually requires the induction of a PVD in an attempt to remove as much of the vitreous as possible. With a core viretctomy the middle of the vitreous is removed leaving a thin layer of vitreous gel around the lens and the retina itself. For patients with floaters extremely close to the retina or the lens, a core vitrectomy may not be enough to relieve their symptoms.
Recent statistics on a core vitrectomy can be found here:
Vitrectomy For Floaters – Prospective Efficacy Analyses and Retrospective Safety Profile
Some of the risks of vitrectomy include:
Bleeding, mild or severe
Excessive scar tissue formation
High or low pressure in the eye
3) Laser Treatment
This treatment is offered at a few places around the world. Results vary greatly and there are very few statistics to support the prodecure (primarily just patient accounts that you read on the web).
The risks of treating with laser are very similar to that of vitrectomy.
Patients with severe floaters have flown to other states and countries seeking out vitrectomy and laser surgery to try and rid themselves of floaters.
Imagine something being so bad with your eyes that you would fly half way around the world and risking vision complications just for the chance at some relief. It’s a terrible choice for patients to make.
This is why, it is our strong belief that pharmacologic vitreolysis (the use of drugs) is the safest future cure for vitreous floaters. Our hope is to have a novel enzyme developed for dissolving floaters.
In order to develop pharmacologic vitreolysis (drugs) for the purpose of dissolving floaters, adequate tools are needed to evaluate the effects of different drugs at different concentrations for varied durations of exposure.
One tool that is needed to evaluate this is a light scattering apparatus. This tool will facilitate both objective and clinical measures of light scattering by floaters as well as the development of a pharmacologic vitreolysis (drug) cure.
There are several informative research articles which can be found on Dr. Sebag's site - VMR Institute.
VMR Research Publications
I know I’m including a lot of scientific terminology, but it is important for people to be informed. My retina doctor says that I know more about the vitreous and retina than 99.9% of his patients. Trust me, I wish that I didn’t, but I suffer greatly from a severe case of vitreous floaters and have for a decade. They have recently worsened to the point where I spend maybe 5 minutes a day on the computer and I only drive locally and never at night. I’m 37 years old, and there are 80 year olds that see more clearly than I do. I’m 100% dedicated to finding a safe treatment for vitreous floaters. With your help, we can get this very important research started again. Remember, all people will develop floaters. There are many reasons why – eye injury, the need for distance glasses (myopia), LASIK, prior YAG surgery, cataract surgery or as a natural part of the aging process. The question is to what degree? Will you luck out any get one or two that you barely ever notice or will you be less fortunate and develop 20, 30, or more in each eye that you see even in dim light and with sunglasses on? There is no way to know for sure, but once they are there, they are there to stay. Let’s work together to change that and find a treatment for vitreous eye floaters!
You can help make a difference today in the lives of many!
Please make a donation to support eye floaters research.
If you are reading this than you may have come across our page while searching for a treatment. Most people *think* that they will come across a prescription, herbal rememdy, supplement, eye exercise, or something else to alleviate their floaters. There isn't one. Please know that I wish that there was, but there isn't. You can spend your money trying vitamin after vitamin, and eye drop after drop, with no results at all, or you can donate the money that you would spend, to this research project. Something important to understand is that there are not big eye research centers trying to find a floaters treatment. No one is looking. It might be hard to believe, but it is true. Sitting back and waiting for something to happen, isn't going to produce any results. Making a donation today to help support research will make a difference.
Remember that every dollar really does count. It will go straight to the research efforts. You will be a part of something that will affect the quality of vision and life for many people suffering from eye floaters, whether it is the "annoying" kind of floaters or the truely debilating kind. If you have taken the time to read this message, please consider following up with a contribution. It would be greatly appreciated!
Please also start sharing our page with your friends, family and co-workers:
Eye On Vision Foundation
I have been asked to give an update on floaters research efforts. Unfortunately whenever I have an update, I always make sure to post one. There is currently no new information to share at this time. In the past year we have been presented with one research opportunity, which we are still waiting to hear more information on and see what the basic science results are that come from it are. This is the laser technique proposed by Dr. Tassignon. If EOVF does choose to support this research in the future, the funding campaign will be separate from this current campaign and not run through here.
I wanted to reach out and let everyone know that we are still searching for a pharmacological treatment to be researched, but have yet to find a researcher willing to take on this research. I've been presented with two funding opportunities to advance laser research for floaters, but hope to still find a research facility willing to research a pharma option. The Eye on Vision Foundation has yet to contribute to a research plan, while we await all research possibilities to be presented to us.
On a side note, there is also an individual making fake Facebook accounts and groups in the floaters community trying to sabotage research efforts. I just wanted to make our donors aware of this. If there is anything official to be stated it will be here through an official update or it will be posted on the Eye on Vision Foundation Facebook page or eyeonvision.org.
I would like to introduce our supporters to a new organization that was open in Europe to support floaters research. Their website is located at: http://floaters.info/
Please take a few moments to look through their site. Here is the project that they are looking to fund.
Eye Floaters Research with Femtolaser
The method that is going to be researched by Dr. Tassignon and her ophthalmological team consists in a new groundbreaking technique applied to dissolve all type of vitreous eye floaters.
The current YAG laser has been used since the 1980s to treat eye floaters. It has not proved to be efficient in treating all type of eye floaters. In fact, only a small minority of people with eye floaters can be treated. The YAG laser aims to treat certain type of floaters by trying to localize the floater and treating it with the laser. The YAG laser tries to dissolve or break down floaters. When a floater is too close to the lens or the retina it can‘t be treated because there is a risk that the laser hits the retina and / or the lens.
The new technique consists of a femtosecond laser treatment for eye floaters. The patent for this method has been requested in October 2015 and it has been approved and published on 17 March 2016. The femtosecond laser technique consists firstly in measuring the volume of the vitreous humor by OCT (optical coherence tomography) to determine the area of the vitreous humor. The OCT helps to determine the safe area of the lens and of the retina. The new OCT’s can measure very precise distances. Once this area of the vitreous humor is measured then secondly the floaters are treated.
The vitreous humor is homogenized with the femtosecond laser and the eye floaters are pulverized by this method. This physical interaction will liquefy the vitreous humor which will be similar to a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). The aim is to modify the viscosity of the vitreous and induce a PVD so that all the floaters can be treated, including the floaters in the premacular bursa. If more floaters appear after the PVD (including a weiss ring), then a subsequent treatment with the femtolaser will be performed to pulverize them all.
Patent for femtosecond laser apparatus for plasma induced vitreous ablation in the eye: https://www.google.com/patents/US20160074221
What is the difference between the YAG laser and the femtosecond laser treatment?
The difference between the YAG laser treatment and the femtosecond laser treatment is that the treatment consists of a volumetric approach towards the vitreous and not a point to point approach, such as the YAG laser. The pattern in which the femtosecond laser will be applied needs to be researched. There are many patterns and research will determine which is the best one to use. The femtosecond laser will change the consistency and viscosity of the vitreous humor and therefore eliminate all the eye floaters. By this grinding technique with the femtosecond laser the floaters will be dissolved.
Stages of the research:
Proof of principle: is positive
Laboratory research: (duration: 1 year approximately)
Animal testing: to refine the technique and determine the feasibility (duration: 1 year approximately)
Human testing: (duration: 1 year approximately)
How and why we support this research:
The Eye Floaters Research Organisation (EFRO) supports this research project with an unrestricted research grant as it is the usual way in which universities and recognized research institutions accept collaboration and sponsorship. An unrestricted research grant allows the sponsor to be involved in the research project and to support it in order to get quicker a safe and effective treatment. It will also allow the sponsor to contact the media to express their visibility as a sponsor.
The industry will not pay for this research because of conflict of interests. That is why the hospital and university of Antwerp works with non-industry related partners.
The unrestricted research grant consists of sponsoring € 60,000 / year for three consecutive years. Dr. Tassignon believes this is a realistic deadline to get the treatment in the clinic. The money funded for the unrestricted research grant will be used to pay for a PhD with no industry links to research independently this new proposed technique.
Founder and President of The Eye On Vision Foundation
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I have conducted vitreous research for the past 4 decades at different times supported by different organizations ranging from direct support provided by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and pharmaceutical companies, to indirect support to my collaborators from various organizations, most recently the National Eye Institute of the NIH. This support has resulted in tremendous expansion of our knowledge about the role of vitreous in health and disease, recently culminating in the publication of my third book on vitreous that is nearly 1,000 pages long.
I welcome the financial support of the Eye on Vision Foundation to continue my work and research, in this case specifically for vitreous eye floaters. My basic science and clinical research program is designed to develop a better understanding of vitreous floaters and how they affect vision as well as improve our ability to detect and characterize vitreous floaters in patients.
We are also developing programs to determine how these abnormalities can be improved/cured, initially by vitrectomy, subsequently perhaps by new laser therapies, and ultimately by pharmacologic vitreolysis.
Sebag J: The Vitreous - Structure, Function, and Pathobiology. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1989.
Sebag J: The vitreous. In: Adler's Physiology of the Eye. (WM Hart, Jr, ed). Mosby, St. Louis, 1992, pp 268-347.
Sebag J: Anatomie et physiologie du corps vitré. In: Encyclopedie Medico-Chirugicale. (Paris, France) Ophtalmologie 21-020-E-10, 1995
Sebag J: Vitreous – from biochemistry to clinical relevance. In: Duane’s Foundations of Clinical Ophthalmology (W Tasman & E A Jaeger, eds). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Phila, 1998
Sebag J: Surgical anatomy of vitreous and the vitreo-retinal interface. In: Clinical Ophthalmology (W Tasman, EA Jaeger, ads). JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia, 2007, Vol 6, Chapter 51
Sebag J: Vitreous Anatomy, Aging, and Anomalous Posterior Vitreous Detachment. In: Encyclopedia of the Eye (Dartt, Besharse, Dana, eds.) Elsevier, Oxford, Vol. 4, pp. 307-15, 2010
Sebag J, Green WR: Vitreous and the vitreo-retinal interface. In: Retina 5th Edition (SJ Ryan, ed.), Mosby-Elsevier, 2012
Sebag J: Vitreous – in Health & Disease. Springer, New York, 2014
Founder and President of The Eye On Vision Foundation
"LIKE" us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EyeOnVision
thanks dr jen. I ve had floaters since 2012 and trust me its not been comfortable. my doctors told me to just ignore them and move on after the eyedrops I was given proved ineffective. Reading your post now I have discovered that there is little or no hope for sufferers of this inconvenient and vision-threatening disease. I totally support the idea of donating to the trust you have set up. Meanwhile, lets be praying to God for His healing touch to go through our eyes in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, for there is no impossibility with God
About 2 and a half weeks ago, I was busy working in the early hours of the morning, I was wearing sunglasses... I looked up at the sky and saw something, Took my sunglasses off and I saw lots of clear swirley things in my eyes. Ever since then they are getting worse, I see dark ones now, And I can see them now even with my sunglasses on, I am afraid, I'm 23 years old. Some family members won't believe that I have these, They tell me, How do you know? Did the doctor tell you? Way to be supporting. I have a dream ever since I was 6 years old to become a singer. Singing is my passion, And I like to do a great many things! Such as Gaming, or Reading science articles, And try to help people if I can. I have no income, I live in South Africa. So I doubt I'd ever be able to afford a Virectomy or Laser treatment if I can not even afford a place to stay.
Are you a 501(c)(3) organization? That kind of assurance should help raise funding for a seed money fund to get going. This research will need significant funding. Finding a Principal Investigator familiar with obtaining grants from the NIH or large private foundations is essential. If you were to raise even a quarter million dollars here it wouldn't be enough to fund the serious research that's needed--but it's definitely enough seed money to attract the support and attention needed to get big government, big philanthropy, and big pharma to take notice. Given how aggravating floaters are to so many people--and beyond that, blinding--it's amazing how little eye professionals care about finding effective treatment.
15 years ago I developed 2 spots in my left eye, 10 years on the spots have grown bigger and now have lines growing from them which drift like a cobweb. This past year I have developed debris in my right eye which I would describe as cloudy with transparent lines which are growing. Very distracting and interferes with every day activities causing severe anxiety and depression. This will only get worse this is a horrible eye condition which needs to be acknowledged. I am only 26 years old.
Hi Jen please contact me as soon as you see this. I really feel i could help you reach your target over here in the UK. I also suffer with really bad eye floaters, and I have the power to bring great awareness of this issue to the UK. but need to speak with you first. Kind regards, Danny-Boy Hatchard. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
i have a black floater in my right eye, its been there for two months now and getting bigger, i dont have medical . i need some help here.i was on my harley and i thought an animal was crossing the road.it was my floater . getting dangerous . hope some one can help me also . thanks jen, call or text scott 1-573-280-8232
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Hi Jen, I've had floaters since I was twelve years old. I'm sixty four now and they are worse. I've looked into vitrectomy but don't like the chances of retinal detachment. If one retina detaches the other is likely to go too due to sympathetic retinal detachment. The chances are slim but nothing is worth blindness. The floaters confuse the brain and are tiring as some parts of the vision are in focus and the rest are not. Some days it's easier to relax about them than others and, from my experience, there are times when they decrease slightly and others where they grow worse. I too believe the right enzyme will provide a cure but doubt it will happen in my lifetime as there are too few people who suffer from them to the level we do for researchers to get funding to work on a cure.
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