Italian Association for Vitreous Floaters
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From our discussion in the previous section "The causes", it is obvious that the lack of detailed studies concerning the causes of the floaters makes it very difficult to identify effective preventive actions. Nonetheless, we are able to indicate some guidelines that could help, also from a psychological point of view, to maintaining an existing situation. Again, we want to highlight the fact that these notes are not meant to replace in any way the advice of a doctor.

Certainly, the degenerative process of the vitreous can be delayed:

  • Drinking much water with meals; it is important to drink water with meals and not only between meals, as water is mainly assimilated when consuming food. Drinking a lot of water between meals does not improve the state of hydration of the organism as a whole;
  • Avoiding exposure to the sun without appropriate protection. UVA and UVB radiation, due to its high energy, is mostly responsible for the acceleration of the processes of cellular aging and degeneration of ialuronic acid in the vitreous and in the crystalline lens fibres (this latter problem relates more to the cataract);
  • Avoiding traumas to head and in general sport activities that could increase such risk;
  • Trying to maintain a constant rhythm between sleep and being awake paying attention to, for what it is possible, one’s own need of sleep: a good rest helps the patient to accept his/her floaters.
  • The fact that a wrong diet can in some way contribute to the increase of the floaters is somewhat dubious. Lacking detailed studies, however, we want to recommend a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, with a limited amount of animal fats and calories. The presence of free radicals can only accelerate the aging processes, thus indirectly involving the vitreous as well;
  • Along with these guidelines, it is important to mention the necessity of a mental attitude less obsessive-compulsive towards the condition: often the affected patients (and especially in the early phases) tend to blame themselves and to look for a cause in their own lifestyle. This attitude, certainly mistaken, is often fostered by the lack of satisfactory answers from the medical class. Indeed, ophthalmologists very often dismiss the problem easily (unless it is the symptom of a much more serious ocular problem). The very presence of a more positive psychological attitude can be of great help in learning to cohabit with this disturbance: it is fundamental not to panic, to keep calm and not to continuously fix the movements of the floaters. It also greatly helps to be concentrated in one’s own activities: the brain has a powerful mechanism of erasing the disturbance that only acts if one avoids thinking about the condition all the time. Please take notice that this attitude of psychological resistance must categorically not be confused with a passive and resigned acceptance of the problem: it is our right to firmly demand an increase in awareness from the medical profession for the debilitating floaters, leading to more thorough researching of the causes and, obviously, of a cure not involving the risks of a vitrectomy.

We conclude by stressing the fact that the way one chooses to adapt psychologically to the presence of floaters is absolutely personal and cannot be generalised. For this reason, we must encourage people, especially for the most serious cases, to seek the advice of a doctor or ophthalmologist. This despite the fact (and we say this on personal experience) that an ophthalmologist will often tend to confuse the physical problem with the mental attitude of the patient as a whole (and this can not always be the correct interpretation).

It is finally worth to briefly mention integrators of anti-oxidants, to which a different section of this site is dedicate. Very likely, considering the very anatomy of the vitreous humour, which is substantially a closed system that exchanges with the outside only through very slow osmotic processes, the interaction with drugs or integrators assumed for alimentary way is not ideal. Certainly, the regular assumption, by means of integrators and/or in the food, of anti-oxidants can only but slow down the aging processes. It is still to be established how much the vitreous body can be influenced by such substances. Of this, we will speak extensively in another section of this site.