The risks of eye floater treatment are low but include cataract progression and retinal detachment.
Persistent eye floaters can be a significant hindrance to daily activities. Patients with these symptoms may choose to undergo surgical or laser floater removal, each with its own benefits and risks.
Laser floater removal, being non-invasive, is generally considered a lower risk procedure than surgery. The laser works by vaporizing large floaters suspended in the jelly that fills the eye. During this procedure, the retina specialist is careful not to treat too close to the retina or the lens. If laser energy is imparted to either of these structures, a patient could experience retinal damage or a cataract.
Surgical floater removal, known as vitrectomy, offers a more complete and permanent treatment for floaters. However, there is a 1% risk for retinal detachment in the weeks or months after vitrectomy. Furthermore, any patients who have not had cataract surgery by the time of their vitrectomy will experience a worsening of their cataract in the years following their surgical floater removal.