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No Floaters
Use Psychological Conditioning to Stop Seeing Eye Floaters

By Mark Lorne
2006, All Rights Reserved.

Legal Information/Exclusion of Liability All information provided through No Floaters and http://www.nofloaters.com is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the care, advice, or instruction of a medical professional. Its author will not be held liable in any way for the information contained through this website. Users should consult a physician before making any lifestyle, dietary, or other health related changes. This book solely represents its authors opinion. You are responsible for your own behavior, and none of this book is to be considered personal or medical advice. Results will vary for individual users. Copyright This book is copyright 2006, with all rights

reserved. It is illegal to copy, distribute, or create derivative works from this book in whole or in part, or to contribute to the copying, distribution, or creating of derivative works of this book.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Opening Thoughts .................................................................................................. 6 Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 6 Reading the Entire Book ........................................................................................................ 6 Get Your Eyes Checked ........................................................................................................... 7 Physiological Reasoning behind Floaters ...................................................................... 7 Why Floaters are So Awful.................................................................................................... 8 Importance of the Eyes .......................................................................................................... 9

PART 1: PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES ............................................11


Chapter 2: Psychological Starters........................................................................................ 12 Initial Reactions ....................................................................................................................... 12 The Required Attitude ........................................................................................................... 12 Avoidance .................................................................................................................................... 13 Chapter 3: Why me? ................................................................................................................... 14 How People Think about Floaters.................................................................................... 14 Glasses.......................................................................................................................................... 15 Tinnitus Connection................................................................................................................ 15 Why Many People Dont See Floaters........................................................................ 16 Nature vs. Nurture .................................................................................................................. 17 About Age .................................................................................................................................... 18 Chapter 4: What Not To Do ..................................................................................................... 20 Researching................................................................................................................................ 20 Discussion ................................................................................................................................... 21 Online Discussion .................................................................................................................... 21 Writing this ................................................................................................................................. 22 Chapter 5: Questionable Cures.............................................................................................. 23 Religion......................................................................................................................................... 23 Silly Common Solutions ........................................................................................................ 23 Ordering Formulas/Medicines Online ........................................................................... 24 Hypnosis....................................................................................................................................... 24 Chapter 6: Doctors ...................................................................................................................... 26 Just Forget About Them................................................................................................... 26 The Scientific Community.................................................................................................... 26 Antidepressants ....................................................................................................................... 26 Avoiding the Nonsense ......................................................................................................... 27 Chapter 7: The Science of Not Noticing ............................................................................ 28 About Forgetting ...................................................................................................................... 28 Cocktail Party Phenomenon ............................................................................................... 28 Movement of the Eyes ........................................................................................................... 29 Biological Reasoning behind Seeing Moving Floaters ........................................... 29 Adaptation................................................................................................................................... 30 Chapter 8: Stopping Floaters Psychologically ............................................................... 32 The Day My Sunglasses Broke........................................................................................... 32

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Trying to see them can actually help me? .............................................................. 32 Why Seeing Can Help .......................................................................................................... 33 Phobia-like States and the Remedy of Flooding ...................................................... 33 How to Think Obliviously ..................................................................................................... 34 How Not to Think ..................................................................................................................... 38 Changing the Topic in Your Head .................................................................................... 38 Why This Works........................................................................................................................ 39 Bad Days ...................................................................................................................................... 39 Success ......................................................................................................................................... 40 Testing Your Progress ........................................................................................................... 41 Knowledge, Effort, Acceptance, and Time................................................................... 41 My Final Thought on Ophthalmologists ........................................................................ 42

PART 2: PHYSIOLOGICAL APPROACHES .............................................43


Chapter 9: Surgery ...................................................................................................................... 44 Laser Treatment ....................................................................................................................... 44 Virectomy .................................................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 10: Herbal Remedies ................................................................................................ 47 My Opinion on this alternative medicine Stuff ....................................................... 47 Flavonoids ................................................................................................................................... 47 Flavonoids in Food .................................................................................................................. 48 Other Substances .................................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 11: Chinese Herbal Remedies .............................................................................. 50 Yinhai Jingwei ........................................................................................................................... 50 Another Yinhai Jingwei Remedy ...................................................................................... 51 Post Yinhai Jingwei Chinese Remedies ........................................................................ 53 Chapter 12: Lifestyle Changes ............................................................................................... 54 Diet ................................................................................................................................................. 54 Exercise ........................................................................................................................................ 54 Vitamins ....................................................................................................................................... 54 Chapter 13: My Final Thoughts ............................................................................................. 55 What To Do Now ...................................................................................................................... 55

Chapter 1: Opening Thoughts


Introduction The reason people get my book is because they want and need to get floaters out of their life. I wrote this book to give you the proper tools to accomplish this goal. Such detailed information is almost never provided by those in the medical profession for reasons detailed below. There are very few technical medical terms throughout the book because I want you to thoroughly understand the concepts I present. This book is for you, the reader, not those in the medical profession (their neglect makes this necessary). The internet is full of technical explanations of the physical reasoning behind floaters, though rarely are the important psychological aspects of the condition discussed. The mental side is required for you to understand why only a limited number of people actually see floaters, despite the physical necessities (debris in the vitreous) being present in 100% of the population. Being a Psychotherapist with a degree in Psychology, I favor a psychological approach to understanding and curing floaters as a problem. Nevertheless, I have dedicated a lengthy section of the book to physical remedies (vitamins, supplements, herbal, diet, medicines, etc). Reading the Entire Book This is not the type of book that you should skim through. You must read thoroughly through this and think about the concepts that I present to you, otherwise will you miss out on the important themes and ideas that are required for your improvement. Much of the information will seem obvious, because it is not complicated. Some of it will seem like common sense, since you are likely quite familiar with many aspects of floaters. Despite this, careful reading will allow you to see the totality of floaters as a condition. Once such an understanding is gained, you will be able to apply the methods described to rid yourself of the condition. You must trust me for now that the psychological element of floaters is both the problem and the solution. Reading through this work thoroughly will give you the perspective necessary to accomplish your goal (getting rid of the floaters).

7 Ive done my best to keep the book as brief as possible for your own efficiency. Youll notice that many concepts are repeated in different ways throughout the book. This redundancy is intentional as Im trying to emphasize the most important ideas (I want you to remembers/understand them). Im a realist. I write from what I believe is a realistic perspective. As a result, you will likely encounter some ideas that you disagree with or think are completely incorrect. This is fine. I also deal with many aspects that most would not consider related to the field of floaters, however its all relevant. There is a reason behind everything contained in this book and you dont have to agree with everything I say to benefit from it. You merely have to understand the overall theme, which is abundantly clear. But you must read carefully and think about what Im saying to see it (told you I sometimes get redundant). Dont skip OR skim!! Get Your Eyes Checked The first thing you must do if you start seeing floaters is schedule an appointment with an optometrist to ensure you dont have a retinal detachment. Floaters, like pain, -can- be a signal of a serious problem, so you must have a professional look into your eyes (especially if youve noticed floaters after recent physical injury). Im not going to focus on this, but I just want to throw it out there. Most people who read my book do so as a last resort and have already seen a doctor (who are we kidding, several doctors). Physiological Reasoning behind Floaters This is the information that is available all over the internet. I wont bore you with the details because you are probably well versed on the subject already. Basically, the human eye is a ball that is filled with liquid (called the vitreous humor). As we age, clumps of dead tissue (protein) begin to appear in the vitreous humor. Since the eye is sealed off, there is no way to get rid of this debris and it thus collects as we age (who said God was perfect?). When the light hits our eye the debris casts a shadow on the retina (lining of the back of the eye which contains the photoreceptors to see) causing you to see floaters.

8 As I say over and over again, NOBODY is immune from this process (unless you have no eyes). We all have the physiological conditions for floaters. This is important. Here is a simple diagram to help you understand:

Why Floaters are So Awful Health problems truly are the worst things in life. People talk about what is important in life and how we take many things for granted. Its all so clich, but for a very good reason - its true. There is nothing worse than being tormented by your own body. Be it pain, annoyances, or both. The idea that such small particles floating a few millimeters beyond your cornea could cause such a problem and be nearly impossible to correct is troublesome. The reality is that floaters, in many ways, are a fact of life. It is impossible to age without the vitreous being swamped with debris. Of course, this does not mean everybody sees them or that there are no remedies to the problem (as this is the point of this book). Like many things in life, health issues typically fall under the dont know what youve got till its gone type phenomenon. You cant appreciate what its like not to have floaters unless youve experienced having them. Its impossible to compare two things if one of them is unknown. What you must take from this is that its difficult to gain understanding from a person who has never suffered from floaters.

9 Talking about your problem with an oblivious (lucky) person is pointless. Remember this. I also want you to know that its not your fault that youre plagued and tormented by floaters. Nobody chooses to have this problem. There is also nothing shameful about having a problem with floaters. A common thing people will say is think of such and such who has cancer and how much better off you are than them. Perhaps this is a noble point, but it doesnt seem to help much. Thats like going up to a single mother on welfare and saying well hey, at least youre better off than most of the people in Africa. It just doesnt work. Importance of the Eyes Since floaters are considered harmless, why do some people find them so devastating (beyond the fact that they are an annoyance)? The reason probably stems from the importance of a persons eyes. Sight is by far the most important sense we have. We value it and need it the most. Most people would easily choose vision over any other sense because they realize just how crucial it is. Seeing the world is primarily how we understand the world. As for those who claim to value their hearing more than sight, they likely are either: a) blind since birth and thus adapted and unable to know what they are missing (Ray Charles was quick to say deafness would be worse) b) music lovers who simply say hearing without actually considering the impact of being blind Think of the importance placed on eye witnesses in trials. In many cases eye witness testimony is -the- sole reason for a conviction (which is an interesting, though completely unrelated area of study itself). This underscores how vital sight is. We hear expressions all the time like I saw it with my own two eyes. Vision is our most trusted and depended on sense. Losing your vision is possibly the worst thing that can happen to you physically. Perhaps quadriplegia would be worse? Im undecided. Either way, its up there. So given the importance placed on our eyes (ability to see), any visual problem can be perceived as absolutely devastating. Its a

10 natural reaction. Think of how a mother will overreact to any minor threat facing her child. These overreactions are rooted in the level of importance placed on the object of concern. This is why floaters can be so devastating.

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Part 1: Psychological Approaches


This section fully discusses floaters from a psychological perspective. This basis of understanding allows for psychological remedies to stopping floaters which are also discussed.

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Chapter 2: Psychological Starters


Initial Reactions Many readers will frown as soon as they see anything discussing the "psychological" aspect of the problem. This is largely because mental issues tend to be regarded as "fake" or "illusionary". People are naturally skeptical of anything mental related. For evidence of this, look at the minimal level of public funding for mental disorders - it stems directly from the perception that these are not real disorders. Similarly, many see psychological solutions are not "real" solutions. Earlier I stated that floaters are physiologically present in every human being. Why is it then that only a relatively small percentage of the population actually reports to suffer from or even see floaters? Its not that their vitreous humor is free from debris, it's that their brain is simply conditioned not to notice them (thus they don't see them). Surely, there are times when a floater sufferer forgets about his or her problem. In this time period, the problem truly doesn't exist. This is partly the reason eye care professionals refuse to recognize/treat floaters in the first place, by recognizing and drawing attention to it more people are apt to notice/suffer from floaters. This, of course, is unfortunate for those affected as they are unable to receive the care and attention they need. The Required Attitude Let me just say this upfront, if you want to be successful youre going to have to have the proper attitude going into this. If youre someone looking for a quick fix, youre not going to find it here (perhaps in the physical section below, though that is highly debatable). Floaters are not a problem that can be disposed of easily. There are no miracle instant cures. Any substances that are available online and marketed as a cure for floaters (and usually everything else under the sun gee thats convenient) will not help you. Come on, did you really think some eye drops ordered online could replace your glasses, remove cataracts, cure glaucoma and floaters simultaneously? If you feel a tad stupid for being so gullible to believe such claims, just

13 remember that desperation can make people do very stupid things. Its understandable. You must realize that this is a problem that takes understanding, strength, and effort to overcome. The psychological section of this book is designed to give you the tools to solve your eye floaters problem. I want you to try and also be as optimistic as possible. Pessimists are almost never successful at anything they do (unless they are extremely lucky). This is definitely an area that requires a degree of hope and a reasonable level of open-mindedness. Avoidance Dont Run away from the problem. This is what you are likely doing right now. As you know, there are ways to avoid seeing floaters. Dark lights, not leaving the house in the daytime, dimming the computer screen to the point where a "regular" person would be squinting and dumbfounded as to why anyone would want it so dark, etc. These are evasive tactics. The problem is implementing them in many ways diminishes a person's quality of life. This is not a solution to the problem, but an avoidance of the problem. Moreover, I would suggest that you're not even truly avoiding the problem but merely replacing one problem with another. Your life is still being controlled by floaters. You end up worrying about them constantly which leads to depression. The result, your quality of life is significantly reduced. Many people take the route of avoidance simply because it is the easiest. It's easy to buy dark sunglasses and never go outside without them. It's easy to dim the monitor to the point that it matches the shadows on your retina. Emotionally it's the easiest route in the short term, but in the long run it ends up costing you dearly. We'll make excuses for this behavior, such as "the sunglasses are protecting my eyes from UV rays" or the "brightness hurts my eyes". In reality, UV rays pose hardly any threat (unless you're skiing 24/7) and the only reason your eyes are light sensitive is from wearing sunglasses all the time. Trust me, a few days without them and your light sensitivities will be gone. Im including this section because I want you to relate to my experiences and see the truth in what Im saying. Perhaps then youll be motivated to change your lifestyle and correct the problem. I personally did these things for about a year and it was hell until I eventually altered my approach. I now live a normal life.

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Chapter 3: Why me?


How People Think about Floaters The population can be divided into 3 categories when dealing with floaters: 1. completely oblivious The lucky ones. The majority of these people have absolutely no idea what floaters are and have never noticed floaters in their lifetime. This may also include people who are aware of what floaters are (in a technical/definition sense), though have never seen floaters themselves (this would be extremely rare). For these people floaters is, and has always been, a non issue. Almost all children are in this stage. At least half of the population remains in this stage throughout adulthood. 2. noticed but rarely seeing These are people who have seen floaters, yet do not consciously care about them. It never registered to these people that floaters are a problem or an annoyance. This may be hard to believe, but there are numerous people out there whove never felt concern. This category also includes individuals who once had a problem with floaters, but are no longer sufferers. People in this group fail to notice floaters most of the time. 3. noticed and suffering This is the stage you are likely in. Much of this book is aimed at answering why you are in this stage (ie. What makes you different than the people in the first two categories). The rest of the book is dedicated to helping you move out of this category and into category 2. You may doubt this is possible, but this should change once you understand the reasoning behind the problem. Interestingly, all humans have the physiological conditions required to see floaters (debris in vitreous), this is why the psychological aspect of floaters holds both the cause of the problem and the solution. The vast majority of floater sufferers who have cured themselves of floaters as a problem do so mentally. For many, its a natural process that happens over many years. Others arent so lucky and suffer throughout their entire lives (or at least until something else (usually age related) eclipses the problem). Wherever you may stand, there are ways to train yourself out of suffering from floaters.

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Glasses Its often said floater sufferers tend to also wear glasses. It is important to understand why. Those who wear glasses or contacts have experience questioning their own eyes. Lens prescriptions often must be increased over time, which usually involves the person noticing blurriness. People who wear glasses are thus more aware of their own vision. This is because we tend to think about things that are relevant to us. If youve never had a problem with your feet before you likely dont think about them. Its only when a problem occurs do we pay more attention. This is generally not a good thing. We begin to test ourselves, compare, and look for new things to worry about, such as floaters. Since those of us who wear glasses are more aware of our eyes, we are far more apt to notice things like floaters. Its not that our eyes are much different (unless in extreme instances of nearsightedness (which likely does not apply to you)), its that our brain is interested in our quality of vision. This is important. Understanding why we see floaters is an essential part of curing them. I want you to understand that your problem with floaters is largely psychological - its in your mind. There are millions of examples of potential problems that are not problems simply because we have never noticed them. For instance, many people have one leg that is slightly longer than the other. Such a condition is only irritating if you notice it, and most people live their lives quite happily without noticing it. I just want you to realize that the noticing aspect of floaters is not isolated to the condition of floaters. Tinnitus Connection Tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in the ears, is a problem that many floater sufferers also tend to have. Unlike floaters, not everybody has the physical conditions for tinnitus. Tinnitus is another common example of something many do not notice. Ive often wondered why many floaters sufferers have also had problems with tinnitus. The answer is really quite simple. It all has to do with a persons self awareness and their tendencies to monitor/pay attention to their own body. Tinnitus sufferers have a mental predisposition to noticing things that go wrong with their own body.

16 Interestingly, tinnitus, which is usually caused by exposure to loud noise, is a physiological problem that is preventable. Those who have suffered from tinnitus are conditioned to pay attention to the sufficiency of their own senses. They are thus, in a sense, trained to notice (similar to those who wear glasses are trained to notice). You must realize that the experiences youve had are likely the root of you noticing/being bothered by floaters. The point is that your mental predisposition to floaters is something you have learned. You have learned to notice and learned to see floaters. The point of psychological conditioning is to deprogram your brain to stop caring about floaters. This is where the solution lies. Why Many People Dont See Floaters Most people go through life quite unaware of their surroundings. As discussed above, this is evident in conditions like tinnitus (constant ringing in a persons ears), which is about 10 times more prevalent than vitreous eye floaters. There are millions of Americans suffering from tinnitus, but unlike floaters, it is a condition that is physiologically rare. Despite this, tinnitus is becoming more and more prevalent. The reasoning behind this is that people are now listening to music and exposing themselves to loud noise more often. People commonly go to nightclubs, concerts, etc. that expose them to sufficient noise levels to cause tinnitus. Even most industrial work environments are dangerous enough to cause tinnitus. The bottom line: it is a growing problem. (By the way, the point of this rant is to get you to protect your ears. Tinnitus can be far worse than floaters.) Back to the point Unlike tinnitus, the physiological conditions for floaters are a natural part of aging. Everybody has the debris that causes floaters. Most people simply dont notice them. There are numerous things about the human body that people dont notice. Some people are simply more aware of their bodies than others. The point is, its all about what you mentally notice. This is a mental problem. As a mental problem, its something that can be overcome. I am going to show you how to turn your mind off to floaters. Since you are reading this e-book, it can be assumed that you do see floaters. What you must understand is that you are a person

17 who is likely abnormally aware of their own body and as a result there are repercussions, like floaters. Of course there are other potential problems with being aware. I will not venture into discussing them because it is counterproductive (one, of course, is tinnitus). I dont mind discussing tinnitus because it is somewhat common and most floater sufferers suffer from it (and I want to teach you inadvertently to avoid it). In total, you must understand that you are likely more in tune to your own body than most others. You must take this as it is. Obviously, most of us would choose to be completely oblivious to things like floaters. Unfortunately, it is not a choice. It is something we are either born with or have been raised to notice (nature vs. nurture). Nature vs. Nurture One overriding theme of all psychological/scientific study of human behavior is whether a condition is a result of nature or nurture. Take, for example, the issue of homosexuality. Are people raised to be homosexual or are they simply born homosexual? The answer, we dont know for sure. My money would be that people are biologically predisposed to homosexuality. After all, what kid in high school says to themselves, How can I get beat up more? Ill be gay! Jokes aside, to believe that young adults and middle aged/older individuals would choose to make their lives so much more difficult seems unrealistic. Whether you agree with this or not, Im sure you agree that you dont choose to see floaters. It is something that has occurred in your life for somewhat unknown reasons. I cant say for sure, but I believe the reasoning is a combination of both biological predispositions and personal experiences. What can be learned from this understanding? Part of getting rid of floaters is understanding them both physiologically and psychologically. Developing a problem with floaters is largely unavoidable. It has little to do with what you eat, what you do, etc. It does have to do with how you think (both consciously and subconsciously). Fortunately, this can be controlled to a degree. You have the ability to overcome this problem. This is not something you will have to be troubled with for the rest of your life. Im going to show you how.

18 About Age Ah yes, aging. I hate to say this, but like everything else, your eyes are going to change significantly as you age. Duh, right? Well, yes. But, this is significantly important for people with floaters to understand. First of all, the quantity of debris (floaters) will inevitably increase as you age. This make sense as it is a process that has occurred since birth (not many young children have a problem with floaters, while some young adults (teenagers, 20s) do. Whats important to realize is as you age the vitreous humor (remember, the liquid that fills your eyeball (and which the floaters float in)) will change from a liquid to a gel like substance. What this means is that floaters, as you know them, are going to change. Now most floater sufferers are beyond the age of 40 and thus have already begun to experience such physiological changes. Remember, the process will continue until you die. Some people experience extreme vision problems as a result of the changing vitreous. This is the main reason a virectomy (discussed below) would normally be performed. Whats important to realize is that nothing stays the same. Floaters, as you know them, are not permanent. This is particularly relevant to younger people who have a problem with one or two floaters entering their line of vision and distracting them. This is not always going to be the case. Take comfort in this. Ten years from now, youre not going to be facing this same problem, I promise you. You need to realize that even though it may take a few years, it is going to change and it will be easier to deal with. Now the prudent reader will wonder why Im saying it will be easier to deal with as you age, since I just said the amount of floaters will actually increase. The truth is, sometimes having more floaters is actually easier. This is because its harder to focus on numerous particles than just a few. Think about it, if you had 50 TVs playing 50 different movies right in front of you, could you really pay that much attention? Well maybe youd just focus on one TV? Sure its possible, but it usually doesnt work this way. If anything, it will help you not pay so much attention to them because their importance will be diminished. Its like anything else, the more you have, the less each individually is important (hell, this even holds true for your own children (wow, did he really just say that? Just making sure you are paying attention). Anyway, you will

19 pay less attention to them when this happens and if you dont pay attention you dont have a problem.

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Chapter 4: What Not To Do


Researching First of all, I admit that what Im about to say is somewhat contradictory. This is because Im going to say that researching, reading, etc. about floaters is BAD. Ideally, a person should not look up or even discuss floaters. Why am I writing a book of solutions and encouraging people to read it? Well, there is -some- information that people need to be aware of. Once they have this information however, it is counterproductive to continue researching the topic. The reason for this is that conquering floaters is primarily psychological. 98% of the population has no problem (even awareness) of floaters not because their eyes are any different than yours, but because their mind is not recognizing the debris in their eyes. Now obviously, Im not suggesting physiologically we are all equal. Some have significantly more debris floating around than others (usually as a result of a retinal tear, age-related factors, etc), but overall everyone has floaters, most just dont realize it. You must keep in mind that there are people with far more debris floating around in their vitreous humor than you whove never even seen a floater. So why not research? By researching you are merely reminding yourself that you have a problem. This makes things worse because conscious awareness of floaters IS YOUR PROBLEM. Now, an intelligent reader would argue if I dont research the topic, how am I supposed to be aware of new procedures/methods that may possibly come up? For this I have a number of responses. First of all, its a valid point. Lets recognize that. Realistically however, it seems extremely unlikely that any new sort of solution will be found. This is because of the perceived lack of urgency in the medical community and the complexity of the problem. Lets face it, floaters have always existed physiologically. Human beings have always dealt with them, whether consciously or not, so it really isnt something many people are working on. Its hard to even get information on the subject, because of the perceived lack of interest. I suggest making a point to inquire with your optometrist (or better yet ophthalmologist) during your regular visits about any new procedures, but otherwise avoid researching. This way you avoid the

21 possibility of being oblivious to a potential miracle cure/procedure down the road. Discussion You want to avoid discussing floaters for the same reason you should avoid researching them. For many types of pain, be it emotional or physical, it helps to discuss it with people (otherwise many psychologists would be out of a job). This is human nature. When it comes to floaters, discussing the problem will only make things worse. First of all, most people will not be able to understand what youre talking about because most people dont have the condition. The most productive response you may get out of such people is well at least youre not dying. Such look on the bright side remarks are both predictable and counterproductive. Also, discussing your problems with someone who suffers from floaters is generally bad because it usually will spiral into a series of complaints which make you even more depressed. Worse yet, the other sufferer may mention something that you havent noticed before yourself. This is extremely dangerous because once you start looking for it, its going to be there and its going to torment you (I would give examples but obviously its to your benefit for me not to). Online Discussion One of the worst things you can do is become someone who flocks to online message boards to chat with other floater sufferers (or just read what others say). People search out these boards to make themselves feel better, but believe me, it will only bring you to a world of depression and despair. Not only will you encounter new information that is potentially dangerous (ie. Things you havent yet noticed that will torment you if you do), youll also find a LOT of misinformation and horror stories (many of which are likely true) that only make you feel worse. People post on those sites because they are desperate, helpless and depressed; therefore, 98% of the posts are only going to make you feel more hopeless about the situation. The only information you need is that which is in this book. Thats it. Avoid all message boards and discussion groups.

22 Writing this Personally, its tough for me to even write this book because Im bringing the issue back to the forefront of my mind. As -I- would say, this is counterproductive. Well, at a certain point a person becomes comfortable enough with the subject to be able to handle discussing it. That is not to say it helps to discuss it, but Ill make that sacrifice for you.

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Chapter 5: Questionable Cures


Religion Just like anything else in life, some people will propose religion is the answer to your problem. Hell, Tom Cruise claims Scientology cured his dyslexia. Some people are actually able to correct problems through faith based beliefs. I agree with this. The majority of this book focuses on the psychological aspects of the problem therefore of course its possible for a person to find healing through religion. This is one area that I offer little advice. Such a religious solution would not work for me because I am not a believer. Im a realist (not that spiritual people cant be realists). Anyway, its important that I at least recognize this possible area of treatment, but I offer caution. Religions are truly cults at heart and thus finding new recruits is a key priority. People who are depressed or have a particular problem are the most vulnerable to influence. You need to be weary of people from smaller religious cults (think Mormon, Jehovah Witness, and even smaller groups) who may take an unusual interest in trying to help you out. They likely have only one goal in mind: conversion. Many cults will say anything to recruit new members. This is obvious when they claim to be able to cure HIV, cancer, etc. Its your choice, but just dont get too caught up in such proposals. Silly Common Solutions One of the common temporary suggestions to curing floaters is to move your eye quickly to one side, supposedly causing the floater to somehow move out of your line of vision. I cant speak for anyone else, but I have found the floaters to immediately move right back to where they originally were. In theory, it should work. You would think the liquid would swirl and the particles would realign from this movement, however, like I say, no luck for me. Really though, its a silly idea because even if the particles move around they: 1) are still there and thus will eventually force their way back into your line of vision, 2) may actually reposition themselves in a worse way than before.

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Like I said, this method doesnt work so there is not much point in further discussion. I merely wanted to let you know that if you find this method utterly useless, youre not alone (so dont worry yourself over it). Ordering Formulas/Medicines Online I want to warn you about ordering supposed cures online. First of all, most of this stuff is just glorified snake oil (fake). Ordering substances online can also be very dangerous because its impossible to tell exactly what youre getting. Not only can the substances be harmful, they may be outdated, mislabeled, etc. Its interesting because a lot of these medicines claim to cure all eye problems. Anything that claims to improve your vision, cataracts, floaters, glaucoma (which is extremely serious and needs to be handled by an Ophthalmologist (not some bullshit online snake oil), and a million other things all in one dose is an OBVIOUS fraud. Come on guys, this is utterly ridiculous. I dont care how desperate you are. And yes, I said the same thing a few pages up (didnt want you to miss it). Dont waste your money and most importantly dont risk your own health with these substances. While there are many herbal remedies (discussed below) that have helped people, it is far better to gather them yourself and not order them from illegitimate online sources. As a matter of fact, I wouldnt take any substance without consulting a physician. You never know how youre going to react or what youre taking. Hypnosis We are a society that thrives on quick fixes for our problems. Naturally, ideas like hypnotism sit very well with us because we want to believe they will work. The problem is that it generally doesnt work long term. You cant just hypnotize someone once and change their mind forever. If this was possible, we would be living in a much different society. It just doesnt work this way. If you want to try hypnosis, I suggest you do. Its harmless (other than that it may be a waste of time/money), but dont expect it to work as a quick fix. It also takes a certain state of mind to be hypnotized. Those who tend to suffer from floaters typically are very

25 self-aware and thus have trouble letting go (in other words, they are unable to be hypnotized to begin with). Hypnotists are notorious for being con artists so watch out.

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Chapter 6: Doctors
Just Forget About Them Ophthalmologist and optometrists will likely instruct you to just forget about your floaters. Heres an inside tip: To a knowledgeable individual, an ophthalmologist will tell you that there is nothing you can do about floaters. We have to ask, why is this? Well, most medical professional focus on scientific studies that work with physiological theories. They essentially think, Since there is no proven way to remove the debris psychologically, there is no cure. In reality, this is like a psychiatrist saying, since I cannot operate on/change your brain, I cant help you. The truth is, there are many psychological remedies to help correct floaters that have worked for myriad people. Unfortunately, this is beyond the training/job description of most ophthalmologists and optometrists. The Scientific Community The scientific community does not care much about floaters. To them, your condition means nothing more than any other minor inevitable problem (on par with cuts, scraps, etc.). It is an issue that is immediately dismissed as unimportant. This is a major problem for those really suffering. This is why people look to other sources, such as the internet. There are very few people to talk to who actually know how to help. People turn to online message boards for this reason; they are desperate for information. They are also desperate to interact and talk with people who appreciate what they are going through. Since it is extremely difficult to gather other floater sufferers together in person, the internet provides the needed medium. Antidepressants Many in the medical community will be eager/willing to provide antidepressants for floater sufferers because they recognize that you are troubled mentally. Is this a good idea? Obviously, this is a highly debatable topic. I think it depends on the individuals mental status. Personally, such medications were never necessary for me. I was never at the point where I was going to kill myself or injure myself

27 intentionally. Its hard for me to suggest that someone in that position should not be medicated. I will say that I consider taking such drugs to generally be running away from the problem and thus counterproductive. If a person is suicidal, however, then all precautions, including antidepressants, should be taken. For those of you who arent at such a critical point, try to avoid any drugs aimed at making you feel happy. These are addictive substances that only provide a false sense of happiness. In principle, they are no different than any other drug, including alcohol. I would not recommend using these substances to avoid floater-related anxiety for the same reason I wouldnt recommend drinking as a solution. As I mentioned, it goes against my entire theory that a person ought to focus on adapting to floaters by training their thinking patterns. Avoiding the Nonsense If there is any field where misconceptions are constantly being spread around, its medicine. There is an infinite amount of incorrect information being published everyday by both accredited and non accredited sources. Think about how many things at some point have been said to lead to cancer or other illnesses. Everyday, Americans spend millions of dollars on unnecessary vitamins, supplements, and other pills. The reasoning behind this is that it is easy to create a study of correlations to support basically any theory. Studies are almost always funded by a particular organization with a particular interest in mind, so be careful. The human race has survived for millions of years without any of this stuff trust me, its unnecessary. Nonsense reasoning is going to be applied to floaters like anything else. Some believe its as simple as eating more carrots. From a physiological perspective, such ideas seem absolutely ridiculous. This is not about what you eat, or your lifestyle. Its about a natural process that happens as we age, nothing else.

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Chapter 7: The Science of Not Noticing


About Forgetting Ever notice that when youre sick with a common cold, there are times you just forget you have it? Forgetting about it is basically akin to not having it to begin with. This usually happens because youre busy. You become preoccupied. For this reason, one way to help deal with floaters is to change your lifestyle. Find something that keeps you busy. This is different than running away from the problem because you are training your mind to forget about floaters. Running away from the problem, as discussed above, involves methods that restrict the amount of light to the point of you not seeing the floaters. Notice, we are focusing on the psychological side, not the physical side that is the difference. I think its important to at least throw the keep busy idea out there because it can really help you. The whole idea behind psychological conditioning is to train you to not see floaters. Cocktail Party Phenomenon The cocktail party phenomenon is the idea that when youre in an environment with numerous voices, we are often consciously aware of our own name being spoken despite not actually listening to the person saying it. In general, we are only capable of listening to one speaker/source at a time. At parties, for instances, other voices are ignored as background noise while we listen to one person - the person youre talking to. This applies to basically all of our senses. For instance, the same thing happens with any noise youre not listening to. Everyday people listen to fan of their computer, the sounds of florescent lights, etc. without ever really hearing it. Once someone mentions the sound of a fan, a person will be aware of it, until they forget about it once again. The same can be applied to vision. There are literally millions of things you see on a daily basis that you are not aware of. For most people, floaters are one of them. Just like anything else, it is possible to forget about floaters and thus not experience them. This is the only proven way to make them disappear. Eventually youll be able to put floaters to the back of your mind as well.

29 Movement of the Eyes One of the most difficult aspects of floaters is ignoring them during eye movements. As we shift our eyes back and forth, the vitreous humor (liquid inside our eyes) moves (inertia) causing the debris floating within it (floaters) to move as well. As a result, the shadow reflected on the retina is shifted. Many floater sufferers notice the movement of floaters specifically. This means they only see them when their eyes are in motion, usually against a reasonably well lit background. For instance, driving on a brightly clouded day, which involves shifting your eyes back and forth against the bright surface of lit clouds, can be extremely problematic. Also, reading in a room lit with florescent lights can be difficult since reading requires eye movement. This explains why most sufferers do not report problems watching TV/movie screens, despite their brightly lit backgrounds. You dont have to move your eyes to see the screen, and therefore the retinal shadows (floaters) are less noticeable. Biological Reasoning behind Seeing Moving Floaters The reason we are prone to seeing the movement of floaters is due to evolution. Despite existing for millions of years, we only exited the jungle relatively recently. This means our senses are still geared for survival among the other animals. Human beings have basically one main advantage over other animals: our intelligence. Otherwise, we are weak, slow, and poor fighters. Our vision has developed to detect the subtle movement of prey or potential predators. We therefore detect and focus on movements in our visual field naturally. The shadow of a floater moving across our retina is naturally distracting since we have been trained to look for such movements through millions of years of evolution. This is the reason why the movement of the floaters, or shadows, is so obvious to us. Some people avoid moving their eyes as much as possible to also avoid seeing floaters. How exactly? Well they may read things at a far distance, which puts more words into focus at one time. They also try to move their head around as opposed to their eyes to see things in the periphery (which can lead to neck problems over the long term). Many view these methods as a solution to the problem of floaters. Such evasive tactics, however, are truly part of the problem.

30 Avoiding floaters by blinding yourself to them physically is counterproductive. If you were to live your life in the dark you would not have to deal with floaters, would this be a solution? No. You are altering your lifestyle to accommodate for the condition. This is merely replacing one problem with another. While your biological predisposition to detect movement is a major part of your problem, there are also built in responses that work to your advantage. This is where the solution lies. Adaptation Though our innate biology may be problematic when it comes to noticing the movement of floaters in our vitreous humor, there are other biological functions that work to our advantage, such as our ability to adapt. Believe it or not, most individuals who have problems with floaters will naturally overcome their troubles. Over time, the appearance of floaters becomes more and more routine and eventually the brain stops paying attention. This of course will not happen if a person is constantly thinking about their floaters. The good news is that your body will adapt if you let it. After reading through this book, you will have the tools and the understanding to allow yourself to adapt. One of the reasons I so strongly advise against wearing sunglasses, seeking dim lights, etc. to prevent yourself from seeing floaters is that it involves consistently thinking about floaters and encourages nervous behavior. You can never really forget about floaters, and eventually adapt to them, if you gear your life toward avoidance. Avoidance is not the answer. It never is. Youre only going to make yourself think more about floaters and thus be troubled with them even more. You will essentially become a slave to the condition and it will never get better (only worse). I speak from experience, because I was once one of the people who constantly hid from light. I know what its like and that it does NOT work. It can be one of the most depressing things a person has to live with. I vividly remember many nights at the computer where I would be so sick of floaters that I would stop what I was doing, turn off the lights, and to go to bed just to avoid them. My condition continued to plague me.

31 As you know, I no longer have problems with floaters. I consider myself to be cured. The main aspect of my personal success was facing the floaters head on.

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Chapter 8: Stopping Floaters Psychologically


The Day My Sunglasses Broke It seems almost fictional for me to say that I stopped wearing sunglasses after accidentally breaking them. This is, however, how it all began for me. I broke my shades! This was distressing, but also somewhat liberating because deep down I knew they were part of the problem. I had never worn sunglasses before in my entire life until seeing floaters. Now suddenly I was unable to leave the house without them. They became my ball and chain. I felt trapped by them. When they accidentally broke, I could have easily bought a new pair, but I wanted to use it to kick start a new approach facing the problem head on. It was really just that simple. It was time to make a change and this was the motivating factor that I needed. I stopped thinking about floaters and gearing my life around avoiding them. At first it was difficult, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I found that within a few weeks, for the first time, I wasnt thinking about floaters. With this lack of thought, came a lack of floaters. I wasnt really seeing them anymore. They were there physically, but became mental background noise. I decided to implement other measures aimed at getting back to normal. I reset my computer monitor to a normal brightness level, made a point to start opening the window shades again and reading from a normal distance in normal light. Eventually (over a number of months), I became a normal person once again. Trying to see them can actually help me? First of all, Im not suggesting you paint your walls white, add florescent lights and run them 24/7. That would be counterproductive. The goal is to get back to normal, not to flood yourself intentionally (except if you implement an initial flooding strategy to combat paranoia, as discussed below). If youve read through this closely, you will have realized by now (hopefully quite fully) that floaters are a psychological problem in that its your thinking processes that are behind you seeing/being tormented by them.

33 By going back to normal, youre not going out of your way to see floaters; youre merely going back to the way you acted before they were a problem. This is a better way of putting it. Why Seeing Can Help Youre probably thinking so is that the answer? Thats the solution Ive been reading through all this to find? Yes. It is the overriding theme of psychological conditioning. While this may seem extremely simple in principle, in practice it is more difficult. In order to cure yourself of floaters by this method, you need to understand both the mental and physical elements of the floaters and why you see them while so many other people dont. You now know that for the 99% of people who dont see floaters, they dont see them because their brain is not in tune to them. Most have simply never noticed them before they have remained background noise that is never brought to the forefront. The problem is thus curable by training your mind to think (or not think) more like theirs. The only way you can do this is to understand the condition fully and have the right routine to mentally reset yourself. It is important to note that to some degree there is no turning back. Once youre this aware of your floaters, you will likely never completely forget about them 100% of the time (unless you suffer some sort of brain trauma or something). This does not mean you have to suffer from them or have the quality of your life diminished. Floaters are no longer a troublesome part of my existence. I dont think about them and they do nothing to diminish my quality of life. At the same time, I am very much aware of their existence, but have learned to separate this on a personal level. Soon, you will be able to do the same. Phobia-like States and the Remedy of Flooding The first thing you must do is get over any nervousness youve developed through seeing floaters. You may or may not have this problem (thus this may not be relevant to you). Many floater sufferers get to a point of paranoia in looking at their floaters. These people take extreme measures to avoid well lit areas and light backgrounds. If you find yourself extraordinarily

34 nervous about seeing floaters that you refuse to leave the house, or take other drastic means of avoidance, you have developed an extreme reaction to them. These types of situations are the end result of an avoidance strategy. As time goes by, a person becomes more and more obsessed with avoiding floaters. Eventually they get to a point where they are unable to deal with floaters at all. They become a phobia. At this stage, extreme measures must be taken to bring the person back on track. One way of treating a phobia is to flood the individual with the stimulus they are afraid of. For instance, if a person is afraid of speaking in front of large crowds, as many are, actually being forced into the activity can help them lose some of this fear. Flooding can also be used for floaters. If you are extremely paranoid of seeing floaters, I suggest you face them head on intentionally before you begin trying to recondition yourself. You have to get over your extreme nervous reaction. The best way to do this is to flood yourself with floaters. There are millions of ways to do this, here are a few: 1. looking up into the clouds on an overcast day. 2. white walls = fluorescent light 3. reading outside on a sunny day, or just looking at a white piece of paper. I dont think finding ways to flood yourself will be much of a challenge. The idea is to expose yourself to floaters for a significant amount of time. This will help you relax to the prospect of seeing them. Once this happens, you are better able to implement the other strategies detailed in this book. How to Think Obliviously I wish I could tell you that when Im driving I never see or think of floaters. The truth is, now and then (honestly, its rare), it will come to mind (admittedly more often since Ive wrote this book) and I will see them. How do I handle it? I just keep on going. This is different from before. Before I would try to move the floater around through eye movements, shade my eyes with my hand, try to focus on the floater(s) and monitor any changes to them, etc. In other words, I gave them my attention. This is what a paranoid/upset person does.

35 They react in panic and try to rectify the situation by taking active steps. I dont do these things anymore and you shouldnt either. Cant anyone just stop looking/judging? Why do I need to know so much about floaters? Its important to fully understand the condition because only through understanding is a person going to truly believe that such reactions as described above are harmful. I now know and understand why avoidance is counterproductive. Moreover, I know that by paying as little attention to floaters as possible, Im training myself not to hold them in high priority. This is the solution.

Now, I must say that there are times where I will slip up. This usually happens when my mind is preoccupied with something other than floaters. In such cases, focusing on the floaters helps distract me from whatever else Im thinking about. Its basically like Im zoning out in a way. These types of slip ups are impossible to consciously stop, however, as you grow more and more familiar and accepting of floaters, their occurrence will greatly diminish. Reading There is perhaps no activity more affected by floaters than reading. Floaters get in the way, sometimes to the point of making it impossible to see the words. In general, however, they are problematic because they are a distraction. As you should realize by now, floaters themselves are a distraction and as a distraction are curable. You must actively try to ignore your floaters while reading. The words on the page are your friend. Instead of glancing at the words, you must try to focus harder on them. Most importantly: never stop or slow down because of the floaters. Dont let them slow you down: just keep going. This may seem overly simple, but its the only way youre going to improve. Each time you let seeing floaters trip you up you are giving them priority in your mind. This is the opposite of what you want to accomplish. By continuing without letting your floaters interrupt your flow, you are training yourself to ignore them. This takes practice. Its not something youll be able to do perfectly right away. It takes time, but trust me you will see (or not see, get it?) results. Its like losing weight, its a relatively slow process, but it becomes much easier as you start to realize you are improving.

36

This is all about training yourself not to care. Your trouble focusing on reading is rooted in the priority/concern you have for your floaters. Most people will dim the lights, reposition the book further away to reduce their eye movements, etc. These activities reinforce your view of floaters as important because you are altering your actions for them. This is your problem. By doing this, you put yourself in a cycle of avoidance that merely reinforces and increases your mental awareness (which as you know IS why you see floaters in the first place). You must make no accommodations and not surrender. Just keep going, never say die, and realize its going to take practice and time. Like many other things, youll get out of this what you put into it. People often say, I dont consciously look for floaters, so how can I consciously help myself by trying to ignore them? First of all, ignore is too strong a word to use here. Im suggesting that you pay as little attention to them as possible. You must put a lot of energy into moving on whenever you see them. Many of us naturally want to focus on our floaters when they first see them. This can include further examining them, mentally thinking about/lamenting over them, testing them, etc. We are naturally curious and concerned. This is why it is so hard to move on to the next word. Its even harder to remember not to focus because doing so is both natural and routine. Driving Floaters can be immensely annoying during daytime driving, mainly because youre outside in bright lighting and forced to move your eyes back and forth. As you may have guessed, the same principles I speak of above in Reading are required to overcome this. I dont want to be redundant, but I will reiterate that you must try to give as little thought to floaters as possible while driving. Dont focus on them once you see them. Try to look past them and keep going. Once you see them, focus on something else. Dont play with them, study them, harp about them, etc. Many people will suggest moving their head more to see from side to side as opposed to simply moving their eyes. This prevents the vitreous from moving excessively inside your eyes and thus you are less apt to notice the floaters (see above). I definitely advise against this. Do NOT do it. There are several reasons why:

37 1. You are running away from the floaters by accommodating for them. This mentally reinforces them as important which is the root of your problem (you should already know by now) 2. Its dangerous! It takes more time to move your entire head than to simply shift your eyes. For this reason, your overall reaction time is slowed. This can be extremely dangerous from a driving perspective. 3. You will hurt your neck. By moving your neck muscles in an unnatural/unnecessary way, they will likely become sore. This can become quite a problem if it becomes a habit. So really, avoid it. Another thing I want you to do next time you get in your car is take a look at the windshield. I want you to notice all the smudges, marks, dirt, salt, etc. that has inevitably collected there. Ever wonder why this stuff doesnt bother you when youre driving? Im willing to bet most of the time youre able to see through these obstructions without even noticing. The same principle can apply to floaters. Eventually you will be able to see past your floaters the same way you see past the debris on your windshield. Interestingly, you are able to do this despite knowing the debris is there. This is exactly analogous to what is going on inside your eyes. The windshield example is critical because you need to understand that you have the ability to see past your floaters. You can do it, and there are many examples that prove it. Im willing to bet you see past your floaters for the majority of the day (when youre not thinking about them think about that). The problem is that you are in tune to noticing and harping on them. You must trust me on this. The reason why looking past the windshield debris is easier is because you are able to accept it. You may think, but I havent even noticed it before, how can I be accepting it? The point is, conscious or not, it is not worrisome because the windshield does not matter to us that much. Its irrelevant. Our sight, on the other hand, is one the most precious and important things we have. We react emotionally to health issues more than basically any other thing in life. This is why it takes effort, time, acceptance, and knowledge to look past floaters.

38 How Not to Think I hear people say all the time, floaters are worse in the summer because the days are longer and thus the sun is out more. Then again, I also hear people say the winter is bad because the white snow provides a background upon which seeing floaters is inevitable. You see a problem here? This is the wrong way to think about floaters because you really shouldnt be thinking about them at all. These approaches dont work because they encourage conscious thought. Focusing on what conditions are advantageous will only make you focus on the problem. I suggest you start flooding yourself. Go out without sunglasses regardless of the conditions and try to look past your floaters whenever you see them. You have to change the topic in your head once you see floaters to something else. How do you do that? Changing the Topic in Your Head Youre probably thinking: easier said than done, if I only could, or something similar. Simply saying change the topic is a little like the classic stock-investing advice: buy low, sell high. It lacks substance. So, I want you give you a few pointers on how you can do it: 1. Have planned things to think about. This may sound stupid, but it works. Perhaps you like sports, think about sports. Maybe politics, try that. If you have a plan its a lot easier to change your thought process. When you see/start thinking about floaters, you immediately think about something else. You train yourself so that seeing floaters is an immediate trigger of other thoughts. This takes practice, but after a while it becomes routine. Planning a thought beforehand eliminates the step of you saying to yourself I have to think about something else now. What can I think about? By removing this hesitation, you are less apt to focus back on the obvious: floaters. 2. Play a mind game. The idea here is to occupy your mind. If you are engaged in a mental task, you are less apt to focus on the problem. Perhaps you count backwards by 7s from 200, maybe something more complicated. Whatever works. Backwards alphabet? You get the point. I told you effort would be required.

39 3. Focus your eyes on something else. This is more of a physical idea that can be used simultaneously with the two above. You basically focus your eyes on something else specific. This is difficult to explain, but when you see floaters, youre eyes are focusing (in the physical sense, not mental) on the shadow. By looking at something else in the distance, you are moving the floaters from the foreground to the background. This takes practice, but once you get it youll understand what I mean. These are merely ideas to help you get started. How you train yourself to focus on something else will ultimately depend on what you discover as working for you. Either way, it requires both effort and practice. You have to sincerely try and retry these techniques. Understand that what you are doing is breaking a habit. Nobody breaks a habit overnight; it requires dedication and hard work. But you can do it. You are motivated by a desire to improve your life. There are thousands of people out there who have gone through this and have gotten over it. Youre not the first and youre not alone. Why This Works By associating your mind with things other than floaters each time you think about floaters, you are teaching yourself to ignore them. When we perceive things as being important, we tend to think more about them. Basically, the amount we think about something is associated with its importance. By distracting yourself from thinking about floaters, you will eventually begin to naturally think less about them because their importance will decrease with time. This is why it takes time. You cannot train yourself to change instantly. Remember though, it will continually get easier because as you progress there will be less of a need for you to try to distract yourself (as you wont be thinking about/noticing your floaters to begin with). If anything, dont be lazy about this. Understand that while it takes some effort, it will be rewarded. Also, remember that it will become easier once you start. Take comfort in this. Youll see improvements, but as you can imagine, its not exactly a good idea to think about your progress too much (At least not while youre still honing your skills.) Bad Days Some people say to me, Ive been doing so well, but some days I see floaters and get really depressed again. First of all, this is

40 perfectly normal. This is a rollercoaster and there is going to be ups and downs. As you progress, I guarantee that you will have less and less of these days. There are things you can also do to both help with the bad days and prevent them from happening again. If you get depressed over floaters, the best thing you can do is change what you are doing. If youre inside, go outside. If youre outside, go inside. Change your environment and try to find something that will occupy your time. Go to the mall and walk around. Go to a friends house. The important thing is that you take your mind off the floaters. Believe it or not, your depression is not likely entirely being caused by floaters, but a multitude of factors. We tend you label our emotions under one category, but rarely is this accurate. This is why when two people argue over something small it usually turns into a fight about other, larger problems. Another really good thing to do is exercise. Exercise will help you take your mind off your troubles. When you feel bad, go for a run (or a walk). Exercise will in general make you feel better overall and, as detailed in the section on physical remedies, has been linked you a decrease in floaters. Success Whats it like to be successful? Its like before floaters became part of your life. They are a non-issue. Sure, you may see them now and then, but they wont bother you because youve conditioned yourself to trivialize them so much that you almost immediately fade back into a state of no awareness. Its amazing. Even thinking back to years where my life was completely controlled (ruined) by floaters, the problem, as it was then, seems less of an issue. I remember that I was really upset, but its as if I can no longer fully appreciate that anguish. I have reached a point where floaters are truly a non issue. I want you to realize that you can be the same way. If you implement and work on the strategies/ideas Ive given you, you will reach this point. Frankly, I believe most people will eventually learn anyway, however without conscious effort the process would likely go much slower (could take 10, 20 years).

41 Testing Your Progress Many make the mistake of looking for change when they start noticing progress. Take my advice: dont do it. Ideally, you should never try to sit down and test your floaters. This is counterproductive. The only time it makes sense to actively look for floaters is during the flooding stage discussed above (if necessary). Trying to analyze physical changes is both futile and harmful. As you age, things are going to change physiologically, but there is no reason for you to focus on this. The only time you should be concerned about changes is if you see a significant number of new floaters all of a sudden. This could indicate a retinal tear and should be checked out. Day to day, week to week, month to month, etc. changes are NOT to be examined. Knowledge, Effort, Acceptance, and Time These are the four elements of learning to see through floaters. I can really only give you knowledge, the rest is up to you. It takes effort on your part to learn to put your floaters on the backburner. While I cannot do the work for you, Im confident that you will succeed because youve taken the time to invest in my book and (hopefully) read it thoroughly. This indicates your willingness to work toward your goal. It is not hard to find the physical reasoning behind you seeing floaters (debris in vitreous), but this is only a small part of the puzzle (and somewhat unimportant when it comes to a cure). It doesnt explain why so many few people have problems with floaters despite the fact that everybodys vitreous contains debris. To understand why -you- see floaters, the psychological aspects are crucial. Fortunately, this allows for a cure. You now have this knowledge. You have the tools to correct your problem. Ive shown you how to train yourself to see past your floaters. This is not an easy process because it does not come naturally, but like most other things, can be achieved through practice (can and must). Eventually, you will learn to accept seeing the odd floater because you both understand the reasoning behind it and have learned to ignore them 99% of the time. Both your acceptance and your ability not to focus on floaters will increase with time in proportion to the effort you put into ignoring them. If youve reached this point and are

42 saying to yourself but I dont consciously try to see them, how can I stop it, I suggest you reread the section. You can train yourself to think differently by acting differently. My Final Thought on Ophthalmologists Earlier in this book I discussed the neglect from most Doctors and highlighted that those in the medical profession do not hold floaters as a high priority because they view them as a non problem (because they are completely natural and non-threatening). At this point, you should be able to see the other reason those in the know are so quick to dismiss floaters as a problem. Its because they know talking about/showing concern for floaters will only make things worse for the patient since the patients own concern/awareness is the problem. The majority of people who mention floaters to their eye physician leave the office feeling relieved and simply forget about them. They think: if my doctor isnt concerned, I shouldnt be either. It is perhaps fair to say, however, that these people likely didnt worry much about the floaters to begin with. Obviously, the relatively few patients who are extremely concerned and looking for solutions leave disappointed and even more discouraged. Instead of relief, they feel hopelessness. At this point, you should be able to understand and appreciate why eye doctors never show concern for floaters. This is the best way of dealing with it overall. This is not to say it is unreasonable to suggest that eye care professionals ought to pay more attention to a patients level of concern in deciding how to deal with them. Sadly, most eye doctors are far too busy to help those who are truly suffering from floaters. They just arent willing to give up the time (and perhaps this is justified).

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Part 2: Physiological Approaches

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Chapter 9: Surgery
There are two major surgical remedies: 1) Laser, 2) Virectomy. You likely have heard of both of these already, though for the sake of completeness I will offer my opinion. Laser Treatment Warning: As this is such a new procedure, it is impossible to know its long term effects. This involves using a laser to zap large clumps of debris (large floaters) found within the vitreous. It basically breaks the floater up into various smaller pieces. If done successfully, this type of treatment may help those with relatively few, particularly large, dense, floaters. Sometimes a floaters size can be so large that it causes a significant vision problem (beyond that of an annoyance). For instance, as opposed to a distraction while reading, the floater actually covers whole words making it extremely difficult to read. If this is your situation, laser treatment may be worth looking into. It is also said that the laser is able to detach floaters that are attached to the walls of the inner eye and stringing in your line of vision. Perhaps this true, though most floaters are not attached in the first place (They are called floaters for a reason.). What you should realize is that very few studies have been done in this area and that there are only a handful of Doctors in the US who actually perform the surgery. This means there are significant risks. A small mishap could severely damage the internal structures of the eye. Of course, you can limit your risks by: 1) doing your own research 2) choosing your Doctor carefully 3) getting several professional opinions before going through with the operation Laser treatment should really be a last resort when it comes to treatment simply because of the risk involved. I would also note that as this is such a new procedure, it is impossible to know its long term effects.

45 Does laser treatment actually destroy the floaters? Laser surgery breaks up the floaters. This means that the debris is still present in the eye and is able to reform into clumps afterwards. The total amount of debris in your eye may not actually decrease; it is just rearranged to a hopefully better location. Every time matter is destroyed it is replaced with something else (fire = smoke, for instance). Given that the vitreous is entirely sealed off, it is physically impossible for a laser to actually remove debris from the eye. What about the myriad of smaller floaters? Laser surgery does nothing for smaller strands and particles in your eye. Most of these the Doctor is unlikely to even see, let alone zap. Moreover, it would to too risky to target such small particles with a laser capable of damaging the eyes vital photoreceptors. Laser surgery will actually create more small particles as it destroys large floaters into little ones. Bottom line: Unless you have an extremely large floater in your line of vision, laser surgery is not for you. Either way, it is quite risky, though perhaps a better first option than a virectomy. Virectomy A virectomy involves replacing the vitreous humor inside your eye with a new, artificial, liquid. This sounds simple in theory, but it is an extremely invasive, risky procedure. I should first note the vast majority of ophthalmologists will not perform a virectomy for a regular floaters patient. If you are under 45 years of age you are definitely not a candidate for this surgery (the younger the less of a chance you have). The reason for this is that as we age the vitreous changes from a watery to a gel-like substance. The whole point of a virectomy is to aid patients who, through aging, have a vitreous so cloudy they are basically rendered blind. This means the procedure itself is not even really for floaters, but the vitreous humor. There are cases where the procedure is performed to help with floaters, but these are only in extreme circumstances. Unless you are unable to function visually due to floaters (and if youre reading- this, this is likely not the case), a virectomy would not be performed to correct them.

46 You must realize that replacing your vitreous through a virectomy will not leave you with the eyes of an 8 year old. Its not flawless. Those who have the surgery still wind up with terrible vision. It just so happens their vision before the surgery was even more terrible. Your eyes arent a fish tank where you can simply replace the water. The vitreous is, in a sense, irreplaceable. Its like anything else, natural is always better than artificial, unless you cant function naturally. Bottom line: If this was a viable option for you, you would likely already know by now. Virectomies are generally not even a remedy for floaters. For the majority of people who get virectomies, their vitreous is clouded to the point of blindness. This is not a cure.

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Chapter 10: Herbal Remedies


Disclaimer: I am not suggesting you try any of the substances below. Im merely informing you of their reputation. You can have adverse reactions to anything. You can also overdose on anything (vitamins included.. hell even water) so be careful. Check with a Doctor before making any changes to your diet or taking any of the substances listed below. I accept no responsibility for what you do with the information provided below. Im merely making it available to you. This not medical advice. My Opinion on this alternative medicine Stuff As you may have guessed, I am very skeptical of these sorts of remedies. Nonetheless, I recognize that there is a significant portion of the population that has benefited from the ideas presented below. This is value in itself. Of course, I question how much these successes are due to a placebo effect, though so long as it works the reason why is largely irrelevant. My goal is simple: cure floaters as a problem. Many have achieved it through the substances, lifestyle choices, etc. that are presented below. My only advice is not to expect a quick fix from any of these. For a problem like floaters, its worth a shot (this does not hold true for a problem like cancer). Flavonoids Flavonoids are said to help with the problem of free radicals. Free radicals are part of a theory of aging and are considered responsible for many of the effects of aging, including floaters. Flavanoid-related studies have proven the substance has an effect on the eyes. Typically, these studies showed that an increase of flavanoids in rats reduced inflammation and bleeding in their eyes. Some also attribute floaters specifically to the presence of free radicals. Flavanoids have been known to counteract the damage done by free radicals. Ginkgo biloba - This is basically the main herb that is supposed to help with eye-related problems, including floaters. It is said to contain flavonoids found in foods which may be helpful in the treatment of floaters. There is much debate over how this works to remedy floaters. Many argue it actually has the effect of dissolving them. No matter

48 what the science is behind it, if any, the fact remains that it has helped people for centuries with floaters and thus is worth a try. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) This herb also contains flavonoids and is thus used for floaters and other eye-related problems. It is said to increase circulation to the eyes. The reasoning behind it is similar to that of Ginkgo biloba. quercetin supplements - tablets (200 to 400 mg) taken three times a day with meals. Quercetin is often used with bromelain to enhance its effects. Flavonoids in Food Flavonoids are also found in many of the food we eat, particularly fruits and vegetables. Food such as red grapes, blueberries, cherries, and onions are said to contain significant amounts of flavonoids. Carotenoids - These nutritional substances may also protect against damage from free radicals in your eyes. Orange, yellow, and dark green vegetables such as spinach, carrots, and pumpkins are high in carotenoids. Supplement forms generally include mixed natural carotenoids (50,000 IU per day) and the carotenoid lutein (5 mg per day). Other Substances Lutein - This substance is widely thought to be helpful for the eyes. Some have credited it for helping with floaters Zeaxanthin Similar in principle to Lutein. Helps filter light and protect from free radicals. Myadecs Said to decrease the color of floaters. This works by helping to dissolve them into the vitreous. Theragran M Much like Myabecs, Theragran M is rumored to decrease the density of floaters. Apple Pectin chelates heavy metals that can circulate through the eyes and help with floaters. L-Methionine chelates more heavy metals thought beneficial for

49 floaters.

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Chapter 11: Chinese Herbal Remedies


Ancient Chinese medicine places a significant amount of focus on floaters, or the black specs of the eye. The Chinese have used Herbal remedies for thousands of years to correct floaters. Yinhai Jingwei The Chineses most detailed ophthalmology text, Yinhai Jingwei, contains several remedies. According to this text, floaters are the result of the weakness of the water of the kidney. This results, so the book says, from a dysfunction in the liver and gallbladder. The result is black specks in the water of the eyes. These three formulas are to be used in order to correct the problem and make the floaters disappear.

Formula #1 - Zhuling San (Polyporus Powder)


Ingredients Polyporus Akebia Rhubarb Gardenia Cibotium Talc Polygonum Plantago seed Red atractylodes 30 g 30 g 30 g 30 g 30 g 30 g 30 g 15 g 15 g Amount

Instructions: 1) grind ingredients into powder. 2) one dose is 9 grams 3) consumed with salty water. Result: Clearing the heat from the liver, gallbladder, kidney and bladder. This has the effect of a diuretic, purging the gallbladder.

Formula #2 - Heishen Tang (Scrophularia Decoction)

51 Ingredients amounts) Scrophularia Raw rehmannia Red peony Tribulus Instructions: 1) grind the ingredients in equal parts into powder. 2) boil the powder in water briefly 3) 1 dose = 12 grams Result: Heating the blood to remove the wind-heat from the eyes. (in equal Scute Chrysanthemum Celosia

Formula #3 Bushen Wan (Supplement Kidney Pills)


Ingredients (in equal amounts) Ginseng Hoelen Peony Alisma Acorus Lycium Cuscuta Cistanche

Instructions: 1) grind herbs into powder 2) mix with honey to form pills Result: Nourishes the kidney and moistens the essence. Whether you want to play around with this is up to you. The instructions are not overly clear because the original text does not specify. I cant tell you the amount of time to wait between taking the three formulas or many specifics on how to approach this (simply because the information is not available). I would just caution you about taking any of these substances and suggest you check with a Doctor or a nutritionist first.

Another Yinhai Jingwei Remedy Another, perhaps relevant, Chinese Herbal remedy deals with retinal detachment, which is a common cause of floaters. Yinhai

52 Jingwei deals with a remedy for the floaters associated with retinal detachment. I dont see much harm in trying these substances (assuming you have been advised it is okay by a medical professional), but to replace modern day medical treatment for retinal detachment (usually a laser reattachment of the retina) with Chinese herbs would be, frankly, stupid. I provide this information as a possible remedy for floaters. As with anything else I suggest, it is not to replace legitimate medical treatment. As with the ideas described previously, these deal with the alleged malfunctioning of the kidneys and liver. While the ancient Chinese validly talk about retinal detachment, all these ties to internal organs make me a little suspicious. According to the Chinese, greed, licentiousness, overindulgence in pleasures, and an unrestrained passion for wine and women are responsible for damaging the kidney. Aside from wine, the majority of these reasons seem a tad off according to todays reasoning. Nevertheless, the Chinese did hit the mark with some things. Perhaps their Herbal remedy is one of them. The remedy? :

Bushen Guijing Wan


Ingredients Ginseng Chiang-huo Tribulus Buddleia Atractylodes Equisetum Hoelen Chrysanthemum Celosia Licorice Siler Cistanche Instructions: 1) grind the herbs to powder. 2) mix with honey and form into pills This appears to combine various eye nourishing herbs. It is unclear how much of each is to be included (meaning we most likely should assume equal amounts). Result: These pills will supposedly nourish the kidneys and return a persons essence to a normal level. As a result, the yin water is returned to normal thus clearing the specks within the eyes. The fluid of the inner eye (vitreous) is seen as part of the kidney water, or yin water. By fixing the kidney water, the vitreous is supposedly replenished.

Peony Cnidium Achyranthes Cuscuta

53 Post Yinhai Jingwei Chinese Remedies Qi Ju Dihuang Wan This mix of Lycium, Chrysanthemum, and Rehmannia Formula, is an eye nourishing prescription used to treat floaters Mingmu Dihuang Wan Commonly referred to as an eye brightening formula. This is composed of Rehmannia. Said to target the water of the kidney and liver, which the Chinese say is responsible for floaters. Yiqi Congming Tang allegedly nourishes the spleen which in turn cleans the kidney water and thus alleviates floaters. Said to be relevant for age-related eye problems (such as floaters) Sanren Tang (Three Seed Decoction) Said to aid the gallbladder, which clears damp heat that is responsible for the deteriorating kidney water. Jiawei Xiaoyao San (Bupleurum and Peony Formula) This is reported to correct the stagnation of the liver qi. The liver is said to leak blood as a result of the stagnation and further leak into the vitreous cavity. Zhibai Dihuang Tang (Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Formula) This is yet another concoction to clear deficiencies of kidney and liver. This supposedly corrects the weakness of the kidney water and the associated heat that causes drying of the vitreous. As you can see, the Chinese believed floaters were the result of problems of the kidney water (which they believed was the source of the vitreous humor), therefore the above remedies are aimed at correcting the kidney water either directly, or by changing the functioning of organs thought responsible for the kidney waters condition.

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Chapter 12: Lifestyle Changes


Diet Surprise! Surprise! Foods that include saturated fats, fried foods, dairy products, and refined foods are said to be bad for floaters (perhaps because they can increase blood pressure). For this reason some advocates that a healthy diet will help prevent/decrease floaters. This includes a balanced diet, low in fat, salt, etc. Also, of course, you ought to avoid alcohol and caffeine. This is pretty much the same stuff you hear Doctors recommend everyday, I can see why it would help (detail above), but I doubt it would fully cure you of floaters. Exercise You guessed it. But hey, it makes sense doesnt it? If you are in better shape your body will age better. I would also submit that exercising can help you develop your psychological training by promoting a healthy mindset. Vitamins Antioxidant vitamins are said by those who believe the oxidant theory of floaters to help. You would typically look to take a significant amount of vitamin C and E. Studies have suggested that taking vitamin C (1000 mg per day) and vitamin E (200 IU per day) helps to protect the light receptors in the eyes from free radicals. This can increase/preserve visual clarity. Vitamin E may protect the macula, the light-sensitive layer of the eye. This is the part of the eye responsible for central vision (which is by far the most important part). Vitamin A is also considered critical for all eye disorders. The idea is that these vitamins increase the overall functioning of the eye and thus aid numerous potential problems, including floaters. These types of remedies have had varying success with people. Many people live their lives without taking any vitamin supplements. Others swear by them to be miracle cures. Who am I to judge? What I do know is that taking too much of any particular vitamin or mineral can cause serious internal damage, even death. Potassium Chloride, found in almost all multivitamins, is good in small doses. Its also the

55 substance used in lethal injections to stop the heart and execute those on death row. So just be careful.

Chapter 13: My Final Thoughts


What To Do Now Ive provided you with both mental and physical remedies that have the potential of allowing you to get rid of your eye floaters. Readers ask me all the time, Which do you prefer? I think it is pretty obvious that I prefer the psychological remedies. I stated at the beginning Im a realist. Herbal remedies arent my thing, but I appreciate that many people feel they have been helped by them. Ill rephrase, they have been helped by them. Their lives have improved, and that is the point. I hope that you now feel more comfortable about your floaters and are ready to attack them head on. You are now able to fully understand why you see floaters (beyond the physical reasoning, which is relatively unimportant). Furthermore, you now have the tools to counteract the psychological processes behind you seeing floaters. You also have a significant number of alternative medicine treatments to explore. No matter what methods you choose to employ, you have the power to get rid of floaters. The most important thing for you to do right now is to put the information Ive just given you to use. This is the best time for you to start because the text is most fresh in your mind. Start now! Dont ask questions, just do it. The sooner you begin, the sooner your life improves. Good luck.

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..finis.