Possible Treatment For Floaters

I am 32 years old, and like the rest of you have had very significant floaters (cob-webs, lines, spots, etc.) in both eyes for some time. I think they are the partial result of having used a strong drug for acne called "Accutane" when I was in high school, which drys out your entire body (skin and eyes especially) and is now known to have lasting and serious side effects, though the medical litereture does not specifically mention floaters. Since conventional modern medicine (opthamology) could offer me no cure for floaters, I decided to explore the area known generically as "natural medicine", aka "alternative medicine". Surprisingly, several treatments did show up again and again which were obviously harmless and inexpensive enought to to be given a chance. Much to my amazement, I am finally improving somewhat as a result of this treatment! This is an herbal remedy which is very simple and stems from Chinese medical theory. In Oriental Medicine, a close relationship between the liver and the eyes is posited based on acupunture theory. This theory states that there are a series of pathways or "meridians" which course through the body like a bio- electrical ciruit system, supplying vital energy (known as "chi" in Asia) from the major organs to the peripheral and all other parts of the body. The so-called liver meridian actually splits into two channels with one for each eye. So the theory is that if you strengthen the liver with the proper herbs you indirectly strengthen the eyes. Two herbs which are non-toxic and can be safely taken long-term are Dandelion Root and Milk Thistle (from which Silymarin is derived). Both products are readily available at local health food stores or through mail-order. I started out with about a gram (two capsules) and 1 1/2 grams (three capsules) of Dandelion daily. A Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Taiwan (that's where my wife is from) told me that the treatment should be continued at least six (6) months before its efficacy could be evaluated. But the dosage I mentioned above did not lead to any noticable improvement even after 8 months, so I upped the dosage: 3 capsules of Milk Thistle and 4 capsules Dandelion daily. THIS TIME I GOT RESULTS IN TWO MONTHS!!! It was around the seventh week that I noticed the largest and darkest of my floaters (in the left eye) become noticably lighter in color, i.e. less dense. Then within another six weeks the lighter cobweb patterns began to respond with a significant lessening of density. I don't yet understand exactly HOW this is working inside the eye itself, though I DO wholly believe the theory of acupunture meridians being involved. Does it cause "re-absorption" of the broken down infrastructure back into the vitreous..in other words, does it simply "dissolve" the unhealthy clumps of humour while leaving the healthy vitreous alone? This SEEMS to be whats gradually happening even though medical science says it is "impossible". Now its been about a year since the treatment began to work, and I the improvement continues though much more slowly than the initial response. I tried to tell severeal doctors about this...its interesting, all but ONE was quite disbelieving! I got the cold shoulder, I got laughed at, and I got a patronizing lecture about the "placebo" effect. Well, if a placecbo can do what this stuff has done, I'll take it! But one internal medicine physician was familiar with Chinese medical theory - his wife had used acupuncture for a painful back condition and had greatly benefited, and he stated that he believed this treatment probably did cause the improvement. My point in going into all of this is that if you try this treatment and get results from it, you are really on your own...you cannot necessarily expect the "experts" to understand or even believe that this is possible. I of course want very much for this treatment to work for YOU as it did for me, since I do understand the helpless frustration of being told that a very disquieting condition is incurable. By the same token, I think it would be unfair (perhaps even cruel) of me to raise false hopes. Just because this treatment seemed to work for me and seems to have worked for others does not of course guarentee that it will work for you. If you do decide to try it, I suggest a cautious optimism with- out overly high expectations. Maybe nothing will happen, but personally I would encourage anyone open enough to give this Milk Thistle/Dandelion alternative a try. By all means do so ONLY AFTER YOU ARE SURE THAT YOUR FLOATERS ARE MEDICALLY BENIGN. The sudden appearance of many new floaters can sometimes be indicative of serious problems. Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! This is the most valuable thing to remember. I don't think it is ever good for us torture ourselves worrying about what we think we can't control. A positive attitude can only help things, as it strengthens the spirit, the immune system, and YES, even the eyes! Good luck..

Paul Dorn


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