Ten years ago I woke up one morning to a thumbprint in the middle of my right eye. I've had floaters all my life, but this was the mother of all floaters, so I trundled off to my ophthalmologist's office, hoping for some drops and quick cure. Imagine my horror when she confirmed on examination, "Yes, you have a floater all right. There's nothing you can do about it, really. You'll get used to it."

I did NOT. Not only that, its evil cousin appeared sometime later in my left eye, and for the next several years the quality of my visual life went downhill. Extensive internet searches only revealed the same dismal info my doctor had given me--the only available treatment for floaters was something called a vitrectomy, drastic and not recommended. Getting the correct eyeglass prescription became almost impossible as my floaters obliterated the letters on the eye charts, and driving, reading or working on the computer entailed blinking, squinting and rubbing my eyes every few seconds. I blamed my deteriorating ability to concentrate on an ageing brain.

Then, a few months ago, I found Dr. Karickoff's website. It took me about another five minutes to call and make an appointment.

Dr. Karickhoff met with me and my husband, examined both my eyes and gave me the verdict. He is a quintessential Southern gentleman, learned, experienced (with a CV that will blow your socks off), and absolutely charming. He explained everything in a clear, organized fashion, and told us exactly what I could expect. My right eye contained around 50 syneresis clouds, which were difficult to treat, but Dr. Karickhoff felt he could make a significant change, and I should see about a 60-80% improvement. My left eye had a single larger floater that would be easier to treat. We decided to go ahead, and later that morning Dr. Karickhoff shot 283 laser beams into my right eye. The procedure was fascinating and not at all painful. It took about 20 minutes. My eyes remained dilated (therefore blurred) for several more hours, but long before the drops wore off I was amazed to find the thumbprint had disappeared. At dinner that night I was able to read the entire menu without blinking once.

We stayed at a local hotel recommended on Dr. Karickhoff's website, Inns of Virginia. Michael, the owner, told us of a steady stream of Dr. Karickhoff's patients over the years, and how much he enjoyed their delight at having their vision restored. We met several such clients at the hotel and in Dr. Karickhoff's office. We could hardly contain our excitement; everyone had a similar story to tell--years of frustration, being told nothing could be done, elation after 20 minutes under the laser.

The second morning Dr. Karickhoff "tidied up" my right eye with another 80 shots and went to work on my left eye. Zap! The big floater was history. The following morning he put a few finishing zaps into both eyes, did a final checkup, and off I went on my merry, very clear-eyed way.

I still can't quite believe the miracle. I can work at the computer for hours and not be visually exhausted. I can read a whole paragraph--a whole page--of a book without having to stop a dozen times. No wonder my concentration was impaired! I can't begin to describe my elation and my deep gratitude. I can only say to anyone reading this with a similar problem, get thee to Falls Church, VA, and your life will be forever changed.

Zoe Kharpertian
55 years old
Montclair, NJ

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John Karickhoff, M.D. • 313 Park Avenue • Falls Church, VA 22046