A young man, about 18 years old, accompanied by his mother, described his floater in great detail. The opacity was so small that it required the direct and indirect scopes, a contact lens at the slit lamp, and finally the optics of the laser to see it.

I explained that the floater was tiny, too near the retina for treatment, and gave him reassurance that he would be all right.

Here is the conversation that followed:

Patient: “Have you heard how they dissolve these opacities at the University of Idaho?”

Dr. K.: “Yes, but they are dissolving hemorrhage, not floaters."

Patient: “Can you take out all my vitreous and filter it and put it back inside my eye?”  (His mother threw up her hands.)

Dr. K.: “That could probably be done, but the risks are extremely high.”

Patient: “Can you introduce a bacteria into my eye that would eat the floater?”

Dr. K.: “That would probably destroy your vision.”

Patient:“Well then, could you just spin me in a centrifuge and move the floater to the side of the eye?”

Dr. K.: "I don't have the equipment, but maybe NASA could do that for you."

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