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Darn floaters in the eye

Started by ivanong, 02/15/2003 12:55PM
Posted 02/15/2003 12:55PM Opening Post
I have been doing some serious planet observing lately and have found that the floaters in my eye keep drifting into the object field. Needless to say, this is rather irritating. I have found that a slight change helps the problem: I typically observe looking down with a star diagonal. This downward looking position appears to encourage the settlement of floaters into the visual field. If I observe in a head raise position- either by observing straight through in my refractor (not overly comforatable at Zenith) or by sitting lower and looking up into the star diagonal, the floaters are not as noticeble and drift across faster. Does anyone have any more hints to deal with this? Thanks-Ivan
Posted 02/15/2003 01:27PM #1
You should see the aftereffects of a botched cataract surgery.....then you wouldn't be so upset about floaters. Enjoy what you have. Ted
Posted 02/16/2003 07:41AM #2
You're on the right track, Ivan. Whenever possible, orient your viewing position so that eyepieces are held parallel (or roughly so) to the ground. View along the horizontal (look neither up nor down), and your floaters will likely drift down and out of the way, below the eye's image bundle. Smaller floaters may still get in the way, but they're certainly less annoying than the "monsters." My two primary floaters (one per eye) are quite large and intrusive (especially when viewing Luna, Sol, and the brighter planets), so I consider star diagonals *essential* --not merely convenient.

Luckily for us, floaters don't wreak as much havoc when we're viewing stars, clusters, and nebulae.

Best wishes.
Posted 02/17/2003 04:43AM #3

You might try observing with both eyes open if you currently cover or close one or the other. When the brightness in both eyes becomes the same the floaters seem to dis-appear. Its hard to get used to at first and you may well miss some detail but it becomes natural after awhile. Another thing is to try a different image size to obtain a darker image or lighter image, use whatever suits your needs. For me the floaters are the worse at about 230X up to around 260X and horrible at 350X "follow me all over the image". You have to find the magnifications that reduce or eliminate the interferance that allows you to see them. If you can, use a zoom eyepiece to find the image sizes that you can use "and not use". It will be far better than hanging upside down to see !! A long focal length scope is likely not your best friend smile. I suspect you need fairly bright images and not large images, like you see right now.
I can see where binoviewers could help with this condition but have never tried them, sometime in the future I will.
good luck to you and all who suffer from the FLOATERS.
Posted 02/17/2003 06:43AM #4
Have you considered laser treatment?
Posted 02/17/2003 11:36PM #5
Paul Harvey advertises something called Ocular Nurition from Hi-Health ( that *supposedly* helps to eliminate floaters. It's $40 dollars for 100 capsules. It might just be snake oil, but I've considered ordering some just to see. I suffer noticeably from floaters during high-mag planetary viewing.

BTW - I've had laser surgery, and the trade-off of some starburst patterns around bright pinpoint light sources vs. trying to view with contacts or glasses much favors the surgery, IMO. In fact, the results of the surgery were responsible for renewing my interest in astronomy. Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones...

Jeff Chappell