Do you have white or gray specks in your visual field? These are often known as floaters. They tend to be difficult or impossible to focus on, floating on across your visual field as you move your eyes. Floaters are generally harmless other than being annoying. So while some patients do have them removed surgically, this is not always necessary. Should you have your eye floaters surgically removed? Well, that depends. Consider these pros and cons as you make your decision.

Pro: Surgery will alleviate the annoyance and distraction of floaters.

Some people are able to ignore floaters and go on with their day. Others have a really hard time focusing on anything other than the floaters. If you often find yourself sitting there trying to focus on your floaters while you should be doing work or tackling other tasks, then surgery may be a good option for you. With the floaters gone, you will be better able to focus on other things, like reading or driving.

Con: Surgery increases your risk of cataracts and other eye ailments.

While surgery will get rid of your floaters, it may increase your risk of developing other eye problems in the future. Cataracts and macular degeneration are the most common of these issues. There is no guarantee you'll develop these problems, and in fact, most patients don't, but the increased risk is something to consider.

Pro: Floater removal surgery is an outpatient procedure.

More formally known as vitreous removal surgery, this procedure is a relatively straightforward one as far as eye surgeries go. It is performed with a local anesthetic, so you'll remain awake and your eyes will be numb. And you can return home after the procedure to recover. You'll only need to wear an eye patch and limit use of your eye for a week or two.

Con: The floaters may come back.

After you have the floaters removed surgically, there is a chance your body may produce more of them as your eyes produce more vitreous humor, which is the liquid inside the eyes. You can have these floaters removed surgically again, but this can feel like a long and ongoing battle. Some patients reach the point where they would rather just ignore the floaters and learn to live with them.

Floaters can be annoying, but are they worth having removed surgically? That depends on how you weigh the risks and cons against the benefits of this procedure. Contact a medical professional who offers eye floater removal to learn more.