Eye floaters can be annoying, however in general they are a benign condition that should not interfere with normal vision.
Our eyes are one of the human organs not only of the most fragile but also those of more exposed to external pathogens that could compromise the healthy functioning of them. Many of the pathologies that present the ocular area are due to different causes.
Eye floats (scientifically called myodesopsias) represent a common form of visual disturbance.
And basically, usually, it usually appears in a variety of different shapes of small size similar to spots, spots, specks, cells, cobwebs, worms or threads that move in the field of vision .
Well, unlike the visual aura, which is strictly a perceptual disturbance or an optical illusion, the eye floats are actually the shadows projected by the deposits that are physically present in the eye.
While our brains may over time learn to ignore them, eye floats should be checked when they become particularly bothersome because they may be a sign of retinal tearing or retinal detachment, conditions that put us at risk of losing sight.
What are myodesopsies?
The floating eyes or simply floats are also known (as we noted at the beginning of the post) as myodesopsia or flying flies (of the French flyers).
Basically they are deposits in our vitreous humor (part of the eye that is between the lens and the retina that is filled with a clear gelatinous substance) that casts a shadow on the retina. This shadow of the deposits that appears in our field of vision is what we call floats.
And although it is not believed is more common than we imagine. Well, it is believed that all people at least once in life have suffered.
What is the difference between myodesopsia and visual aura?
Well, at this point it has to be said that eye floats are not the same things as the visual aura . Bright, glistening lines, spots or spots, common in the visual aura, are just an optical illusion or a distortion of our visual perception.
They do not have a physical source. On the other hand, on the contrary, the floaters, on the other hand, are the shadows projected on the retina by various types of deposits located in the vitreous humor.
What is the general appearance of these myodesopsies?
The floats are often transparent, but may be white, gray or even black, depending on the consistency of the deposits in the vitreous. The shape of the tanks also dictates the shape of the floats.
In general, eye floats are a benign condition, mainly because the floats are quite insignificant and are nothing more than annoying as they move in the field of view. The closer a reservoir of the retina is, the greater its shadow, the float appears.
There are several types of deposits that can cast a shadow on the retina and lead to the formation of floaters. These include:
- Retinal fragments.
- Collagen fibrils (fine fragments).
- Cells and cellular matter.
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Calcium material
- Solid matter of the vitreous humor.
Depending on the deposits that cast a shadow on the retina, the floats can have different shapes, sizes and even colors:
- Threads or threads.
- Ring shapes
Why do myiodesopsies move?
As mentioned above, floaters are deposits in the vitreous, a gel-like part of the eye located between the lens and the retina.
These deposits are not fixed so they move on the vitreous and so do their shadows. This is what makes them seem to move or derive over our field of vision. This is also one of the reasons why they are visible to us.
The floats also seem to be following every movement that our eyes make when, in fact, they are just drifting or moving in the vitreous without direction.
In other words, they do not really move when we look in one direction or another. We simply continue to see them wherever we look simply because they are in our field of vision.
Many people report seeing floats more clearly when they look at the blue sky, for example. The explanation is simple: the blue sky is like the simplest possible background and allows us to better observe the floaters since they are not competing for our attention with any other significant object.
In addition, it has been shown that they tend to move towards the lower part of the eye, so looking to the sky will place them in the center of our field of vision and make them easier to observe. Bright daylight can also make the floats more visible to us.
Causes of myodesopsies
There are several causes why floaters appear:
Old age : As we age, our vitreous humor tends to shrink and solid matter can be released, resulting in floaters.
People over 50, those who suffer from myopia (nearsightedness) or anyone who has undergone cataract surgery may experience floaters.
While fly flies are very likely in the elderly, children, adolescents, and young adults can also experience them. Generally, floats are a benign condition.
Detachment of vitreous humor and tearing of the retina : It is possible that the vitreous humor detaches from the retina. During this process, the vitreous can drag part of the retina and cause a tear. This can cause floaters and flashes. If flashes appear, seek medical help immediately.
Detachment of the retina: The detachment of the vitreous humor, the rupture of the retina and the traumatic accidents can cause the separation of the retina. This can cause hemorrhage and the appearance of a large number of floaters or flashes of light in the form of dots along with the loss of vision. If you suspect a retinal detachment, consult a medical professional immediately.
Vitreous humor or retina inflammation : Inflammation at the level of the vitreous humor and the retina can be the result of traumatisms, diseases, viral or fungal infections (such as chorioretinitis) and will give rise to floaters. Because it is a serious illness, it requires immediate medical attention.
Disease: Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, a condition that leads to the destruction of blood vessels connected to the retina and blindness.
HIV and AIDS, as well as syphilis, tuberculosis or West Nile virus can cause chorioretinitis and subsequent inflammation of the retina and vitreous, resulting in floaters. Eye floats may appear, in extremely rare cases, as a result of cancer or asteroid hyalosis.
Trauma and injury: It is very likely that injuries and injuries cause vitreous hemorrhage, vitreous detachment, tearing of the retina and detachment and, therefore, cause the appearance of floaters and even blindness.
As mentioned earlier, eye floats are usually a harmless medical condition. Floats can appear and disappear or be present most of life. As long as they do not interfere with normal vision, they are not cause for concern.
However, it may be best to seek medical help if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- The floats increase in number and begin to affect your sight.
- They are accompanied by flashes.
- Vision loss occurs.
- Pain develops
Any of these symptoms can be a sign of retinal or vitreous detachment, hemorrhage or indicate an underlying disease. In general, floaters should be uncomfortable at best, but not affect the vision, generate pain or bright flashes of light.
Treatment options. Eye floats is a medical condition that does not require treatment unless it causes vision problems.
Likewise, it has been demonstrated that our brain will finally learn to disconnect from the presence of the floats. In this sense, children but also adolescents and even young adults can experience unique episodes, with floaters that finally disappear on their own.
In fact, some people claim and report that they take magnesium supplements to help improve the condition, but there is a lack of sufficient research and empirical treatments on the subject.
However, it should be taken into account that in severe cases a surgery called vitrectomy can be performed to eliminate part of the vitreous humor (the floating deposits are too small to be eliminated individually).
The risks of the procedure include: possibility of retinal detachment, hemorrhage, infection, cataracts and blindness. A novel laser surgery called vitreolysis can be performed to remove deposits, but it carries similar risks.
However, the advantage is that it is less invasive and has a success rate of up to 90%.