MYODESOPSIA OR FLOATERS

Myodesopsias (floaters, muscae volitantes) are a very usual symptom in patients who go to the ophthalmologist’s. They normally appear more obvious when patients look at bright surfaces such as the sky, a white wall, a book or even the computer screen.

Inside the eye there is a gel that is called vitreous humour. The vitreous body is a structure that, as years go by, losses its consistency and starts liquefying. It is mainly made of collagen fibres. When disintegrating, these fibres may adopt different shapes (curls, threads, cobwebs, etc). When light comes in through the pupil, it gets in contact with these vitreous condensations, the shadows they create are projected onto the retina and it is for this reason that patients see dark spots in their visual field. As they float in the vitreous it seems as if they moved all the time and even followed the eyes movements.

They are more usual in people over the age of 60 and they are also very frequent in myopic patients at any age as their vitreous humour disintegrates precociously.

Myodesopsias by themselves don’t entail any danger. Nevertheless, they may indicate retinal problems. That’s why we advise being seen by an ophthalmologist in the following cases:

  • Appearance of Myodesopsias for the first time.
  • Increase of myodesopsias.
  • New appearance of myodesopsias along with light flashes.
  • Appearance of a permanent dark spot.
  • Appearance of a curtain that covers the vision partially.

There’s no way to prevent myodesopsias and, generally, it isn’t advisable to follow any treatment against them except if they are truly disabling for the patient. Most patients get used to their presence and usually notice them far less some weeks later.