Seeing figures floating before the eyes: what is myodisopsia and why does it occur?


Have you ever seen blurry shapes floating before your eyes? These small objects are called myodisopsia in medicine. These shapes, which can be seen as dots, threads, tails or webs, are not an optical illusion. Your brain is not playing tricks on you. These objects are really there, in your eyes. These objects, which you can see, especially when you wake up in the morning, usually appear during the aging process and are harmless. However, if you see flashing lights (photopsy) with these patterns, you may want to see a doctor. Let’s analyze this interesting situation together.

What is myodisopsia?

Myodisopsia or muscae volitantes, also known as spotting the eyes, is a condition in which some form appears in the field of vision, such as clear or white dots and filaments that move with the eye. Though considered an inconvenience, myodysopsia is usually harmless and can be experienced by anyone.

Why is this happening?

As we age, our vision begins to change. One such change is the weakening of the gel, tissues, and fluids in your eyes in the vitreous cavity.

The vitreous cavity is a small area located between the lens and the retina of the eye. This cavity contains a special glassy substance. In children and adolescents, this substance has the consistency of gelatin, but with age it becomes thinner and becomes watery. Non-liquefied particles begin to float inside the vitreous cavity. These are the forms that appear before your eyes, these pieces floating in the vitreous cavity!

These parts move along the retina. The retina is the tissue in the eye that receives, processes and transmits light. Parts of the vitreous body that prevent light from reaching the retina can take the form of certain objects or shadows.

Is it dangerous?


If your myodysopia is age related, you usually have nothing to fear. However, if you regularly suffer from this condition, or if the amount of floaters increases, the vitreous cavity can peel off from the retina.

Also, if you see flashes of light in addition to these floating shapes, your retina may have been pulled back to the back of your eye or even torn. Damage to the retina can lead to partial or complete loss of vision. That’s why you should see a doctor immediately if the shapes that appear before your eyes are enlarged as a result of myodisopsia or if you start seeing flashes of light.

How is the treatment carried out?


Myodisopsia is an age-related vision problem. However, sometimes causes such as myopia, bruised eyes, cataract surgery, and capsulotomy (removal of the posterior capsule with a laser) can also cause this discomfort. If you suffer from this disease, you can consult an ophthalmologist. The diagnosis of myodisopsia is usually made by examining the vitreous body of both eyes.

Treatment for myodysopsia depends on the size, number, and frequency of floaters. If these items are preventing the retina from receiving light, your doctor may consider you a good candidate for a vitrectomy. This process refers to the physical removal of solid particles from the chamber. However, if the retina is damaged or torn, the tissue can be repaired with minor laser surgery.

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