Myodesopsias: How to treat them

The myodesopsias, commonly known as “floaters”, are small spots or shadows that seem to move in our field of vision. Although they can be annoying, they generally do not pose a danger to eye health. In this article, we will explore what myodesopsias are, why they occur, the problems they can cause, and how to treat them.

What are myodesopsias?

Myodesopsias are small floating particles in the vitreous humor, the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina inside the eye. These particles can be of various shapes and sizes, and are often described as dots, threads, or cobwebs. When light enters the eye, the particles cast shadows on the retina, resulting in the perception of “floaters”.

As we age, the vitreous humor shrinks and loses its gelatinous consistency, which can lead to the formation of these floating particles. In addition, collagen and other proteins present in the vitreous humor can cluster to form a dense clump, which will also contribute to the appearance of myodesopsias. These particles can be more noticeable when looking at a clear or uniform background, such as the clear sky or a white wall.

Causes of myodesopsias

  • Posterior vitreous detachment: With age, the vitreous humor can shrink and separate from the retina. This process, called posterior vitreous detachment, can cause the formation of myodesopsias. As the vitreous moves away from the retina, it can drag along small cellular debris and collagen fibers, which appear as “floaters”.
  • Vitreoretinal degeneration: Degeneration of the vitreous humor or the retina can also contribute to the appearance of myodesopsias. For example, myopic degeneration of the vitreous can cause the formation of fluid pockets within the vitreous, which in turn can result in the appearance of “floaters”.
  • Vitreous hemorrhage: The presence of blood in the vitreous, known as vitreous hemorrhage, can also cause myodesopsias. Blood in the vitreous can result from eye injuries, vascular diseases of the retina, or complications from diabetes.
  • Eye inflammation: Inflammation inside the eye, such as uveitis, can also cause the formation of myodesopsias. Inflammation can cause the release of inflammatory cells and proteins into the vitreous, which can appear as “floaters”.

Problems associated with myodesopsias

In most cases, myodesopsias are a minor annoyance and do not pose a significant risk to eye health. However, in some cases, they can be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as a tear or a retinal detachment. If you experience a sudden increase in the number of “floaters”, flashes of light, or a decrease in your field of vision, you should consult an ophthalmologist immediately, as these could be signs of a more serious problem that requires urgent medical attention. At Clínica Castanera, we have the most prestigious ophthalmologists – retinologists to receive the most accurate diagnosis, both of this and any other condition related to the posterior segment of the eye.

Treatment of myodesopsias

In general, no treatment is required for myodesopsias, as most people get used to them over time. The brain can learn to ignore the myodesopsias, resulting in a decrease in the perception of these floating particles. Over time, myodesopsias can become less noticeable or even disappear completely, which allows people to continue with their daily activities without significant discomfort.

However, in some cases, myodesopsias can be particularly bothersome or severely affect a person’s quality of life. In these cases, it’s important to seek the opinion of an ophthalmology specialist to determine the best treatment strategy.

In cases where the floaters become unbearable, we can opt for a surgical treatment that completely eliminates them: vitrectomy. This is a surgical procedure in which the vitreous humor is removed and replaced with a saline solution. Vitrectomy is an effective option for those patients who experience severe and persistent symptoms.

In cases where the floaters become unbearable, we can opt for a surgical treatment that completely eliminates them: vitrectomy. This is a surgical procedure in which the vitreous humor is removed and replaced with a saline solution. Vitrectomy is an effective option for those patients who experience severe and persistent symptom

The surgical technique of vitrectomy involves making small incisions in the sclera of the eye, through which a specialized instrument called a vitreotome is introduced. This instrument cuts and aspirates the vitreous humor, allowing its removal from the eye. At the same time that the vitreous humor is aspirated, a saline solution is injected into the empty space to maintain the shape and the correct pressure of the eye. The saline solution gradually mixes with the residual vitreous humor, providing a similar environment to the one that existed before surgery. 

After vitrectomy, recovery is usually quick, and most patients can resume their daily activities in a short period of time. It is important to follow the ophthalmologist’s instructions regarding postoperative care, including the use of medications and attending follow-up appointments, to ensure adequate recovery and prevent possible complications.

Prevention and eye health care

Although there is no sure way to completely prevent myodesopsias, maintaining good eye health can reduce the risk of developing them. Some recommendations include:

  • Perform regular eye exams: Consult your ophthalmologist for regular eye check-ups and ensure that your eye health is in optimal condition.
  • Protect your eyes: Use sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays and avoid eye injuries by using protective glasses during high-risk activities.
  • Maintain a balanced diet: Consume foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts, to maintain the health of your eyes.
  • Control systemic diseases: If you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, or other diseases that may affect eye health, be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment and recommendations to control these conditions.

Myodesopsias, or “floaters”, are a common phenomenon that affects many people throughout their lives. Although they generally do not pose a risk to eye health, it is important to be alert to sudden changes in the quantity or type of floaters, as they could be an indicator of a more serious problem. As we always recommend, the best option is always prevention. It is essential to have regular ophthalmological check-ups, at least once a year to confirm that your eye health is in the best possible condition. At Clínica Castanera, we have the most equipped and trained staff to carry out an accurate diagnosis and offer you the best possible treatment. We continue to be a reference center in Barcelona.