Talking about floaters

Talking about floaters - the worm-like objects we sometimes see in our vision

Do you remember those transparent and squiggly worm-like things moving around in your field of vision? They usually appear when we stare at a bright background, like the sky or the TV screen, and every time we try to take a closer look, they scurry away! They reappear again when you shift your glance. Many of us think that these are tiny bacteria or other micro-organisms floating around in our eye, but that's not the fact.

What are these floaters in our vision? 4  

Floaters or, as they are scientifically called, Muscae Volitantes, are nothing but the shadow cast on your retina by certain objects that are floating around in the vitreous humor inside your eyeball. These floating objects could be bits of tissue, red blood cells or even clumps of protein that are suspended in the gel-like fluid that fills your eyes.

2   What other things can we observe in our field of vision? 5

A different kind of floater is clearly visible when we have been staring at the sky for far too long. That is the reason why it is called  the Blue Field Entoptic Phenomena. In this phenomena tiny dots of light can be seen darting around in your field of vision. The explanation for this vision is quite different from that of the regular floaters.

Instead of shadows, here you are seeing little windows of light, let in by white blood cells. When larger WBCs move through the capillaries on the surface of your retina, their radius can reach the same as that of the capillary, causing a plasma space to open up in front of them. Both the plasma space and the white blood cell are more transparent to blue light than the regular red blood cells, and appear to us as tiny dots of light darting around in our field of vision.


Although these entoptic phenomena are quite common in everybody, abnormally large floaters that interfere with the sight of vision can be a symptom for something more serious. In such cases, it is imperative to consult an ophthalmologist and get your eyes checked.


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