16 min Health Float flies: what are those “little worms” that float in our vision?

16 min Health Float flies: what are those "little worms" that float in our vision?

Have you ever had the impression that some mosquitoes, small worms or strange snakes interfere with your vision and, even after closing and opening your eyes again, these dark spots continued to float in front of you?

Be aware that this is a very common phenomenon and is called floaters. The good news is that they usually do not indicate any problems in the eyesight health of those who see them.

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To understand how floaters affect human vision, FreeGameGuide spoke with physician Alfredo Pigatin, an ophthalmologist at the Hospital de Olhos, in São Paulo. We also note that there is no specific treatment to eliminate these dark spots.

On the other hand, the specialist highlights: “Usually, they disappear spontaneously. As soon as they appear, within a few days or months, the tendency is for them to disappear. If the perception does not disappear, it is necessary to learn to live with it.” After all, the condition does not alter the vision and is benign. In addition, the person can get used to such mosquitoes.

For some people, species of earthworms can appear in the vision and are called floaters (Image: Reproduction/Twenty20photos/Envato Elements)

What causes floaters?

“Flying flies is the popular name that gives a person the perception of small dark dots in front of the vision, which are nothing more than scotomas”, explains Pigatin. “The most common cause is the movement or condensation of the vitreous”, he adds.

Here, it is worth explaining that vitreous is a gelatinous material, basically formed by collagen and water. Its function is to fill the inner part of the eye, and it is anterior to the retina and optic nerve.

“The vitreous, being collagenous, trembles and shakes. The impression is that the dot is walking in front of the person. But nothing more than a shadow caused by a protein, a condensation, a filament that is in the vitreous”, details the doctor. In other words, it is some small flaw in the vitreous that causes this sensation.

“When light passes through the eye, when these condensations are in the path of the light path, the light wave cannot reach the retina completely. This creates a shadow, a dark spot”, adds Pigatin about the origin of floaters.

However, other factors can cause it, in addition to the movement of the vitreous. “Patients can have this perception if they have a retinal problem, such as bleeding caused by diabetes, trauma, infection or inflammation,” he explains. In these cases, the retina will also have the perception that there is a stain.

When to worry about the dark snakes?

When the patient identifies the situation, it is necessary to verify if the little black worms are really floaters. For this, it is possible to perform an eye fundus examination and retinal mapping, says the ophthalmologist.

“Once you took the exam and it was observed that [a percepção] it is just part of the glassy condensation, the picture is just accompanied. There is no treatment, we do not use medication. It’s something benign,” he explains. This is because the perception of black spots does not result in reduced vision, change in degree or development of cataracts, for example.

The greatest attention must be focused on the size of the spots. For the physician, the floater receives this name, because it is a spot of small amount — that is, reduced in size. “When it’s a big spot, it’s more dangerous,” says the specialist.

Another concern is when the mosquito starts to increase in size. “If the stain stops moving and settles in the same place, causing loss of field of vision, then it is necessary to redo the exams”, he completes.

In these situations, the person should always seek adequate medical advice from an ophthalmologist, preferably when identifying the first signs of changes in vision.

If you’re curious to understand what floaters look like — and you’re lucky because you’ve never had that “experience” — check out the video below, which simulates this feeling: