Floaters

Greg Smith gsmith at westmx.westmont.edu
Wed Sep 7 11:32:43 EST 1994


In article <3486ui$avl at freenet3.scri.fsu.edu>, droyal at freenet1.scri.fsu.edu
(David Royal) wrote:

> I would quote the source document but, I can't do that from here. My
> apologies to those who find this annoying. Anyway, I have experienced
> floaters from the time I was c. 8 yrs. old. I have never read anything
> on them but, if you have anymore info. on them, please send it to me
> at the following address: droyal at freenet.fsu.edu
> 	I am 20 years old and have always wondered what those darn
> floating things were doing on my corneas-at least I think they are
> "floating" on my corneas. Any info. would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance. 
> 

-----

It seems to me that for a floater to be at all in focus, it should be near
the plan of focus, and visually opaque.  Hence, it is likely that these
floaters are either 1. pieces of photoreceptors, or 2. red blood cells. The
former is more likely, as they would be prettu much at the plane of focus,
they are certainly opaque, and they are abundant (photoreceptors shed their
distal ends continually, most of this material being phagocytized by
epithelial cells). 
Based on this, it seems then that floaters may go away, but are more likely
to stay, and that they truly should be of little consequence (apart from
the obvious annoyance).  

It may in fact be that there are two sources (both of the listed ones), and
that the former remain, while the latter are more traumatically induced,
and disappear with time.  My guess is that the curly floaters are
photoreceptors:  they look a lot like a rod outer segment that is removed
from the cell (it typically curls up somewhat).

ayoub at westmont.edu



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