Eye Floaters and flashes of light

"These vitreous alterations do not require any treatment except in very exceptional cases".


The eye floaters or myodesopsias are small spots that patients perceive moving in their visual field. They correspond to condensations of the vitreous humor, a transparent gel that fills the interior of the eye.

Generally, it does not reverse importance, but, in some occasions they associate small tears and/or hemorrhages in the retina that may require laser treatment to prevent a detachment of the retina (more serious pathology that requires surgical treatment).

We have a team of retinal surgeons with extensive experience in managing the complications of this pathology.

What are the symptoms of flying flies?

The "flying flies" or myodesopsias, in the vast majority of cases are a normal process of the aging of the eye and do not compromise vision.

At first they can be annoying, as time goes by patients adapt to that vision.

When they are very dense or have little mobility they can produce vision problems and diminish the quality of life.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Spots in the vision.
  • Vision of flashing lights or luminous streaks.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

An ophthalmological examination may be necessary

What are the causes?

With the years, it is very frequent that the vitreous humor becomes watery (instead of gelatinous) and suffers a process of internal disorganization, with the formation of condensation inside.

These condensations float in the vitreous humor and produce shadows in the retina that move with the movement of the eyes ("flying flies"), especially in very illuminated environments or on white backgrounds. 

The perception of "flashes of light", even with the eyes closed and in the dark, is due to the separation that the vitreous humor suffers from the retina, when the disorganization is greater. This process is called vitreous detachment.

Risk Factors

This disorganization of the vitreous humor can occur more precociously in people with:

  • Myopia.
  • Cataract surgery.
  • Ocular laser surgery.
  • Recurrent or chronic inflammation of the interior of the eye.
  • Less frequently, it can be associated with certain ocular diabetic complications or other serious ocular diseases.

How are flying flies diagnosed?

The diagnostic procedure of the flying flies (myodesopsias) includes an examination of the fundus of the eye with pupil dilation, by means of which the state of the retina is evaluated, discarding the existence of a serious disease or injury in most of the cases.

The flying flies and the flashes of light become more frequent with aging.

How are floaters treated?

In cases where the retina is affected, it is essential to perform laser treatment to prevent a detachment of the retina from the damaged areas. However, there is no medical treatment to make flying flies disappear.

Only in very exceptional cases, in which the symptoms are very incapacitating for the patient, could it be justified to perform surgery to eliminate the vitreous humor with the opacities it contains (vitrectomy) or a procedure to dissolve said opacities, such as laser vitreolysis.

Where do we treat them?


The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 30 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Our team of professionals