Seeing Light Flashes Out Of Corner Of Eye

What are those floaty things in your eye Michael Mauser

Have you ever noticed something swimmingin your field of visioné It may look like a tiny wormor a transparent blob, and whenever you try to geta closer look, it disappears, only to reappearas soon as you shift your glance. But don't go rinsing out your eyes! What you are seeing is a common phenomenon known as a floater. The scientific name for these objectsis Muscae volitantes,

Latin for quot;flying flies,quot; and true to their name,they can be somewhat annoying. But they're not actually bugsor any kind of external objects at all. Rather, they exist inside your eyeball. Floaters may seem to be alive,since they move and change shape, but they are not alive. Floaters are tiny objectsthat cast shadows on the retina, the lightsensitive tissueat the back of your eye.

They might be bits of tissue, red blood cells, or clumps of protein. And because they're suspendedwithin the vitreous humor, the gellike liquidthat fills the inside of your eye, floaters drift alongwith your eye movements, and seem to bounce a littlewhen your eye stops. Floaters may be onlybarely distinguishable most of the time.

They become more visiblethe closer they are to the retina, just as holding your hand closerto a table with an overhead light will result in a moresharply defined shadow. And floaters are particularly noticeable when you are lookingat a uniform bright surface, like a blank computer screen, snow, or a clear sky,

where the consistency of the backgroundmakes them easier to distinguish. The brighter the light is,the more your pupil contracts. This has an effect similarto replacing a large diffuse light fixture with a single overhead light bulb, which also makesthe shadow appear clearer. There is another visual phenomenonthat looks similar to floaters but is in fact unrelated. If you've seen tiny dots of lightdarting about

when looking at a bright blue sky, you've experienced what is knownas the blue field entoptic phenomenon. In some ways,this is the opposite of seeing floaters. Here, you are not seeing shadows but little moving windowsletting light through to your retina. The windows are actually causedby white blood cells moving through the capillariesalong your retina's surface. These leukocytes can be so largethat they nearly fill a capillary

What Are Eye Boogers

Hi BrainStuff, Cristen here. Today's questionis “What are eye boogerséâ€� If you've ever had to wipe gunk out of the corners ofyour eyes, it's not because you were visited by the Sandman or a magical mucus fairy. Nope!We live in a cruelly mundane universe. I'm sorry if I'm the first to break it to you. Eye boogers are a buildup of the “precornealâ€�or “basalâ€� tear film that coats and protects your eyes plus any foreign particles itcatches. This tear film is just 3 micrometers thick,which is less than half the diameter of a red blood cell, but it's made up of 3 components:the mucin, the aqueous, and the lipid.

The aqueous component is the operative one:It nourishes, lubricates, and flushes your eyes' cells. It also smoothes over the microscopiclumps and bumps on the surface of your eyes, creating a smooth lens that optimizes lighttransfer into your retina. The other two components are a support systemfor the aqueous one: The mucin component underneath allows it to temporarily stick to your eyes.Mucins are the proteins that make mucus slimy. And the lipid component outside holds it inplace, so that you're not just crying constantly like you've got Moulin Rouge playing onloop. Without the lipid layer, our tear film would drip right off of our eyeballs.

But how do these components become eye boogers,and why do they accumulate in the inner corners of your eyesé I'll tell ya. When you blink, your entire eyelid doesn'tclose simultaneously. It shuts like a meaty clapperboard, from the outer corners of youreyes inward toward your nose. Your tear film gets pushed along by the motion. Upon reaching the inner corner of your eye,most of the film drains out through the tear ducts, which empty into your nasal cavity.But some of the film – the mucins, oils, and debris – can clump together and getstuck.

When enough of that builds up, it forms thegoop known as eye boogers. And when it accumulates and dries overnight because you're not blinkingit away, it forms the crusty gunk known as sleep or sand. Isn't this the sexiest science you've everheardé So that answers today's question, but I'vegot a question for you: What other gross stuff do you want to know abouté Let us know inthe comments. And to learn more about everything from tears to space telescopes, head overto HowStuffWorks .

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