Vitreous opacities

“Floaters” or “muscae volitantes”, also called “mouches volantes” (French) may appear as tiny dark fluff, dots, threads or blobs in your field of vision. They are more noticeable when you look at the sky or a white surface, or other bright background.

Sometimes the person affected may be momentarily confused, thinking they have seen out the corner of their eye a moving insect or even a bird flying. Other times they may think something has blown on to their eye. However, they are within the eyeball and cannot be removed by blinking or by rubbing the eye.

What causes `floaters`?
The threads and lint that you think you see in front of the eye are caused by tiny clots that form in the clear, jelly-like substance (the vitreous) inside the eyeball. Vitreous opacity is another term used. As these tiny threads are floating within in the vitreous, they move, whenever your eyeball moves; hence the term floater.

What is the vitreous?
Within the interior of the eye is the vitreous humor, a gelatinous substance that maintains the shape of the eyeball. Its gel quality absorbs shock and helps protect the delicate retinal layers.  The vitreous is mostly water, but it is two to four times more viscous than water.

Constituents of the vitreous
The jelly-like mass of the vitreous body is 98% water and 2% hyaluronic acid, and a network of collagen fibers. The collagen fibers are arranged parallel to each other and loosely, forming the three-dimensional framework in-filled with water and hyaluronic acid.

 

 


Safety measures:
– Finally, please see below some important information of the Federation of Ophthalmologists in Germany (Bundesverband der Augenärzte Deutschland e.V.).

Do not unnecessarily worry about a vitreous opacity. However, you should know three important security measures for yourself, your family, your friends and acquaintances:

– If you see something that interferes with your vision, visit your eye care professional so they can exclude much rarer possible pathological causes and put your mind at ease.

– Have your eyes checked regularly – from the age of 40 years on, at least once a year, because there are eye diseases that threaten vision and aren`t noticeable. Only your eye care professional can recognize them in good time.

– If your “floaters” suddenly occur in dense swarms, you should see your eye care professional precautionally (if this is not possible, please go to see the next hospital emergency department) as this can be an early sign of a retinal detachment. Another serious warning sign of retinal detachment is the appearance of light flashes. The risk of retinal detachment can be averted easily and quickly with help of a prompt laser treatment. This also applies to other striking phenomena as black sooty rain or if a curtain seems to be obscuring a part of your field of vision*.

Based on the information leaflet for patients, published by the Professional Association
of Ophthalmologist in Germany ( Berufsverbandes der Augenärzte Deutschlands e.V.),in 2007.

Please find more detailed information following the link…