Floaters, also called muscae volitantes (from the Latin, meaning ‘flying flies’), are small deposits that many people see moving in their visual field, especially when looking at a plain background, such as a wall or the sky.
They are small particles of gelatinous material that form in the vitreous humour, the clear liquid that fills the inside of the eye.
Although they appear to be in front of the eye, they actually float in the vitreous humour, and what can be seen are the shadows of the floaters projected onto the retina. They are generally of minor importance and are associated with the ageing process.
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How to act?
Floaters are not preventable. What is possible, however, is early detection of related complications. It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist if:
- New floaters appear suddenly
- You see light flashes
- A loss of side vision is experienced
- If vision loss occurs after an eye operation, the patient should be treated as soon as possible.