"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.
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 opacities is another term used. As these tiny threads are floating within in the vitreous, they move, whenever your eyeball moves; hence the term floater.
The appearance of "floaters" is extremely common. Almost everyone sees now and then fluff and threads. However, there are also many cases in which their number can be very high and daily life is affected negatively and permanently. The interference to vision can cause impairments in reading, driving and computer work.
In some cases, people are so much affected by floaters that it becomes difficult to participate in normal life and to hold down their job.
The emergence of vitreous opacities increases with age.
In most cases, floaters are harmless. In general, the vitreous opacities is not associated with progressive and degenerative eye diseases.
However, a sudden increase in the number of black dots may indicate severe damage to the internal eye structure, especially when accompanied by flashing lights. Affected people describe this condition sometimes as "smuts", "falling clouds of soot" or "a swarm of black flies". In these cases, you should see your eye care professional precautionally (if this is not possible, please go to see the next hospital emergency, since there is a risk of a torn or detached retina.
Research has shown that certain substances inhibit clumping in the vitreous and other ingredients help to dissolve the threads after a period of time. The product VitroCap® contains all of these components in one product.
VitroCap® can be purchased at pharmacies or directly from the manufacturer ebiga-vision GmbH.