Many people suffer from the phenomenon Mouches floaters, which stands for “flying flies” in French. Those affected see black dots that seem to dance in front of their eyes. Mouches floaters are harmless, but disturb the visual sensation. The symptoms often subside on their own after a while.
With eye floaters, those affected see small threads, points, worms or spots in front of the eye, especially when looking at a light background.
At Mouches floaters it is an entoptic phenomenon.
This results from the anatomical conditions inside the eye, but is subjectively localized in front of the eye in the outer space. Mostly mouches volantes is synonymous with Vitreous opacity used.
This casts shadows on the retina. The person affected perceives them as short, long or crooked threads, as streaks that float through their field of vision.
The visual acuity is not affected.
There are different triggers for floaters. One cause is suspected to be Cloquet's canal as a remnant of the receding hyaloid artery that supplies the lens and vitreous with blood. Eye and face injuries, as well as scratching and touching the eyes are other triggers. Here, the pressure on the eyeball that can arise plays a crucial role. If you hit the eyes or the head, for example, particles can be released from the vitreous humor.
Eye and face plastic surgery are another risk factor that opacities of the vitreous can occur, for example due to swelling that exerts pressure on the eyes or detaches small particles from the vitreous.Oxidative changes in the collagen fibers, hyaluronic acid or other components of the vitreous body can also promote floaters.
The reason for this are high-energy light rays, from which free radicals result. If their activities accumulate, it is referred to as oxidative stress. Unhealthy diet is also linked to the opacities of the vitreous humor. Eating a healthy diet is very important, as poor diets such as fast food, unsaturated fats, too much cholesterol, and too few essential vitamins and micronutrients lead to disorders in the eye and the entire body.
Various drugs play a further role in the development of eye floaters, because the substances they contain cause changes in the chemical balance in the eye, for example psychotropic drugs and preparations for treating skin problems. Stress, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, bleeding and foreign bodies are other possible causes of "flying mosquitos".
With eye floaters, those affected see small threads, dots, worms or spots in front of their eyes, especially when looking at a light background, for example a white wall, the computer screen or the sky. Others cannot see it. Nevertheless, the floaters are not an imagination or an optical illusion. They actually exist.
But they don't fly in the room, they swim in the eye. The appearances move as if they “swim” in front of the field of vision. The floaters move with you when you change your gaze in a different direction. They cannot be pinned, for example to take a closer look at them. The more attention is paid to the disorder, the more unpleasant it is usually felt.
Before the treatment of the floaters, the anamnesis, the detailed discussion between the doctor and the patient, plays an important role. What is the medical history like? What does the person concerned see when he looks at a white wall? How long have the complaints existed? Have you already had any eye treatments or operations?
Are there any diseases, for example metabolic disorders or autoimmune diseases? Do you take medication regularly? These questions can provide a clue. Visual acuity, a measurement of intraocular pressure and a retinal scan are also performed. With the latter method, the doctor can display the vitreous opacity very well.
In order to be able to look better into the eye, the doctor will give eye drops beforehand that dilate the pupil. Examinations such as x-rays, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography are only rarely used if the vitreous opacity cannot be clearly determined.
The floaters are basically harmless. However, those who concentrate on this or suffer from a large number of "flying mosquitos" can feel very disturbed by it. The symptoms disappear again in the course of a lifetime, because the fibers move away from the retina, so that sooner or later they are no longer visible to the eye. The appearances become more and more blurred and weaker over time.
Due to the disease floaters, those affected see spots and worms in their field of vision that do not appear in reality. This significantly reduces and restricts the quality of life of those affected. Even everyday activities can no longer be carried out without further ado, so that the patient's resilience is reduced. It is not uncommon for floaters to lead to disorders of concentration and coordination.
In the worst case, those affected can also lose consciousness through floaters or underestimate or incorrectly assess certain dangers. Furthermore, the patients often see blurred and can no longer carry out normal work. In most cases, this disease also limits the person's daily work. The further course of this disease depends heavily on its cause and on possible interventions on the eyes that have taken place beforehand.
In most cases, however, self-healing occurs. Eye drops are only necessary in severe cases. Furthermore, without treatment, the affected person can become completely blind. The therapy can take place with the help of a laser and reduce the symptoms. Even with this, there are usually no particular complications.
Mouches floaters are initially not a reason for a doctor's visit. Almost everyone perceives them in the course of their life, and they occur quite regularly, especially with higher myopia. They arise because irregularities in the liquid form in the vitreous humor of the eye. This contains collagen fibrils, most of which have been dissolved, but they can also combine to form small threads and lumps. This creates eye floaters. They are of disease value if they can be seen very frequently or continuously as a result of damage to the eye and in particular to the vitreous humor, or can be seen even when the eye is closed.
A doctor should be consulted if more floaters are noticed than before, if their size and shape appear different, if they take on different colors or if they move differently than before. This can indicate a vitreous cloudiness and it needs to be investigated where it comes from. If, in addition to the floaters, more or less large, rough, dark spots, a foggy veil or streaks like on a dirty window in the field of vision or bright flashes are perceived, this can be an indication of bleeding in the eye or a detached retina. These symptoms indicate an emergency and need a medical evaluation as soon as possible, even if they are not painful.
The best option against floaters is unfortunately only to get used to them and not let them irritate. To a certain extent, the brain is also able to block out this perception. A specific treatment concept is not yet available to the patient.
If the floaters lead to a deterioration in visual acuity, which is extremely rare, or if a retinal detachment occurs, an operation can be carried out if necessary, the so-called vitrectomy. The detachment can lead to blindness, but this is also extremely rare. During the operation, the central vitreous body and the opacities are removed. Vitrectomy is a serious procedure that can result in total loss of the eye as a complication.
Another possibility is the thermal bursting of the vitreous opacities with a YAG laser. However, the changes must not be close to the lens or retina. This method is gentler than surgery, but does not have the same success rates. In addition, new floaters can arise as a result of the bursting.
The prognosis for floaters is very good. The symptoms associated with the vitreous opacity usually improve over time, even without therapeutic measures. The "flying mosquitos" often disappear completely, as the vitreous and fibers gradually move away from the retina. As a result, the triggering irregularities in the vitreous fluid also shift out of the line of sight and thus out of the field of view. However, this can take several months to years. Nevertheless, the eyes and vision should be checked regularly by an ophthalmologist. This is especially true if the "flying mosquitoes" suddenly appear in swarms and in connection with lightning. Because this can be a sign of a retinal defect, which can lead to a retinal detachment via a retinal tear.
A surgical procedure such as a vitreous body removal (vitrectomy), on the other hand, is associated with possible risks. Retinal holes can occur in 12 to 30 percent. Retinal tears and infections with impending blindness are also possible in rare cases. In about 2.5 percent of the operated patients, a network house detachment occurs. In addition, many affected people who have operated on have opacities of the lens.
First of all, a healthy and balanced diet is fundamentally indispensable, not only to prevent floaters, but for the entire organism. In order to prevent vitreous opacity, no sports should be practiced that involve a risk of injury to the eyes. Anything that causes pressure on the eyes should be avoided. Excessive eye rubbing is also part of it.
In most cases, there are very few direct follow-up measures available to those affected with floaters. For this reason, the person affected should contact a doctor at an early stage so that there are no complications or other complaints in the further course. Self-healing cannot usually occur with floaters.
To prevent complete blindness, the patient should see a doctor at the first symptoms and signs of the disease. In most cases, this disease requires surgery to relieve and limit the symptoms. The person affected should take it easy and rest after the procedure.
Exertion or stressful activities should be avoided in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. Regular checks by a doctor after the procedure are also very important, and the affected area should be particularly well protected. Further aftercare measures are usually not available to the affected person. The disease does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.
The eye floaters cannot yet be treated causally. Slight complaints will subside by themselves after a certain period of getting used to. Those affected should visit an ophthalmologist and work out a therapy with him. In the best case, the brain is able to hide the perceptual disorders independently.
Since no specific treatment concept is available so far, the most important measure is to work through the symptoms and learn to ignore them. In severe cases, the visual impairment can be corrected surgically. After such an operation, the eyes must be spared. In the first few days and weeks in particular, the patient must not expose his eyes to major stimuli such as direct sunlight, cold or heat. Contact with harmful substances should also be avoided if possible. A healthy diet can also aid recovery. In addition, the patient should not move jerkily to avoid tearing the suture.
Similar measures apply after laser treatment. Since mouche floaters can occur again and again, the patient should be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist after the treatment has been completed. If the vision problems recur, treatment must be restarted immediately.