The vitreous is a very viscous liquid (jelly-like mass) surrounded by a very thin membrane that gives the eyeball its shape and stability. The vitreous takes almost two-thirds of the eye and is connected to the lens and the retina. It consists of 98% water. Other important ingredients are a network of collagen fibers and hyaluronic acid.
The phenomenon of “floaters” (French: “mouches volantes”) results from collagen lumps in the vitreous humor, which usually occur with increasing age. Following this, the separation of hyaluronic acid molecules from water molecules. This gives a glassy degeneration, as can also be observed in for example yogurt or cottage cheese after prolonged standing. As a result, the collagen fibers clump together to form larger floaters which tumble and turn, casting shadows on the retina. These are perceived as threads, lint or black dots, commonly referred to as “floaters”. This is medically harmless.
They may differ greatly in size and shape. Of those affected, they are described as threads, lint, tiny dots or bubbles.
There are numerous causes of vitreous opacities. The most common is the natural aging of the vitreous. As we age, our vitreous tends to liquefy, leading to new “floaters”. In addition, ocular injury and ocular diseases may be the cause. Just as stress, myopia and high blood pressure, or the side effects of various medications.
Although many changes occur in the body during pregnancy, there is no scientific evidence for the link between pregnancy and the occurrence of “floaters”. Because pregnant women should be careful with the use of medication and nutrients, it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to the consumption of VitroCap®.
As already mentioned, all the causes of vitreous opacities are not known. However, it has been found that computer work such as reading or watching television does not increase the number of “floaters”. It is more likely that the strain and eye fatigue brings you to become more aware of pre-existing floaters.
Generally, you should think of the health of your eyes while working on the computer. Make sure you have a large monitor and increase the brightness while working on it.
With age there is a liquefaction of the vitreous and it separates from the retina. This is completely normal and occurs in everyone. In addition to the age-related vitreous detachment, there are other causes such as myopia, inflammation inside the eye or accidents. There is the possibility of sudden flashes or lights with eye movements in the dark. In this case a precautionary examination by the eye care professional is highly recommended. The vitreous detachment is a natural process in the course of aging and occurs typically after the age of 40 years.
If the liquefied vitreous pulls on the retina, to which it is attached, photoreceptor cells are stimulated within the retina. When these photoreceptors are mechanically stimulated by the pulling of the vitreous, they send a signal along the visual pathways to the brain in an unrefined form, which is perceived as a flash of light.
In the event of the vitreous pulling too hard on the retina this may lead to retinal tears. Frequently small blood vessels are injured. The resulting fine blood flow is described by the patient as “soot cloud”.
Untreated, tears in the retina can lead to retinal detachment. In the early stages, tears and holes can be sealed around their edges with laser treatment. At later stages a slightly bigger operation may be necessary, cryotherapy, which involves sealing damaged areas with a freezing probe.
Important contacts are for you
With a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and enough water, you are already half-way to prevent “floaters”.
Additionally, you can take daily vitamins and certain specially prepared phytonutrients in the form of capsules such as VitroCap® (based on plant ingredients).