Floaters represent densities in the vitreous jelly that fills our eyes. As we age, the vitreous starts to shrink. Eventually the this process could cause the vitreous to pull away from the retina in the back of the eye and fold in on itself. This fold in the jelly is what is perceived as the floater. Very rarely, this can be associated with tears in the retina. The appearence of sparks of light in the periphery or a dark curtain sweeping in front of the vision is associated with an increased risk of retinal tears. All new onset floaters should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Although flaoters can be annoying, they are usually innocuous and become less noticeable over time.

This artical provides a more comprehensive review of the causes and management of floaters.