Musca Volitantes



It is also known as Vitreous Floaters, in Latin the word ‘musca volitantes’ actually means ‘flying flies’. They are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye’s vitreous humour, which is normally transparent. At a young age, the vitreous is transparent, but as one ages, imperfections gradually develop. The common type of floater, which is present in most person’s eyes, is due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humour.

There are various causes for the appearance of floaters. Simply stated, any damage to the eye that causes material to enter the vitreous humour can result in floaters. The floaters themselves are harmless and usually is a normal sign of aging, but it also may due to underlying pathologic condition. Hence, we must rule out these causes to get better prognosis.

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If we list the causes are divided into Endogenous and Exogenous which are:


  • PHPV (Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous) or remains of hyaloid system
  • Protein coagula: in myopia, senility and PVD (Posterior Vitreous Detachment)
  • Cholesterol crystals: Synchisis Scintillans
  • Calcium soaps: Asteroid hyalosis


  • Inflammatory cells in Uveitis
  • Blood cells in vitreous
  • Tumor cells in retinoblastoma and malignant melanoma

Zagazig Academic Panelist,
“Achieve the Highest, Improve Others”
Academic Bureau,
PERUBATAN Zagazig Chapter 2015/2016.

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