Floaters are a common phenomenon, often described as small threads, cobwebs or specks which float to and fro in the vision following movements of the head or eye. They are usually the result of tiny condensations or cells within the gel, or vitreous, in the back of the eye. They are often more noticeable when one is looking at the sky or a white surface. A few floaters are normal, and are more common with age, especially in people who are nearsighted. A sudden increase in floaters, however, especially a sudden shower of specks and cobwebs sometimes accompanied by flashes of light, like lightening, can be a symptom of a more serious problem such as a tear or detachment of the retina. These symptoms require a complete dilated eye examination within 24 to 48 hours, and one should call the ophthalmologist immediately if these symptoms occur.