The retina is the inner lining of the back of the eye that is responsible for collecting light rays and sending the light impulses to our brain for processing. The middle portion of the inside of the eye is made up of a clear gel known as the Vitreous. Over time the vitreous can break down, leading to small clumps of gel casting a shadow on the retina. The shadows of these clumps are visualized as small dots, strings, or specks in one's vision. These are known as "floaters". As eyes age, the vitreous gel begins to shrink and contract, which can result in the vitreous breaking away from the retina. This is known as a Vitreous Detachment, or sometimes as a PVD.
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