Floaters and Flashes

You may sometimes see small specks or clouds, known as floaters, moving in your field of vision. As people reach middle age, the vitreous fluid may thicken or shrink, forming clumps or strands inside the eye. A common cause of floaters, posterior vitreous detachment, occurs when the vitreous gel pulls away from the back wall of the eye.

Symptoms of Floaters and Flashes

Floaters can get in the way of clear vision, which may be annoying, but many will fade over time and become less bothersome. However, you should see your eye care specialist as soon as possible if:

  • Flashing Lights
  • Sudden appearance of new floaters
  • Shadows in the side periphery of your vision
  • Grey curtain moving across your field of vision

These may be symptoms of a torn retina, which should be treated promptly since it can lead to retinal detachment.

Treatment of Floaters and Flashes

While not all floaters and flashes are serious, you should always have a medical eye examination to make sure there has been no damage to your retina.

Learn more about retinal tears and detachment.