Common Causes of Eye Flashes and Floaters

Vitreous,Degeneration,floater,Is,A,Symptom,That,Something,Floating,Away.,This Have you been seeing small dots or threads floating or flashing when you move your eyes around or blink? These are known as eye flashes or floaters and are incredibly common, especially as you get older.

They’re usually not a cause for concern. But they can indicate certain eye conditions that can be serious. Find out more about possible causes of eye floaters and flashes.

Causes of Eye Floaters

Your eyes are filled with fluid called vitreous gel. This fluid pulls away from the inside surface of your eye as you age. Tiny clumps in this fluid can block light, resulting in thread-like or speck-like shadows that float around in your field of vision. You can usually notice floaters when you look at a clear background, like the sky or a wall.

Causes of Eye Flashes

Flashes are brief lights that show up at the edges of your field of vision. Why do these occur? The vitreous gel in your eye pulls on the retina, which causes it to transmit signals to your brain.

Your brain regards these as light flashes. As with eye floaters, flashes are a common part of the aging process. You can see flashes when you look at a clear background or blink your eyes. They typically appear as quick flashes of light.

When to Seek Help

Eye floaters and flashes are often harmless, but they can also be signs of serious eye problems, such as:

  • Posterior vitreous detachment
  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal tear

If you’re concerned about floaters and flashes, you should schedule an eye care appointment. You might need immediate care if you suddenly develop flashes or floaters. When serious eye conditions aren’t treated promptly, this can put your vision at risk.

Visit Our Retina Center at Longwood Eye and LASIK Center

Are you worried about eye flashes or floaters? At Longwood Eye and LASIK Center, we have a Retina Center available to help diagnose and treat retinal eye conditions. Give us a call at 855-286-2020 or submit our online form to make an appointment. We have offices in Gardner, Greenfield, West Springfield, and Fitchburg, MA.


For Urgent/Problem Appointments, please call the office and do not submit an online form request

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