What Causes Eye Flashes and Floaters?

Flashes of light and floaters in one’s vision are a common occurrence. Usually, they are harmless. Eventually, they may become less noticeable as one gets used to them. However, it is vital to understand what causes eye flashes and floaters and the ideal way to deal with them. 


Eye Flashes and Floaters


Eye flashes and floaters result from the natural shrinking of the vitreous, the gel-like fluid in your eye. This often happens as you age. Eye flashes often look like camera flashes or lightning, while floaters may appear in your field of vision as tiny shapes. Floaters are quite common. Usually, they do not require treatment.  


However, if you see many flashes and floaters in your field of vision often, it could signal a serious eye condition such as retinal detachment. Hence, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor when you start experiencing these issues. 


What Are Eye Flashes?


These are bright points or spots of light in your field of vision. They can develop for many reasons. However, they often develop when the vitreous in your eye shrinks and starts pulling on your retina. 

You are more likely to see eye flashes as you age. Often, they happen first thing in the morning or when one is in a dark room. Also, you may see flashes of bright light when you wake up. As the day continues, they should fade. 




As stated above, many people get eye flashes as they age. They usually result from a harmless process known as posterior vitreous detachment, resulting from changes in the gel within the eye. 


Flashes can also result from retinal detachment, a serious condition that can lead to permanent loss of vision if left untreated. That said, eye flashes may happen for no obvious reason. 


What Are Eye Floaters?


These are spots that appear in one’s field of vision. They often look like tiny gray or black specks, cobwebs, or strings that drift about when you move your eyes. They seem to dart away when you try to focus on them. 


Symptoms and Signs of Eye Floaters


Symptoms of this eye condition include:


  • Tiny shapes that look like knobby, transparent specks or strings moving or floating in your field of vision

  • Spots in your field of vision that become more noticeable when you look at a white wall, blue sky, or any plain bright background

  • Tiny spots that move out of your field of vision when you move your eyes or try to look at them

  • Small strings or shapes that seem to drift out of your visual field or settle down




One of the most common causes of eye floaters is age-related eye changes. However, they may result from various conditions and diseases. These include inflammation in the back of the eye, certain eye medications, eye surgeries, a torn retina, or bleeding in the eye. 


Furthermore, some studies indicate that eye floaters could be hereditary. For example, if you have a family history of retinal tears or detachment, you might be at a higher risk of developing eye floaters in the future.  


For more on eye flashes and floaters, contact Lakhani Vision Care at our office in Marietta, Georgia. You can also call 770-509-9932 to book an appointment today.

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