Floaters and Flashing Lights

More often than not flashes and floaters are nothing to worry about. Most of us at some point will experience them. They can look like little floating bubbles, lines and squiggles or even small dark spots.

The eye is filled with a jelly like substance called the vitreous humor. Age related changes cause some of the vitreous humor to become liquid like consistency. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.

You may notice floaters more if you are in a brightly lit room or if you are looking at a white object, in any case, they are likely to fade over time as you get used to them being there.
When are they a problem?

Flashes and floaters can be a sign of many different things (a migraine for example). Most of the time they are nothing to worry about.

The time to seek medical advice is if:

  • Quantity and frequency of the flashes and floaters increase in a short period of time
  • Quantity and frequency of black dots increase in a short period of time
  • You have a dark shadow like a curtain crossing your vision
  • You have a cobweb like effect around your vision
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • They appear after eye surgery or and eye accident

If you are experiencing these symptoms after an injury to the head or even after something like a car accident then it is even more crucial that you get checked by your optician or a medical professional to make sure you do not have something more serious (like detached retina for example).

Please note

If you are worried about your vision due to the symptoms listed above, it is best that you go straight to your local eye hospital.