Floaters and flashes in the eyes
You may occasionally have floaters, dots and lines, or light flashes. Usually, they are not life-threatening.
Floaters and flashes often pose no danger.
Whenever you observe:
- Floaters, which include tiny black spots, wavy lines, rings, or cobwebs
- Lights flashing
It’s typically not a primary warning indication in your vision, especially if:
- You’ve had them for a while.
- They’re not getting worse
- There is no impact on your image.
Once you become acclimated to them, floaters frequently fade away, and flashes may finally stop occurring.
Why floaters and flashes occur
Many people experience flashes and floaters, especially older folks.
The gel in your eyes changes during a standard procedure termed posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), which is entirely safe.
Occasionally, retinal detachment may be the reason. This dangerous condition could cause permanent eyesight loss if not addressed.
It is also possible for flashes and floaters to occur for no apparent reason.
What occurs at your appointment
The doctor will examine your eyes if you notice floaters or flashes in your vision to determine whether you might need to see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for additional examinations or treatment.
Treatment is typically only necessary if you have a condition that could impair your eyesight.
When to consult a doctor?
If you experience:
- Abrupt flashes or floaters in your eyesight
- The frequency of floaters or flashes increases suddenly
- Seeing a shadowy, dark “curtain” moving over your field of vision
- Fuzzy vision
- Eyes hurt
Eye surgery or an eye injury might cause floaters to appear. If not treated right once, these could be symptoms of a significant issue with the back of your eye that could impair your eyesight permanently.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022