Flashers & Floaters

Flashers & Floaters

Floaters are common symptoms described most frequently as spots, bugs or cobwebs moving through the field of vision. They are most visible against a plain background such as a white paper or blue sky.

Floaters are particles in the vitreous gel, which fills the eyeball. These particles are seen because they cast shadows on the retina and move slightly into the field of vision.

A sudden shrinkage of the vitreous away from the retina, resulting in floaters, is called vitreous detachment or separation. If the gel pulls on the retina, flashing lights can be seen. This is usually not serious, but occasionally the retina separates from the underlying layers, causing visual loss. If the retinal breaks are detected early and treated with laser, this complication can almost always be prevented. Therefore, a sudden onset of floaters or loss of part of the field of vision should be evaluated by an eye doctor.

Floaters are common and usually related to age as the gel becomes more liquid. They may also occur due to higher levels of nearsightedness, certain eye injuries, and after cataract surgery. Floaters are annoying, and there is no treatment to eliminate them, but in most cases they gradually become less noticeable and are not serious.

We recommend seeing an ophthalmologist at Fraser Eye Care Center and the Eye Care Center of Port Huron with any sudden onset of a new floater in order to evaluate the condition of the retina and verify that all of the structures are intact, as it could be an indication of other eye conditions.