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Flashes & Floaters

What are Flashes

Flashes are flickers or streaks of light that usually happen in the peripheral vision (up above, down below, or to either side of your central vision). Closing your eyes will not make them go away. You may not be able to tell in which eye the flashes happened. They are usually more visible in dark environments, such as at night.

What are Floaters

Floaters are particles of debris, cells, pigment, or tissue fiber that move and float around the eyes, usually when we move them. When light enters the eye and hits the particles, it casts a shadow on the retina, much like holding your hand in front of a movie projector. We see this shadow as something moving out or across our visual field. These visible particles exist within the fluid inside the eye. We notice the particles when they move into our line of vision. When the fibers clump together, they become more dense and solid, thus allowing us to see them easier. They sometimes appear with flashes of light.

What Should You Do If You have Flashes and Floaters

Call your provider right away if you have a sudden onset of new flashes or floaters or if you notice that part of your vision is missing.