Floaters and Flashers

Floaters and flashers are common terms used in optometry that describe typically harmless obstructions toward your vision.

Suddenly, small specks appear to move around in your field of vision and you sense something is in your eye. You may have a floater. Floaters are tiny clusters of cells or material in your vitreous. Vitreous is the clear gel-like fluid that fills your eyes. The floaters appear to be in front of you, but they are actually floating inside your eye. Our brain tricks us into believing there is an object before us because shadows are cast from the retina.

Flashers are the flashing lights and lightening-like streaks that appear after the vitreous pulls on the retina. You may have experienced a similar sensation after being hit in the eye and seeing “stars”. Flashers can appear on and off for several weeks or months.

The only time you need to be concerned is if you are experiencing thousands of floaters and flashers simultaneously. Contact an ophthalmologist immediately to confirm it is not something more serious, such as a retinal tear or retinal detachment.