Floaters and Flashes in the Eyes: Causes and Treatment

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 04, 2013
Quick Bites

  • These are small specks that drift aimlessly in the field of vision.
  • These specks or tiny clumps of gel are suspended in the vitreous.
  • Inflammation in the inner eye is one of the causes.
  • Recurrent floaters in the eye should be reported.

Some people occasionally see small specks that drift aimlessly in the field of vision. These specks or tiny clumps of gel are suspended in the vitreous, jelly-like fluid which fills the space between the eye lens and retinal of the eyeball. Floaters can take various shapes such as circles, dots or lines and are usually harmless. Floaters are visible because they cannot remain perfectly fixed in the eye.


floaters and flashes in the eye


Why do floaters occur?


Eye floaters usually occur due a natural process of ageing when fluid in the eye deteriorates. In an ageing person, the vitreous dissolves and liquefies to create a certain watery centre. More than 50 percent of people over the age of 70 years report experiences of floaters. Floaters might also happen as a consequence of an eye injury or eye conditions.

Common Causes of Floaters


  • Inflammation in the inner eye.
  • Old age.
  • Myopia or near sightedness.
  • Detachment of the posterior vitreous.
  • Diabetes.
  • Injury.
  • Trauma.
  • Blood flow from a ruptured blood vessel of haemorrhage of the vitreous.


Avoiding floaters


Floaters are totally harmless but experiences vary from person to person. Generally, people see them wither when they are looking at a clear sky, a white wall or computer screen. So, you can try moving your eye from side to side, or up and down. Most people tend to ignore it with time.


Causes of flashes of light

Flashes in the eye are a flicker of light or streak of light experienced in the eye when the vitreous is either shrinking or detaching itself. It then becomes essential to get a check up done because it could be a sign of retinal detachment which could lead to loss of vision. People with migraines experience flashes in the eye because of spasm of blood vessels in the brain.


Treatment of floaters and flashes

An eye examination can be done to identify the reason behind recurrent floaters in the eye. Surgery can be opted for and recommended by doctors only if they hamper vision. Floaters are completely harmless and can be annoying for a while. People must know that floaters don’t require any surgery. But, if a person experiences a sudden increase in floaters then he or she must promptly report the same to an eye specialist and undergo required treatment.


Laser vitrolysis is not a good option to treat floaters. As a surgical treatment and only if floaters occur with flashes of light with great intensity, ophthalmologists can do prophylactic retinal detachment laser. This laser treatment will prevent retinal detachment.


Having learnt about facts about floaters and flashes in the eye, we hope you’ll not let any eye annoying problem float for long. Immediately see an eye specialist and find a solution for the problem. Avoid if they are just a once in a blue moon occurrence.




Read more articles on Eye Disorders.

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