Accessibility View Close toolbar

Flashers and Floaters

Image of a human eye.

Many people experience small, dark, cobwebby shapes drifting across their field of vision. These floaters are especially common as people age. Flashes, a similar phenomenon, are quick flickers of light. Both are usually harmless, but, occasionally, can be a sign of serious eye troubles.

Causes

Vitreous humor is a clear gel that fills the rear two-thirds of your eyeballs. With age, vitreous becomes more liquid and can form stringy clumps. Tiny cell clusters cast shadows on your retina. These are what you see when you notice a floater. If you try to look directly at them, they float away. When your eyes stop moving, floaters drift around.

About 25 percent of people have floaters by the time they reach their 60s. The number of people in their 80s who experience floaters increases to about two-thirds. Very nearsighted people are more likely to develop floaters. Floaters are also more common after eye injuries, after cataract surgeries and in people with diabetes.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dark, floating spots in your vision that appear as flecks or knobby, clear strings of floating material
  • Spots that you notice more when looking at a plain background, such as the sky or a blank movie screen
  • Moving spots that you cannot look at directly
  • Spots that come and go from your line of vision, eventually drifting away

Inflammation or bleeding in the eye can also cause floaters. Occasionally, floaters result from a torn retina, which is a serious condition requiring prompt treatment.

Flashes

When tiny vitreous fibers pull on your retinal nerve cells, you may sense a quick flash of light. This might also look like multiple flashes over a wider area. Flashes often occur in conjunction with floaters. If you experience flashes, contact your ophthalmologist. Flashes may be a symptom of retinal detachment.

Managing Floaters and Flashes

In rare cases, floaters are a symptom of a serious problem with the retina. If you have any of the following symptoms, see your eye doctor immediately:

  • Sudden onset of flashes and / or floaters
  • One-sided, gradual shading, like a curtain being drawn across your field of vision
  • Sudden decline in clear, central vision

However, as long as your floaters are not related to retina damage, they are unlikely to be more than a nuisance. In time, they could disappear and become less noticeable, or they might stay and become even more annoying.

You can try this easy, non-surgical way to get temporary relief from floaters: Look up, down, left and right. This may shift the floater out of your field of vision.

Some patients may be suitable candidate for laser surgery to treat benign floaters. Nonetheless, the possible risks of this treatment option should be weighed against the benefits.

Concerned about floaters, flashes or other symptoms? Call us today for a comprehensive vision exam. We can evaluate your eye health, help identify the cause of your floaters and / or flashes and suggest appropriate treatment options, based on your individual anatomical, visual and lifestyle needs.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-4:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Wonderful experience! From the moment I walked in, I felt at ease and comfortable. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and personable. I would highly recommend Dr. Huser and her team."
    Kelly R.
  • "I'm always greeted well as soon as I walk in. The wait time is nonexistent, besides there's coffee or water to enjoy before going in (if there is a wait). Plenty of time to check out new frames & of course the glass bowl of Hershey kisses awaits you.Dr.Huser is honest and really cares. I don't ever feel like just another number. The staff all work as a team and you can tell they all love their job. Makes me want to work there."
    Maria E.
  • "Met Dr. Tekell for my annual appointment. She is very personable and professional. So easy to talk to. It was a very good appointment. So glad to see that although Dr. Jackman is not physically here anymore, his staff is continuing his great practice! Sure do miss him!"
    Ruby A.
  • "I have always had a wonderful experience at this location with all of their personnel and with the doctors. I have complete confidence in the accuracy of the exam. The excellent help of the staff ensures that the fit of the frames and of the way the lens sit in the frames is perfect. My previous frames were made with expert precision and durability, and have lasted for the past 4 years with no problems. They were built to last and that is hard to find in this day and age. If I could give a perfect 10 rating, I would."
    Kelly C.
  • "My 1st visit was in 2016 with Dr. Huser. She was terrific: engaged, knowledgeable, excellent communication skills. I later recommended her to my husband, and was even more pleased with the outcome. She diagnosed the source of his chronic eye irritation — relieving us of the fear that it might be a permanent result of surgery he’d had elsewhere — and offered some simple interventions which have actually worked. Saw Dr. Tekell recently when Dr. Huser was out of the office and was similarly impressed. This is a quality practice and they’ve assembled a great team — excellent optometrists, supported by friendly and helpful staff, and opticians who know their stuff, too."
    Kathleen G.
  • "Beautiful, well organized and impeccably functioning office. Extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. Outstanding doctor with great care. Overall a wonderful experience, thank you!"
    Casey S.
  • "I absolutely LOVED the selection of glasses onsite!!! All the latest trends from conservative to super funky and fun! The staff is all very friendly and Dr. Huser's was fabulous! It's so wonderful to have a place like this accessible to Tricare/Military insurance holders."
    Brittney G.
  • "Best eye exam i have ever had. Period. Dr. Huser is AWESOME!"
    Jason M.
  • "Absolutely had the best experience! Jan is a star in my eyes filled with kindness and professionalism. The entire crew was super nice and accommodating to my 86 year old mom and me. I will never go anywhere else to get an eye test, or to get glasses. Thank you for making our day and for going above and beyond my wildest expectations."
    Zahra R.