Floaters And Flashes

Floaters appear as black spots or something that looks like a hair or small pieces of cobweb. They are called floaters because they appear to float in front of your vision, and most of the time they are perfectly harmless. Some people are born with floaters while others notice them increase as they get older when the gel in the eye naturally shrinks and separates into a more watery fluid. Occasionally, however, an increase in floaters can be a sign of problems inside your eye, especially if they are accompanied by flashing lights. If that occurs you should consult your optometrist.


Some people may see flashes of light in front of one of their eyes, like small sparkles, lightning or fireworks. Migraine sufferers may suffer shimmering or zig-zag lines as part of the migraine, which usually go away after 10 to 20 minutes followed by a headache. Flashes can occur when the gel in your eye becomes more liquid and “tugs” on the retina or may occur if you receive a hit in the eye. However, constant flashes may indicate a retinal tear or detachment and may be accompanied by a shadow at the edge of your vision. If this happens you should consult your optometrist straight away.