Demystifying Floaters and Flashes


Have you ever noticed specks drifting across your field of vision or sudden flashes of light that seem to come out of nowhere? These phenomena, known as floaters and flashes, are common, especially as we age. While they may be a bit unsettling, they are usually harmless and can even be considered part of the natural aging process.

Floaters appear as tiny spots, specks, or squiggly lines that seem to float across your field of vision. They can occur in one or both eyes and move around as you try to focus on them. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside your eye that cast shadows on your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. These clumps can be of different shapes and sizes and may appear more noticeable when looking at a plain background, such as a blank wall or a clear sky.

While floaters are usually harmless, they can be a sign of something more serious, such as a tear or detachment of the retina. If you see a shower of floaters accompanied by light flashes, seeking immediate medical attention is essential.

Flashes are brief flickers of light that may appear in your peripheral vision and seem to come from outside your field of vision. They can be caused by the release of the vitreous, the gel-like substance that fills your eye and helps maintain its shape, from the retina. As we age, the vitreous body shrinks and pulls away from the retina, causing it to send signals to the brain, resulting in flashes of light.

Regular eye exams are always a great way to keep your eyes healthy and catch potential issues early on. Contact Dr. Ankit Desai at Windy City Retina at 815-714-9115 if you have any concerns about your eye health.

Prioritize regular check-ups to maintain optimal vision.

Windy City Retina – Ankit Desai

15905 S Frederick St
Suite 105
Plainfield, IL 60586