Flashes can appear as stars or streaks of light that aren’t really there! Flashes are usually caused by the vitreous (gel filling the inside of your eye) pulling on the retina.

Floaters can appear as dark specks, clouds, or spider webs moving through your vision. This can be small pieces of vitreous gel or other material floating inside your eye. They are usually harmless.

The older you get, the more likely you are to notice these symptoms. They are also common in people who are nearsighted or who may have had an eye injury or surgery. Often seeing a few flashes and floaters is normal, most of the time it requires no treatment.

You should see your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms: sudden occurrence of flashes and floater when you have never seen them before, sudden increase in the amount of floaters you see, if floaters begin to interfere with your daily tasks.

When do flashes and floaters need treatment? If flashes appear all of a sudden or a greatly increase, this could be a sign of a problem. Especially when followed by an increase of floaters that do not go away. This could be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment. Your doctor can find out what is causing the floaters and suggest a treatment plan.