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Seeing eye floaters and flashes can be normal and, in most cases, doesn’t indicate a health problem. However, in some cases, they are a warning sign of an eye problem that can cause vision loss.

Eye Floaters and Flashes: When There May Be Trouble Ahead

Here’s what you need to know about eye floaters and flashes from your local double vision specialist, I See Vision Care.

Eye Floaters and Flashes

Eye floaters can look like black or gray spots, strings or specks in your vision. They become more apparent as you age because your eyes’ vitreous becomes more liquid. The small fibers in the vitreous clump and cast shadows on the retina. These shadows are the floaters you see in your field of vision.

Flashes occur when the vitreous tugs away from the retina. They appear like flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. In some cases, flashes look like jagged lines or heat waves. These symptoms may be caused by a migraine or a spasm of blood vessels in the brain. They’re sometimes accompanied by nausea, headaches and dizziness.

Retinal Disease

Posterior detachment is when the vitreous tugs on the retina and pulls away from it. It’s normally harmless, but in some cases can cause retinal detachment. Retinal tears and detachments are painless but can lead to permanent vision loss.

An increased amount and new onset of floaters are key warning signs of retinal tears and detachment. Other symptoms include peripheral vision loss, poor central vision and experiencing flashes and floaters in the same eye.

Consult with your eye doctor as soon as possible if you’re suffering from these symptoms. Early detection and treatment can prevent the retina from detaching. Visit I See Vision Care for a comprehensive eye exam. We offer treatment for vision misalignment, an eye condition that’s characterized by dizziness, headaches, neck pain, eye strain and anxiety. Call us at (561) 733-9008 or complete our online form to request an appointment.


Dr. Erin Sonneberg, OD, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from New England School of Optometry in Boston, Massachusetts in 2004. She completed her undergraduate studies at City University of New York, Queens College in 2000, where she graduated with honors in business. Dr. Sonneberg relocated to Boynton Beach, Florida, in 2006, and has been practicing alongside prestigious ophthalmologists in the area since that time.