Floaters and Flashes

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Floaters are small specks or spots that appear and move around in a person's field of vision. They may be well defined and have sharp edges, or they may be faint and translucent. Although floaters appear to be in front of the eye, they are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells in the clear fluid that fills the back inside cavity of the eye. Floaters may appear suddenly. New onset floaters may be a sign of retinal tear or detachment, and an ophthalmologist should be consulted promptly for examination. Acute floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light, in which case it is even more urgent to seek care. Chronic floaters are common as people grow older and the vitreous gel ages. In some cases, floaters can be very distracting.

Signs and Symptoms

Small specks or spots that move in the field of vision


Examination by an ophthalmologist