Flashes & Floaters

Floaters are small, dark spots or strands that appear to float in front of your eyes. They are very common particularly in short sighted people or as you get older. They are caused by debris in the jelly of your eye, the vitreous humour, which helps maintain the shape of the eye.

Floaters are normally harmless and generally caused as the vitreous humour naturally shrinks and the jelly separates into a watery fluid. This is known as a posterior vitreous detachment.

The shrinking jelly can sometimes 'pull' on the retina creating flashes. These flashes often happen as you move your eyes suddenly and are more apparent in low light conditions.  Very occasionally this can lead to a tear in the retina which requires immediate investigation.

If you suddenly notice a lot of new floaters, cobwebs, flashes or a dark shadow in your vision you should visit your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist (eye hospital specialist) immediately.