Serving India since 1919
Marine Drive 022 2281 4077
Shroff Eye Hospital

Shroff Eye Hospital is India's First Eye Hospital accredited by the Joint Commission International (USA) since 2006. Shroff Eye is also India's first and only Wavelight Concerto 500 Hz LASIK center. Shroff Eye has stood for excellence in eye care since 1919. A firm commitment to quality is at the heart of all services provided at our centers at Bandra(W) and Marine Drive, Mumbai.

Flashes and floaters

What can be done about my floaters and flashes? What is the treatment?

  • Your flashes are likely to go away on their own within a few days to weeks.
  • Avoid jerky movements, bus rides or even bumpy car rides.
  • Most people learn to ignore them.
  • There is no medicine, eye drop, vitamin, herb, or diet that is beneficial to patients with flashes or floaters.
  • Floaters, like flashes, may get better on their own even if a retinal tear or detachment is present. But, you should be examinedby an ophthalmologist even if the floaters seem to be going away.
  • If the doctor finds tears, laser or occasionally freezing (cryo) treatment is needed.
  • There is a way of trying to cope with floaters that some people find useful.
    If you move your eyes around (dart them from left to right very quickly without moving your head) you can create currents in the jelly within your eyes this can sometimes move the floater out of your direct field of vision.

Call us on 022-66921000 for Eye flashes and floaters treatment in Mumbai.

Is Laser surgery required for floaters?

No. There is no published data to support this treatment, in fact people complain that their symptoms worsened.
If you have a retinal tear or detachment, the retinal specialist will talk to you about the treatment.

Are floaters and flashes serious?

Not commonly. Many people have floaters. This happens in over 70% of the population as part of the normal aging process. Floaters that you have had for years, and that show little change, are usually not serious. It is the sudden onset of one or more new floaters that may be serious. The onset of flashes may also be serious.

Anyone with flashes or the sudden onset of a new floater (or floaters) needs a dilated fundus examination (looking at the vitreous and retina with specialized equipment after putting drops to enlarge the pupils).

Can flashes and floaters cause total blindness?

No. Floaters cause only a slight blockage of the vision at worst and are usually not detectable by visual testing unless they are very severe.

Importantly, floaters can be related to retinal detachment or a variety of vascular conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, while flashes can be related to retinal tears (breaks) or detachment. These can result in blindness if not treated.

If one eye develops flashes or floaters will the other develop them as well?

It is very common for the same condition to occur in the second eye. For this reason, and because flashes and floaters are sometimes caused by retinal breaks, both eyes should have a dilated fundus exam as soon as possible when flashes or floaters develop in either eye.

What are floaters?

Floaters appear as gray or black specks, lines, or “cobwebs”, worms, rings or dots in front of the eyes. As the eyes move, the floaters move too. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, as they usually drift when the eyes start or stop moving.

Floaters are caused by clumping of pre-existing vitreous fibers in the eye or bits of material suspended in the vitreous jelly that fills the back of the eye.

The floaters cast shadows on the light sensitive retina. It is actually the shadow of the floater that you see. Floaters may have a variety of causes, some serious, and some not serious at all. Some floaters are red blood cells or blood clots on the surface of the retina or floating in the vitreous. Such blood cells may occur with some retinal tears but do not necessarily indicate a tear. Occasionally, the vitreous can pull on a blood vessel on the surface of the retina and cause bleeding without causing a tear of the retina. Vascular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and vein occlusion frequently result in bleeding inside the eye.

Rarely, floaters may be inflammatory in origin. Diseases such as pars planitis and uveitis can cause the formation of clumps of white blood cells (cells that the body produces when there is inflammation).

What are flashes?

Flashes are sensations of light, when no light is really there. They may appear as many tiny bright lights (like “sparklers”) or like flashes of lightning.

Flashes occur when the vitreous jelly pulls on or tears the retina. These flashes usually last for only a second or so, but typically occur repeatedly. They may be more obvious with eye movement or in a dark room.

Some people with migraine headaches may experience a different type of flash. These are usually shimmering, jagged lights that are present constantly for a period of ten-fifteen minutes or so. They typically appear in the center of your field of vision, and progress slowly towards the edges of the visual field. A headache that is commonly throbbing, and on one side of the head, may follow the disappearance of the flashes.

Low blood pressure can cause people to see stars or specks of light, particularly if they change position quickly. An example would be standing quickly from a sitting position or rising quickly after stooping or bending over. Pregnancy related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) could also cause light flashes.