Eye Flashes & Floaters

Posted 26/02/2024 13:02:21

Eye Flashes & Floaters

Lots of people, particularly older people, get floaters and flashes. They're usually caused by a harmless process called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), where the gel inside your eyes changes. Sometimes they can be caused by retinal detachment. This is serious and can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated.


Flashes and floaters rarely lead to any serious complications, so you generally don’t need any treatment for them. If they are troublesome, the effect of floaters might be minimised by wearing dark glasses. This will help especially in bright sunlight or when looking at a brightly lit surface. In many cases, the flashes disappear with time and the floaters get less noticeable as your brain adjusts to the jelly change.

If your flashes or floaters become much worse, you should consult your GP, your optometrist (optician) or visit our specialist A&E department to exclude any serious problems. If you see a black shadow or curtain effect or you suddenly lose vision, you should go to your nearest A&E without delay.