Flashes and Floaters


Both flashes and floaters can be indicative of serious underlying conditions, and their presence should never be taken lightly until assessed by an expert during one of our routine eye exams. If you are experiencing either following head trauma or some other eye emergency, you should contact us immediately for a diagnosis.

Our practice has decades of experience treating all sorts of eye abnormalities, and flashes are often underestimated. If left unexamined, the root cause will go unidentified and serious effects (such as blindness due to retinal detachment) could occur.

Thanks to the cutting-edge diagnostic equipment in our local Greenwood practice, we can precisely evaluate any flashes or floaters, identifying their cause and severity.


Since floaters form at the rear of the eye, a close-up examination of the retina is required. This may involve using dilating eye drops to increase the size of your pupil, improving the optometrist’s ability to take detailed images of the retina.

Another means of examining the eye would be using the slit lamp test, which focuses an intense beam of light through a narrow gap, illuminating your eye. Your intraocular (inner eye) pressure may be measured using a process called tonometry, and finally we may perform some tests of your visual acuity.

Together, we can paint a clear picture of your eye and the activity of your floaters.


These are caused by some stimulus pulling or tugging at the retina. For example, when the vitreous gel begins to form floaters, they could put at the retinal surface as they form. The source of flashes occurs between the retina itself and the optic nerve, which we can view in exceptionally precise detail thanks to our retinal imaging equipment.

When To Visit Us

In the case of floaters, you need only be concerned if the number, size or activity of your floaters changes – particularly if they increase. Otherwise, if your exam shows that they are benign, you’re free to carry on living as normal.

For flashes, it’s even simpler: if you experience any new instance of flashes, you should come in for an exam. They are not usually a naturally occurring process and may be a result of a developing emergency.