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Flashes And Floaters Specialists

Fuerst Eye Center

Board-Certified Ophthalmologists & Eye Surgeons located in West Covina, CA & Glendale / La Canada, CA

It’s not uncommon to experience occasional eye floaters. However, a sudden onset of flashes and floaters may be a sign of a more serious eye condition that requires immediate medical attention. Board-certified ophthalmologists David Fuerst, MD and Nicole Fuerst, MD specialize in eye health and surgery and can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause of your flashes and floaters. To schedule an appointment at Fuerst Eye Center, contact the office in Glendale or West Covina, California, by phone or online today.

Flashes and Floaters Q & A

What are flashes and floaters?

Flashes and floaters refer to visual sightings that occur within your eye. 


Flashes are often referred to as “seeing stars” and cause streaks of light in your field of vision. Flashes occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance in your eye, interacts with your retina. 


Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells that float through the vitreous of your eye, creating dark specks in your field of vision. You may see floaters when staring blankly or looking at a plain wall. You may be at greater risk of developing floaters if you’re nearsighted, have a history of cataract surgery, or you suffer from eye inflammation or swelling.

When should I be concerned about flashes and floaters?

Though flashes and floaters are common and not always a serious health issue, a sudden increase in flashes and floaters may indicate a retinal tear. As you get older, your vitreous shrinks, which can lead to posterior vitreous detachment. 

Posterior vitreous detachment is common and not generally a threat to your vision. However, the condition may increase your risk of a retinal tear that allows fluid to seep through, which may affect the health of your retina and lead to vision changes.

You will not experience any pain with a retinal tear or detachment, but you may experience:

  • Sudden onset of flashes and floaters
  • Vision changes
  • A rapid change in central vision
  • A “curtain” over your vision or in your peripheral vision

These symptoms require immediate medical attention, and you should contact Fuerst Eye Center immediately. 

What can I expect during an examination for flashes and floaters?

The board-certified ophthalmologists at Fuerst Eye Center perform comprehensive eye exams, which includes dilating your pupils and examining the inside of the eye, when you come to the office with symptoms that may indicate posterior vitreous detachment or a retinal tear. During the exam, the team uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to assess eye health and determine the cause of your flashes and floaters.

How are flashes and floaters treated?

Treatment for your flashes and floaters may depend on the cause and the effect it may have on your vision. The experienced team develops individualized treatment plans specific to your needs. If you have a retinal tear, the eye surgery experts can repair the tear using a laser. 

If your floaters aren’t caused by a retinal tear, the team may schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor eye health.

Flashes and floaters are common. But a sudden increase may indicate eye damage that can affect your vision. For comprehensive eye care from surgical experts, call the offices of Fuerst Eye Center or request an appointment online today.