Floaters and Flashes

  • Jason HorowitzEmail author


Floaters and flashes are common visual symptoms that can signal sight- or life-threatening disease but most often represent no significant morbidity. Determining the etiology, therefore, is of critical importance. Retinal tears and retinal detachments (RD), for example, which sometimes require emergency intervention, must be differentiated from benign etiologies such as uncomplicated vitreous detachment and migraine.


Floaters and flashes in the eye Eye floaters and flashes Syneresis Posterior vitreous detachment Retinal tears and retinal detachment Proliferative diabetic retinopathy Migraine headache-associated visual auras 

Suggested Reading

  1. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Basic and Clinical Science Course. Section 12. Retina and Vitreous, 2015–2016.Google Scholar
  2. Milston R, Madigan MC, Sebag J. Vitreous floaters: etiology, diagnostics, and management. Surv Ophthalmol. 2016;61(2):211–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Edward S. Harkness Eye InstituteColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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