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Half Moon Bay, CA

Flashes & Floaters
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Flashers and Floaters: Just What is Going On?

Our eyes play tricks on us all the time. We think we see something moving in the shadows or we are sure we see a cat when it is just a sweater on a chair. This is largely your brain being on high alert for whatever dangers or creatures might be out there.

Two phenomena that are not your eyes fooling you are flashes and floaters.


When you rub your eyes and “see stars” we call these flashes. The explanation is very simple: when your retina receives a physical stimulation (an impact or sudden velocity change) your brain translates this into something visual: a flash.

When to Worry About Flashes

An occasional flash of light is fine. If there is a sudden onset or an obvious increase in the number of flashes book an appointment right away. Flashes may be the indication of a retinal hole, tear or detachment.


When you see something odd in your vision that you can’t quite look at and that seems to move whenever you turn your eyes to see it, you may have a floater. The fibers in your eyes’ vitreous begin to clump and cast shadows on your retina. These are perfectly normal part of the aging process and are usually no cause for concern.

When to Worry About Floaters

While some floaters are normal, many floaters or a new large floater are not. Floaters could be a sign of the development of certain eye problems. If you are suddenly experiencing many floaters or they are accompanied by flashes, book an appointment right away.

Visit our Location


Coastside Eye Care
210 Main Street,
Half Moon Bay, CA, 94019

Contact Number

Phone: 650-712-1234
Email: [email protected]
Book Your Next Appointment

Hours of Operation

Monday:9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday:9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday:By Appointment Only