Brighton Eyecare
303 Stonebridge Blvd Suite #1 Saskatoon SK S7T 0C7 (306) 664-2638

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Saskatoon, SK / 306.978.2993

Flashes & Floaters

Seeing the Truth Behind the Symptoms

Flashes of light and eye floaters are a little bit unsettling, especially if you don’t know what causes them. Both of these visual disturbances are, to some extent, normal. However, in some cases, they may indicate that something is wrong.

Learning to recognize the difference between normal day-to-day occurrences and symptoms of an emergency could save your vision in the long run.

Request an appointment to talk to an optometrist about flashes, floaters, or other eye symptoms.

What Are Eye Floaters?

The inside of your eye is filled with a substance called the vitreous. When you’re born, the vitreous has a jelly-like texture. But as you mature, that jelly slowly liquefies. This process is completely normal.

As some of the vitreous liquifies, some of the proteins start clumping together. These clumps floating in the vitreous can cast shadows on the retina.

Eye floaters are just the shadows of those protein clusters floating in your vitreous. They often look like tiny strings, cobwebs, abstract shapes, or even doughnuts.

When Are Eye Floaters Cause for Concern?

Changes to the vitreous are a normal part of ageing, so the occasional floater probably isn’t anything to worry about. However, some floater behaviours are a sign of an underlying problem.

Seek emergency medical care if:

  • You suddenly see more floaters than normal
  • Your floaters suddenly look different
  • Your floaters are accompanied by flashing lights
  • A black curtain seems to fall over your vision in one eye

What Are Eye Flashes?

The back of your eye is covered with an extremely sensitive system of tissues called the retina. When your retina detects light, it sends an electrical signal through your optic nerve to your brain, where it’s translated into an image.

Because the retina is so sensitive, it can also be stimulated by movement. Hitting your head, stopping suddenly, or any jarring motion can jerk at your retina, which causes it to send a signal to your brain. Because your retina didn’t actually gather any visual information, your brain just interprets this signal as a flash of light.

When Are Eye Flashes Cause for Concern?

Head trauma should always be taken seriously. But seeing a flash of light when you bump your head is perfectly normal. However, flashes of light can be a symptom of something serious like retinal detachment.

Seek emergency medical care if:

  • You have flashes while staying still
  • Your flashes accompanied by floaters
  • Your vision gets blurry
  • You start losing peripheral vision
  • A black curtain seems to fall over your vision in one eye

Visit Our Office

Brighton Eyecare is conveniently located in Brighton Marketplace just off McCormond Drive, between Save on Foods and The Keg.


Suite #90, 145 Gibson Bend
Saskatoon, SK, S7V 0V2

Contact Number

Phone: 306.978.2993
After Hours Emergencies: 306-371-9911
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 306-978-2990

Hours of Operation

Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 12 PM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: 9 AM - 3 PM
Sunday: Closed

We understand that life is busy, and it isn’t always convenient to take time out of your workday to visit your optometrist. To help serve you better, we offer Saturday appointments and have extended hours on Thursdays.

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