Floaters are small flecks that appear in your peripheral vision. You may notice them more when looking at a plain or white background and in bright sunlight. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous gel in your eye. The vitreous is a clear gel-like substance that fills the inside of your eye. Floaters are often caused by the vitreous gel shrinking and forming clumps inside the eye. The floaters appear in your vision when the clumps cast a shadow on your retina.

Photopsia, or flashes of light in your vision occur when the vitreous gel rubs or pulls on the retina, causing flashes of light or lightning streaks in your vision. The flashes of light can appear on and off for several weeks or months.

If you experience a sudden increase of large black floaters or flashes of light, you should contact your ophthalmologist immediately.