Dots and lines (floaters) or flashes of light in the eyes are common. They're not usually serious.
If you sometimes see:
in your vision, it's not usually a sign of anything serious, especially if:
Flashes may stop by themselves, and floaters often become less noticeable as you get used to them.
These could be signs of a serious problem with the back of your eye, which could permanently affect your vision if it's not treated quickly.
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Get an urgent opticians appointment
You can get your eyes checked at an opticians.
Call an opticians near you and ask if you can have an urgent appointment.
Your eyes will be checked to see if you might need to be seen by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) for more tests or treatment.
You'll usually only need treatment if you have a problem that could affect your vision.
Lots of people, particularly older people, get floaters and flashes.
They're usually caused by a harmless process called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), which happens as you get older.
Sometimes they can be caused by retinal detachment.
This is a serious condition where a thin layer that sends signals to the brain (the retina) pulls away from the back of the eye. It can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated.
Floaters and flashes can also happen for no obvious reason.
Page last reviewed: Tue Aug 2020 Next review due: Tue Aug 2020