The symptom of floaters is common. In most cases, the floaters are nothing more than changes within the vitreous gel of the eye, whereby cellular clusters break away and float within the vitreous gel. The individual will often experience an initial episode of flashes, usually signifying the vitreous clusters of cells breaking from their attachment to the retina. These flashes are generally only present from a few hours to a few days. Afterwards, the individual will experience the floaters, which are the shadows of these clumps of cells as they literally float loose in the vitreous. These floaters can be present from a few weeks to several months.
When an individual experiences floaters, it is extremely important to consult with an ophthalmologist to have a dilated eye exam to have the retina evaluated. In a minority of times, these floaters can indicate more serious problems such as retinal holes, retinal hemorrhages, retinal detachment. Or other issues that need to be treated.