Floaters and Flashes in Children: Care Instructions

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Eyeball and optic nerve


Floaters are spots and lines that "float" across your child's field of vision. These are caused by stray cells or strands of tissue inside the eyeball. Flashes are sparkles or lightning streaks. These occur in your child's side vision. This is called the peripheral vision.

Floaters and flashes usually aren't serious. But they can be annoying. If floaters are bothersome, your child can look up and then down. This may make them go away.

For now, your doctor doesn't think your child's symptoms are a sign of a more serious problem. But an eye exam is the only way to know for sure.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has vision changes.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child sees new floaters.
  • Your child sees new flashes of light.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter V424 in the search box to learn more about "Floaters and Flashes in Children: Care Instructions".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.