If a headache follows visions of light flashes or “heat waves,” it is called a migraine. When this occurs without a headache, you may be experiencing an ophthalmic migraine.

Symptoms of Floaters

Symptoms of vitreous floaters include seeing little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like dots or circles, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

A symptom similar to those one experiences with floaters is seeing jagged lines or "heat waves" in both eyes, often lasting 10 to 20 minutes. This is not caused by the vitreous gel pulling on the retina; instead, these symptoms are usually caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the brain, called a migraine. If a headache follows the flashes, it is called a migraine headache. When these jagged lines or heat waves occur without a headache, you are likely experiencing an ophthalmic migraine, or migraine without headache. Contact your eye care professional if you experience these symptoms.