Things You Should Know About Floaters and Flashes

As you get older, you may notice trouble developing with your vision. Blurriness, difficulty seeing far or near objects, and other conditions might be the result of aging or caused by more serious issues. While you should schedule an eye exam every year with your eye doctor, if you are beginning to see floaters or flashes in your field of vision, this might be a sign to go get checked out sooner than later. Do you have questions about floaters and flashes? Read on for answers!

What are Floaters and Flashes?

Floaters – Floaters are actually little clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous humor (the jelly-like fluid that fills your eye) of your eye. Some people describe floaters as specks, clouds, or cobwebs moving around in their fields of vision. While it can seem like these little designs are floating in front of your eyes, they are actually within them. What you are seeing is the shadows cast on your retina. 

Flashes – If you have witnessed what seem to be flashing lights or lightning streaks in your field of vision, you might have experienced flashes. Many people describe flashes as “seeing stars.” Flashes are caused by the vitreous gel in your eye pulling away from or rubbing up against your retina. You might start to see flashes as you start aging, but if there is a sudden onset of them, you should be sure to contact an eye doctor right away. This could be a sign of a torn retina, which can seriously affect our vision.

What Causes Floaters and Flashes?

Over the years, vitreous gel may start to thicken and shrink, which can result in clumping. This results in what we perceive as floaters: little specks “floating” around in front of us. While this shrinkage is normal, other things can cause floaters, such as infections, hemorrhaging, and injuries to the eye. If you think what you are experiencing is not normal, schedule an exam with an eye doctor today.

Just like in the case of floaters, as the vitreous gel shrinks, it can pull away from the back of the eye. If the retina detaches as a result of this, it can lead to blindness. People who experience a sudden onset of flashes should contact an eye doctor right away.

How Common are Floaters and Flashes?

Many people have floaters and learn to ignore them. Spontaneous flashes are caused by aging, as well as physical force. If you bump your head or rub your eyes too hard, you might experience flashes. Those who suffer from migraines may also experience flashes. 

While it is not totally uncommon to experience floaters or flashes, if you have a sudden onset of either, your vision may be at risk.

How are Floaters and Flashes Treated?

An eye doctor or surgeon must determine what the underlying cause is to craft a treatment plan for floaters and flashes. Many people must learn how to live with floaters if their vision is not seriously affected.

Schedule an Eye Exam at Neovision Eye Center if You See Floaters and Flashes

A comprehensive eye exam at Neovision Eye Center consists of a series of tests to assess the overall health of your eyes and to determine the best options to correct your unique visual needs. We happily welcome new patients and look forward to testing, diagnosing, and treating individuals with a personal touch.

If you have other questions about floaters and flashes, are experiencing them yourself, or it’s simply time to schedule an annual eye exam, reach out to our Union City location today!